IBM Canada is still staying largely silent two days after reports that it is laying off staff across North America.
Early reports said that the technology giant is likely to cut anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 jobs globally. According to an IBM employee group named Alliance@IBM, the layoffs notices have passed 2,000. The biggest area that was cut was in Software Group Marketing, where more than 200 people lost their jobs this week. The least impacted area was BT/IT CIO Enterprise Transformation, where only four people were let go.
Some of those being let go at the company’s Ottawa facilities could take heart that local firms are ready to hire them.
For instance, online shopping startup Shopify Inc. lost no time in setting up a makeshift hiring booth on the sidewalk along Riverside Drive just a few metres from IBM’s front gate.
The Ottawa Citizen reported that some people manning the booth were seen flagging passersby asking them if they would be interested in working with Shopify. The scene was “reminiscent of the boom days of the Ottawa technology scene,” according the newspaper.
Shopify employs 200 people at its downtown Ottawa office and plans to hire 250 more by the end of the year as part of an expansion brought about a new round of investment and the growing online retail services market. For now, the company is looking to hire 50 people but is “not going to turn away talent,” said Harley Finkelstein, the company’s chief platform officer.
Other startups in the area are also scouting for IT talent.
Among those hiring are QNX Software Systems Inc., a division of BlackBerry; SavvyDox, a mobile documents management firm; Fuel Industries, a digital agency and entertainment studio; Magmic Inc., a mobile social games publisher; and Playbrains, another digital game publisher.
IBM is said to have a global workforce of 434,000. However, online business news publication Bloomberg.com reported that the company is undergoing a restructuring plan which involves cutting costs by as much as $1 billion.
Big Blue also made enhancements across its systems portfolio that is designed to help organizations adopt cloud computing as they build toward Software Defined Environments (SDE).
(With notes from Howard Solomon and Paolo Del Nibletto)