Jobs under threat at Lotus

Up to 25% of Lotus' global workforce could be out of a job if an expected revamp to align the software vendor with its parent...

Up to 25% of Lotus' global workforce could be out of a job if an expected revamp to align the software vendor with its parent IBM goes ahead.

Dom Pancucci in Orlando

The proposed reorganisation provided a powerful undercurrent to the traditional product announcements at the annual Lotusphere conference in Orlando last week.

Aside from the speculation, Lotus launched the second phase of its knowledge management strategy on time and hinted at enhancements for the next-generation Domino release, codenamed Rnext.

Strong indications of the imminent changes emerged before the event, after an internal Lotus communication was passed to a US newspaper.

Chairman and CEO, Al Zollar, effectively acknowledged the reorganisation at the time and did not deny the existence of the memo.

Job cuts at Lotus would not include sales or professional services, according to sources - there is a strong possibility some people will migrate to other IBM groups and assume new roles, rather than be removed from the company.

Lotusphere was widely expected to provide the platform for announcing the changes, but Zollar repeatedly tried to pour cold water on the reorganisation. He stressed that staff would be informed before any public statement was made.

But Zollar later accepted change would be inevitable within the context of aligning Lotus more closely with IBM. This process has been ongoing since IBM acquired Lotus in 1995 and he stressed it represented a typical integration cycle following merger or acquisition.

In a separate development, Lotus also revealed there would be no Lotusphere Europe event this year, but did not give reasons for the move.

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