BEIJING – IBM confirmed Thursday that it was relocating its global procurement headquarters to Shenzhen, China, from New York as it seeks to “capitalize on emerging market opportunities.”
IBM said it had spent 30 percent of $40 billion annual procurement in Asia in confirming the move, which was first announced to suppliers in May.
The company said it was the first move of a major division’s headquarters to China.
Companies like IBM and Microsoft are expanding in China to benefit from lower costs and gain market share.
IBM’s chief procurement officer, John Paterson, who moved from Somers, New York, to head the business, started work in Shenzhen on Thursday, Amanda Garland, a spokeswoman for IBM Asia Pacific, said during a telephone interview.
In a May 22 letter to suppliers, Paterson said that the move “places us closer to the core of the technology supply chain, which is important not only for IBM’s own internal needs but increasingly for the needs of external clients.”
International Business Machines has been sourcing in Asia for more than 50 years, mostly to support its hardware businesses.
As demand for software and services across Asia grows, IBM said, its wants to develop new markets and suppliers to meet the demand.
IBM, which has had a presence in China since 1938, employs 7,600 people in the country. The Shenzhen procurement center has been operating for more than a decade. The procurement work force comprises 7,500 people, about a quarter of whom are from Asia, the company said. IBM will not lay off any procurement employees in the United States because of the move, said Garland, the spokeswoman.
IBM said in March that it had won a contract to manage $1.2 billion in annual purchasing from Solectron, a maker of circuit boards and network gear based in Milpitas, California.
Fuente: International Herald Tribune