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International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) is gearing up to lay off workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the first such action by CEO Arvind Krishna, who took on the role in April. IBM hasn't said how many employees it's letting go, but a source told The Wall Street Journal the move could eliminate several thousand jobs.
IBM is laying off employees amid the pandemic, and Apple wants to use podcasts to promote its Apple TV+ streaming service.
Facebook takes more steps to support and expand a remote workforce, IBM announces layoffs and TechCrunch's big annual conference is going virtual. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg estimated that over the course of the next decade, half of the company could be working fully remotely. As the next step toward that goal, Facebook will be setting up new company hubs in Denver, Dallas and Atlanta.
IBM confirmed reports from overnight that it is conducting layoffs, but wouldn't provide details related to location, departments or number of employees involved. The company framed it in terms of replacing people with more needed skills as it tries to regroup under new CEO Arvind Krishna. Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, says he's hearing the layoffs are hitting across the business.
(Bloomberg) -- International Business Machines Corp. cut an unspecified number of jobs across the U.S., eliminating employees in at least five states. The company declined to comment on the total number, but the workforce reductions appear far-reaching.“IBM’s work in a highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility to constantly add high-value skills to our workforce. While we always consider the current environment, IBM’s workforce decisions are in the interest of the long-term health of our business,” company spokesman Ed Barbini said Thursday in a statement. “Recognizing the unique and difficult situation this business decision may create for some of our employees, IBM is offering subsidized medical coverage to all affected U.S. employees through June 2021.”Based on a review of IBM internal communications on the Slack corporate messaging service, the number of affected employees is likely to be in the thousands, said a North Carolina-based worker who lost his job along with his entire team of 12. “This was far ranging -- and historical employment ratings, age and seniority did not seem to matter,” he said. The person asked not to be identified on concern that speaking publicly may impact his severance package.The cuts also affected employees in Pennsylvania, California, Missouri and New York, where IBM is based, according to people familiar with the matter.Another worker who lost his job said the reductions mostly focus on IBM’s North American workforce. Half of his 70-person department were cut on Thursday and told their last day with the company will be June 22. The person asked not to be identified discussing a sensitive topic. The tech industry has suffered widespread job losses after the coronavirus pandemic triggered a severe recession. Airbnb Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. have cut about a quarter of their workforces. Earlier on Thursday, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. said it will eliminate some employees to save money, while Dell Technologies Inc. suspended several staff benefits. It’s unclear how many of IBM’s cuts are caused by the pandemic. The company has suffered years of falling revenue. In an earnings call in January, IBM discussed reducing costs through “aggressive structural actions” to improve the competitiveness of its Global Technology Services consulting unit, which represents about a third of revenue.In online forums Thursday, dozens of newly unemployed IBM workers, some who said they had been with the company for more than 20 years, lamented the situation and expressed fear over finding a new job in a recession. “With the Covid situation, it will be hard to find new opportunities,” one wrote.(Updates with HPE cuts in seventh paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Beijing is accelerating its bid for global leadership in key technologies, planning to pump more than a trillion dollars into the economy through the rollout of everything from wireless networks to artificial intelligence.In the masterplan backed by President Xi Jinping himself, China will invest an estimated $1.4 trillion over six years to 2025, calling on urban governments and private tech giants like Huawei Technologies Co. to lay fifth generation wireless networks, install cameras and sensors, and develop AI software that will underpin autonomous driving to automated factories and mass surveillance.The new infrastructure initiative is expected to drive mainly local giants from Alibaba and Huawei to SenseTime Group Ltd. at the expense of U.S. companies. As tech nationalism mounts, the investment drive will reduce China’s dependence on foreign technology, echoing objectives set forth previously in the Made in China 2025 program. Such initiatives have already drawn fierce criticism from the Trump administration, resulting in moves to block the rise of Chinese tech companies such as Huawei.