Local News

Speculation Over Potential IBM Sale At RTP Continues To Gain Steam

Posted December 7, 2004 5:43 a.m. EST

— A big deal involving Research Triangle Park's biggest employer could come soon.


is reportedly in talks to sell its personal computer unit. That sale could affect 2,500 local workers.

There is no formal announcement from IBM, but there is speculation that the Lenovo Group could move its PC headquarters to RTP.

"You could conceivably have the same people working from the same building until Lenovo makes other arrangements," said Sougata Mukherjee, of the

Triangle Business Journal


Despite pioneering the PC, IBM lost its market dominance years ago. The company outsourced manufacturing and found a niche with the Thinkpad laptops, but PCs proved to be a profit liability for IBM.

"If you keep everything the same, it's not going to work for Lenovo either, so it's obvious there is going to be some restructuring done," Mukherjee said.

According to


, IBM is the largest employer in the Research Triangle Park with more than 13,000 employees. Glaxo SmithKline and Nortel are tied for second with 5,000 workers. Cisco Systems is fourth with 3,000 employees.