A former IBM vice president has reportedly testified in an ongoing lawsuit that the company fired as many as 1 lakh older employees in the past few years to make it appear "cool and trendy" for millennials.
The 108-year-old technology company is facing several lawsuits accusing it of firing older workers, including one class-action case in Manhattan and individual civil suits in California, Pennsylvania and Texas. In one such civil case by Jonathan Langley, former IBM VP Alan Wild reportedly testified that "50,000 to 100,000 Big Blue staff have been axed in the past five or so years".
Langley, previously a salesman with IBM, had sued the company last year "for unfairly ditching older capable staff to replace them with so-called early professional hires," news agency IANS reported. The axed staff was replaced by young recruits, the report further said.
Meanwhile, IBM has refuted the allegation of age discrimination. "The company hires 50,000 employees each year, and spends nearly a half-billion dollars on training our team. We also receive more than 8,000 job applications every day, the highest rate that we've ever experienced, so there's clear excitement about IBM's strategy and direction for the future," IANS quoted IBM as saying.
A ProPublica report from last March suggests that IBM fired approximately 20,000 US employees aged 40 years or older in the last five years.