IBM has started an "orderly wind-down" of its business and laying off the workforce in Russia with its Indian-origin CEO Arvind Krishna saying the global IT giant will continue to stand by its employees in the country.
In early March, the New York-headquartered multinational technology corporation announced the suspension of its business in Russia after President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, prompting the West to impose crippling sanctions on Moscow.
The company on Tuesday issued an update on its business operations in Russia, saying it has made the decision to carry out an orderly wind-down of IBM’s business in Russia.
In the statement, IBM’s Chairman, President and CEO Krishna said: “On March 7th, I shared with you our decision to suspend IBM’s business operations in Russia due to the war in Ukraine. Our focus for months has been on looking after the safety and security of IBMers and their families in impacted regions.
“We chose to suspend operations so that we could evaluate longer-term options while continuing to pay and provide for our employees in Russia”.
As the consequences of the war continue to mount and uncertainty about its long-term ramifications grows, the company has now made the decision to carry out “an orderly wind-down of IBM’s business in Russia”.
“We see this move as both right and necessary, and a natural next step following our business suspension,” Krishna said.
This process will commence on Tuesday and result in the separation of the local workforce, he said.
“Our colleagues in Russia have, through no fault of their own, endured months of stress and uncertainty.
“We recognise that this news is difficult, and I want to assure them that IBM will continue to stand by them and take all reasonable steps to provide support and make their transition as orderly as possible,” he said.
Krishna thanked ‘IBMers’ everywhere for all they have done to help the company, clients and communities navigate this crisis.
“Your spirit and generosity have made a difference, and you need look no further for evidence than the nearly USD 2 million in donations that have been made to the International Red Cross thanks to your individual gifts.
“We remain united in our hope for an end to this war and the restoration of peace,” he added.
In March, IBM joined many Western companies like Procter & Gamble, Adidas to suspend business in Russia after President Putin on February 24 ordered a "special military operation" in neighbouring Ukraine.