“Nothing like this has happened before, this is China’s gambit to win the global tech race,” said Digital China Holdings Chief Operating Officer Maria Kwok, as she sat in a Hong Kong office surrounded by facial recognition cameras and sensors. “Starting this year, we are really beginning to see the money flow through.”The tech investment push is part of a fiscal package waiting to be signed off by China’s legislature, which convenes this week. The government is expected to announce infrastructure funding of as much as $563 billion this year, against the backdrop of the country’s worst economic performance since the Mao era.The nation’s biggest purveyors of cloud computing and data analysis Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. will be linchpins of the upcoming endeavor. China has already entrusted Huawei to galvanize 5G. Tech leaders including Pony Ma and Jack Ma are espousing the program.Maria Kwok’s company is a government-backed systems integration provider, among many that are jumping at the chance. In the southern city of Guangzhou, Digital China is bringing half a million units of project housing online, including a complex three quarters the size of Central Park. To find a home, a user just has to log on to an app, scan their face and verify their identity. Leases can be signed digitally via smartphone and the renting authority is automatically flagged if a tenant’s payment is late.China is no stranger to far-reaching plans with massive price tags that appear to achieve little. There’s no guarantee this program will deliver the economic rejuvenation its proponents promise. Unlike previous efforts to resuscitate the economy with “dumb” bridges and highways, this newly laid digital infrastructure will help national champions develop cutting-edge technologies.What BloombergNEF SaysChina’s new stimulus plan will likely lead to a consolidation of industrial internet providers, and could lead to the emergence of some larger companies able to compete with global leaders such as GE and Siemens. One bet is on industrial internet-of-things platforms as China aims to cultivate three world leading companies in this area by 2025.Nannan Kou, head of researchClick here for researchChina isn’t alone in pumping money into the tech sector as a way to get out of the post-virus economic slump. Earlier this month, South Korea said AI and wireless communications would be at the core of it its “New Deal” to create jobs and boost growth.According to the government-backed China Center for Information Industry Development, the 10 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) that China is estimated to spend from now until 2025 encompasses areas typically considered leading edge such as AI and IoT as well as items such as ultra-high voltage lines and high-speed rail. More than 20 of mainland China’s 31 provinces and regions have announced projects totaling over 1 trillion yuan with active participation from private capital, a state-backed newspaper reported Wednesday.Separate estimates by Morgan Stanley put new infrastructure at around $180 billion each year for the next 11 years -- or $1.98 trillion in total. Those calculations also include power and rail lines. That annual figure would be almost double the past three-year average, the investment bank said in a March report that listed key stock beneficiaries including companies such as China Tower Corp., Alibaba, GDS Holdings, Quanta Computer Inc. and Advantech Co.Beijing’s half-formed vision is already stirring a plethora of stocks, a big reason why five of China’s 10 best-performing stocks this year are tech plays like networking gear maker Dawning Information Industry Co. and Apple supplier GoerTek Inc. The bare outlines of the masterplan were enough to drive pundits toward everything from satellite operators to broadband providers.It’s unlikely that U.S companies will benefit much from the tech-led stimulus and in some cases they stand to lose existing business. Earlier this year when the country’s largest telecom carrier China Mobile awarded contracts for 37 billion yuan in 5G base stations, the lion’s share went to Huawei and other Chinese companies. Sweden’s Ericsson got only a little over 10% of the business in the first four months. In one of its projects, Digital China will help the northeastern city of Changchun swap out American cloud computing staples IBM, Oracle and EMC with home-grown technology.It’s in data centers that a considerable chunk of the new infrastructure development will take place. Over 20 provinces have launched policies to support enterprises utilizing cloud computing services, according to a March note from UBS Group AG. Tony Yu, chief executive officer of Chinese server maker H3C, that his company was seeing a significant increase in demand for data center services from some of the country’s top internet companies. “Rapid growth in up-and-coming sectors will bring a new force to China’s economy after the pandemic passes,” he told Bloomberg News.From there, more investment should flow. Bain Capital-backed data center operator Chindata Group estimated that for every one dollar spent on