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IBM`s Desperate Bid to Create Younger Organization - Big Blue’s Woes with Age Discrimination

Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Case Code: HROB222
Case Length: 13 Pages
Period: 2010-2018
Pub Date: 2020
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: International Business Machines Corporation
Industry: Computer Hardware and Software
Countries: United States
Themes: Workplace Diversity, Diversity and Inclusion, Managing Diversity, Discrimination
Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


“When people look at IBM, we’re blue and we’re 100 years old. So it’s a question of in the eyes of people coming to join the organization, how do we show IBM as a different place to the one they have in their mind? One way to show Millennials that IBM was not ‘an old fuddy duddy organization’ was to make itself appear ‘as [a] cool, trendy organization’ like Google and Amazon. To do that, IBM set out to slough off large portions of its older workforce using rolling layoffs over the course of several years.” These were the words of Alan Wild (Wild), former Vice President of HR at the US-based multinational technology company International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).

This startling revelation was made by Wild while testifying in an age-discrimination lawsuit filed in Texas against IBM by Jonathan Langley (Langley) aged 60 years, a former world program director and sales lead for IBM Bluemix, who was laid off in 2017...

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