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Fri 17 May 2002 04:00 AM

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IBM predicts growth, but also job cuts

Samuel Palmisano, the CEO of IBM, has told Wall Street that Big Blue will emerge from the economic slump stronger than ever. He also confirmed job cuts were expected.

Samuel J. Palmisano, the CEO of IBM, has told Wall Street analysts that the company will emerge from the current economic slump stronger than ever. In his first meeting with analysts since taking the top job at Big Blue, Palmisano also confirmed that job cuts were in the offing.According to a report in the New York Times, Palmisano refused to confirm exact details, but seemed to suggest that the eventual number of job cuts would be higher than 9000, the figure that had been floated by executives last week. Most of the cuts are expected to come in the USA.Palmisano hinted that an announcement on the subject would be made soon. "You'll hear more about what we're doing to address those issues," he told the analysts. "That's pretty straightforward."However, he remained confident that the company would come through the global slump in fine form. "We don't like this economic environment, but we are seizing the opportunity it presents. I.B.M. is going to exit this downturn much stronger than we entered," he asserted.

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