More Cringely analysis and speculation about IBM's game plan (continued from last week)
IBM's mysterious LEAN program, which the company says I mischaracterize but then won't explain specifically what I got wrong, is global. LEAN involves the restructuring of IBM's global workforce to achieve certain unstated goals, most likely centered on profitability, with the goal of regaining that 37 percent decrease in market cap IBM has suffered since 1999. This restructuring means firing employees in some places and hiring them in others. On a GLOBAL basis I can see this program easily hitting 150,000 employees, which is what makes the number not so impossible. IBM will try to focus the discussion on the total number of employees, which may not drop significantly from the current 355,000. But even a five percent reduction in force, which I see as an absolute no-brainer, could involve firing 100,000 employees and hiring 82,250 in some other place.