data centers another $5 to $10 in investment in related sectors would take place, including in networking, power grid and advanced equipment manufacturing. “A whole host of supply-chain companies will benefit,” the company said in a statement.There’s concern about whether this long-term strategy provides much in the way of stimulus now, and where the money will come from. “It’s impossible to prop up China’s economy with new infrastructure alone,” said Zhu Tian, professor of economics at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai. “If you are worried about the government’s added debt levels and their debt servicing abilities right now, of course you wouldn’t do it. But it’s a necessary thing to do at a time of crisis.”Digital China is confident that follow-up projects from its housing initiative in Guangzhou could generate 30 million yuan in revenue for the company. It’s also hoping to replicate those efforts with local governments in the northeastern province of Jilin, where it has 3.3 billion yuan worth of projects approved. These include building a so-called city brain that will for the first time connect databases including traffic, schools and civil matters such as marriage registry. “The concept of smart cities has been touted for years but now we are finally seeing the investment,” said Kwok.(Updates with more details on projects from around China in tenth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Companies that have pulled back on dividends to preserve cash include automakers, retailers, real estate investment trusts, energy companies, and a mishmash of others. While dividend investing has become more difficult as companies reel from the pandemic, there are still some solid dividend stocks out there. Two of the best, thanks to a combination of dividend safety and exceptionally high yields, are International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) and AT&T (NYSE: T).
Today we are going to look at International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) to see whether it might be an...
A White House advisory panel on Tuesday urged the government and private industry to work together on new technological infrastructure to support future jobs and underpin a solid economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Members include Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook, Lockheed Martin Corp Chief Executive Marillyn Hewson and International Business Machines Corp Executive Chairman Ginni Rometty.
Let's look at three high-yield stocks that are part of the broader technology space that investors might want to buy now amid continued coronavirus uncertainty...
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) have one big thing in common. Twenty years ago, Cisco briefly had the largest market cap of any company in the world. This happened as Cisco products built the infrastructure of a then-burgeoning internet.
(Bloomberg) -- On the night of April 20, Christian Klein gained two major responsibilities.He became a father for the second time. And Klein was named sole chief executive officer of SAP SE, where he had risen through the ranks after starting as a student more than two decades ago.Klein’s promotion was a major upset -- not because the 39-year-old manager isn’t seen suited for the role. But it abruptly aborted the ascent of his co-CEO, Jennifer Morgan, who left after just six months, marking the shortest tenure of any leader among Germany’s largest 30 listed companies and the departure of the only woman from a league of white, German-speaking men.Speaking in his first international interview since SAP announced the surprise change shortly before midnight that Monday, Klein made no secret of the fact that the decision was painful, calling his last few calls with Morgan “pretty emotional.” The co-leader model under which SAP had successfully operated for many years suddenly caused friction in the global organization, he said.“There are a lot of positives to this co-CEO model -- you can divide and conquer and you can share responsibilities,” Klein said in a telephone interview. “But in the crisis, we also saw the downside of this model.”Klein said that in plotting SAP’s course through the Covid-19 crisis, he and Morgan realized they were “not on the same page” on several decisions he declined to disclose. They had already experienced some disagreements in the early days of their joint tenure, but the pandemic was an “accelerator,” making the issues more pronounced, Klein said. When they went to the supervisory board to explain the impasse, the panel decided to jettison Morgan and asked Klein to carry on alone.See also: Vodafone CEO Looks On as Rivals Follow His Convergence PlaybookIt’s ComplicatedSAP had been committed to the co-CEO structure, but when the coronavirus hit, it became clear that having two people in charge was no longer tenable, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The leadership structure was described as disorganized and, at times, chaotic, by the the person, who asked not to be named discussing the company’s internal dynamics.It took longer to get some things done because, in certain instances, managers needed sign off from two