IBM Reportedly to Lay Off 8,000 - TheStreet

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

will reportedly lay off up to 8,000 employees, or 2.5% of its work force, as new Chief Executive Samuel J. Palmisano tries to rein in spending amid the prolonged tech slump.

The job cuts are the steepest at IBM since the early 1990s when Lou Gerstner took over as CEO of the then-foundering technology giant, which was losing billions of dollars a year at the time. The reductions could begin as early as this quarter,

The Wall Street Journal

reported.

Palmisano warned employees last month that some paring back would probably be necessary. The story said the layoffs would be "across-the-board," but don't include the transfer of about 17,000 hard-disk drive division workers to a new joint venture with

Hitachi

.

IBM shares were little changed at $79.80 in Instinet premarket trading.