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3 May 2023

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IBM CEO Sees AI Reducing the Company's Head Count Over the Next Five Years

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has said he “could easily see 30%” of the company's 26,000 back-office workers “getting replacd by AI and automation over a five-year period,” according to an interview he gave with Bloomberg. In this case, he said hiring in these departments (which include HR) will be “suspended or slowed” for now.

Krishna focused on “mundane” tasks such as providing employment verification letters and moving employees between departments as those that AI would handle, according to the interview. High-level taks such as examining the overall composition and productivity of IBM's workforce will not be replaced, he said.

IBM's revenue famously declined year-on-year for 22 straight quarters between 2012 and 2017, then for 13 more in 2018-2021. Krishna took the CEO role in 2020. Annual revenue topped out at $106 billion in 2011, and sat at %60.5 billion in 2022. The company employes about 260,000 people today.

Photo of Arvind Krishna from IBM.

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