different CEO offices, this person said. Morgan hasn’t responded to requests for comment on her departure.Read more: SAP Chief’s Short Stint ‘Disaster’ for German DiversityKlein now faces a range of challenges to keep the world’s largest maker of business-management software on course. SAP has its headquarters in rural Germany an hour’s drive south of Frankfurt. But there’s a huge operation in Silicon Valley that fell under the remit of American-born Morgan and may now feel disenfranchised by her exit, a risk that Klein acknowledged he must address. Then there are past acquisitions that have yet to be fully integrated, like the $8 billion purchase of survey-software Qualtrics that got a lukewarm reception from investors.There’s also SAP’s engineering response to the coronavirus that requires Klein’s attention. The German government has drafted SAP and Deutsche Telekom AG to help develop an app to trace Covid-19 infections. Klein said SAP and its partners, which also include Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. are working under time pressure to ensure data security, scalability and user experience of the product, though he wouldn’t give an exact time frame when an app might be available to download.Read more: Germany Taps SAP, Deutsche Telekom for Contact Tracing AppChecking InAs head of operations, everyday business also keeps Klein busy: checking in with work-from-home staff via virtual all-hands meetings, conversations with customers and calls with the German government about SAP’s role in the virus recovery. The CEO said he’s also considering how to evolve the company’s commercial model, call center and digital marketing strategy.Founded by a group of former IBM programmers, SAP still relies in no small part on the input of one its co-creators: Hasso Plattner, the company’s biggest individual shareholder, chairman and engineering mastermind, who created some of SAP’s most successful products. Klein and Plattner are close, with the chairman sending a glowing internal mail after Klein’s promotion in which he assured him of his support. It’s an important vote of confidence for Klein from the one voice that matters at SAP.One thing currently not on Klein’s mind is acquisitions, and the company will rely first and foremost on organic growth, he said. Eventually though, deals will come back into focus, and the CEO has already identified a gap in its offerings.Good Sleeper“I would love to have a telecommunications solution in the portfolio right now,” Klein said, referring to video-conferencing tools that have been in high demand during the lockdown. “I’m a little bit jealous of not having such a solution in the portfolio – now in the crisis for sure.”For now, though, his attention is aimed at steering Germany’s most valuable company through the upheaval wrought by the sudden leadership change, while managing the work of 100,000 employees who are largely working from home.And then there’s the challenge of juggling the tasks of an enlarged family. Luckily for Klein, he says his newborn daughter is a good sleeper -- one less distraction as he steers the technology company through a viral pandemic and economic crash.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Readers are flocking to news sites for the latest on Covid-19. Advertisers are running the other way.As news editors do everything to harness public interest in the worst public health crisis in more than a generation, their main source of income is in freefall, with brands pulling ads from news sites, papers and magazines.To some extent that’s normal: With businesses hoarding cash just to stay afloat, marketing campaigns are a low priority. But a bad situation is being made a whole lot worse by advertising “blacklists” — sets of keywords that stop ads appearing next to certain categories of news that are considered a turn-off by brand managers. Because so much coverage now touches on coronavirus, one of the biggest stories of the century is turning into an advertising no-go zone.The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a trade group, surveyed U.S. web publishers in early April and found that news organizations were twice as likely to have ads blocked because of keyword blacklisting.News executives, and even some advertising experts, say the lists can be arbitrary, unfair and often nonsensical: there’s little evidence that readers are less responsive to an ad for shampoo or a car hire service just because they’re sitting alongside a “bad news” story. What’s more, they’re killing news.