By Supantha Mukherjee
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp is winding down its business in Russia and has started to lay off its employees in the country, according to a memo to staff sent last week and emailed to Reuters on Tuesday.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, IBM joined hundreds of other companies in suspending business in the country. Many others had announced a complete exit from Russia.
“As the consequences of the war continue to mount and uncertainty about its long-term ramifications grows, we have now made the decision to carry out an orderly wind-down of IBM’s business in Russia,” Chief Executive Arvind Krishna wrote to employees.
Krishna told Reuters early last month that he was not sure how much longer the company could pay its employees in Russia in light of escalating sanctions.
An IBM spokesman said there were several hundred employees in Russia.
“Our colleagues in Russia have, through no fault of their own, endured months of stress and uncertainty… 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,” Krishna wrote.
(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European Technology & Telecoms Correspondent, based in Stockholm, editing by Ed Osmond)