IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty penned a piece in USA Today this week pledging Big Blue would create 25,000 jobs over the next four years in the United States.
The hiring declaration, which included announcing a US$1 billion investment in employee training and development, came as the lead-in to a meeting between tech leaders, including Rometty, and the incoming Trump administration.
Of the new hires, 6,000 are planned for 2017, Rometty said.
But Rometty's pledge didn't address whether the new hires would represent a net expansion of IBM's US or global workforce or just more restructuring.
IBM has been saying – and Rometty repeated in the article – that it has thousands of open positions on the books for applicants with valued skill sets. At the same time, IBM has been consistently paring its workforce.
An IBM representative didn't comment on the matter of net job gains to CRN USA.
"We are hiring because the nature of work is evolving – and that is also why so many of these jobs remain hard to fill," Rometty wrote. "As industries from manufacturing to agriculture are reshaped by data science and cloud computing, jobs are being created that demand new skills – which in turn requires new approaches to education, training and recruiting."
IBM has been restructuring its workforce in recent years as the century-old tech company shifts its focus to delivering its products through a cloud-based model and expanding into emerging technology sectors like cognitive computing.
In March, a source in the company told CRN USA that IBM was planning to layoff some 10,000 employees around the world – a low-single-digit percentage change in the company's 370,000 strong work force at the time.
The Watching IBM Facebook page later reported rounds of job cuts in the thousands – what the company calls "resource actions" – took place in March and May.