“We’re in danger of losing some of the most trusted publishers we have in the U.K. in the coming months,” said Tracey de Groose, executive chairman of British news industry marketing body Newsworks. “The unintended consequence of this is the commercial censorship of journalism.”Newsworks calculated that Covid-19 blacklists are set to cost British news brands more than 50 million pounds ($61.7 million) in the next three months — a potential lifeline for newsrooms already slashing costs to survive. It said its members already lost 170 million pounds last year from an ever-growing list of common news words that brands avoid, such as “terrorism” and even “Brexit.” Integral Ad Science Inc., one of a complex array of tech firms that influence where ads appear online, said marketers have begun to address the problem — specific coronavirus-related keyword blocking has fallen by 80% since mid-March in the U.S. and 77% in the U.K., according to IAS Chief Executive Officer Lisa Utzschneider. Prior to that, marketers requested blanket bans on ads appearing next to content with words like “coronavirus” or “pandemic.”In the U.K., news organizations have spent more than a month lobbying ad executives to stop them blocking ads near virus coverage, and even drafted in the government to add its weight to the campaign, to little avail. There’s yet to be any rebound in income for publishers, said de Groose at Newsworks. That’s galling for news sites that have seen readership more than double in some content categories in Europe, according to audience data firm Comscore.In a follow-up IAB survey last week, 18% of news publishers reported that blacklist restrictions had loosened in their second quarter planning. More than half said nothing had changed.Companies that provide “brand safety” lists often use outdated terms and obscure how their keyword targeting works, said Nandini Jammi, a marketing industry advocate. “These are not made clear to advertisers,” she said. “Everyone is doing it. No one is thinking about it.” At the other end of the chain, news publishers struggle to find out which brands are blocking what, making it harder to hold the brands to account. The companies that administer the ad blocking profit from each block, so have little incentive to help. WPP agency GroupM said it’s trying to get brand marketing teams to making their blacklists more intelligent so more ads reach trusted news sources.Rather than blocking “Covid-19,” they block a combination of words such as “Covid-19-Miracle Cure” or “Covid-19-Refrigerated Truck” so that ads don’t appear alongside irresponsible or particularly unpleasant news stories, said John Montgomery, the head of GroupM’s global brand safety practice.“The technology is not the enemy,” he said. “It’s the way we use it.” Opaque MarketUnpicking the chain of arrangements that are pulling advertising away from news is complex because publishers are the last link in a vast online ecosystem. Digital ads are created by agencies at global companies such as WPP Plc and transmitted via technology platforms including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and intermediaries like IAS and DoubleVerify. An ad flows through a warren of automated marketplaces and is sold a split-second after you click a link to the page where you see it. A myriad of suppliers trade and verify the content, while others gather data to target it better. It’s turned what used to be a simple agreement between a paper’s ad department and a brand marketing representative into an opaque process that’s dissipated responsibility and accountability.Google rejects any blame for the boycott of Covid-related news, saying there are no technical or policy reasons to stop publishers monetizing coronavirus-related content on its platforms.“We are in constant discussions with our publishing partners, advertisers and agencies on how we can continue to support a sustainable future for news,” said a Google spokesperson. Ad dollars have been draining from the news business for a decade for reasons that reach beyond the pandemic, said Montgomery at GroupM. As the big social media platforms developed sophisticated filters to keep brands safe from harmful or toxic content, they’ve captured more of the ad dollars that once went to news. The result is that “media planners have been trained not to need news any more,” he said.News organizations such as New York Times Co. and Nikkei Inc.’s Financial Times have cut dependence on ads by moving to reader subscriptions or memberships. Models are also emerging in which tech giants share more revenue, like Apple Inc.’s subscription News+ service or Facebook Inc’s agreement to pay trusted publishers. Ad-funded news organizations pushed to the brink by the virus-induced ad slump are trying to innovate their way out of danger. Some publishers are pitching ad slots next to “good news” stories from the pandemic, relying on technology that can scan language and find the happier articles.One of Britain’s biggest newspaper companies, Reach Plc, has teamed up with International Business Machines Corp. and AT&T Inc. to boost its language processing software and direct ads to these stories. “Coronavirus articles that have a positive sentiment are good for your brand,” said Damon Reeve, chief executive officer of the Ozone Project, an ad platform set up in 2018 by several U.K. news publishers including the Telegraph and the Guardian.For all those efforts, ad blacklists will be hard to banish as long as there are news themes that brands want to avoid.“Yes, ‘coronavirus’ has been the number-one blocked keyword,” said IAS’s Utzschneider. “But before that, it was ‘Trump’.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Halving of bitcoin is expected to happen on May 12, and the reward per miner will be trimmed to 6.25 new bitcoin or approximately $55,000 at the current bitcoin price.