RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM wants one thing to be crystal clear: it has no plans to make any layoffs now that its $34 billion merger with Red Hat is finally a done deal.

One of IBM’s top execs privy to all of the negotiations confirmed this piece of news shortly after the tech giant announced the acquisition’s closing Tuesday morning.

“We’re not talking about layoffs. We’re not talking about any of those things,” Arvind Krishna, senior vice president for IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software, said in a mid-day conference call with media outlets. “This acquisition is all about revenue synergy and growth going forward.”

IBM executive Arvind Krishna. 5/30/19 Photo by John O’Boyle

Furthermore, IBM doesn’t plan to mess with Red Hat’s headquarters in Raleigh, or any of its many offices scattered around the globe. “All of that is going to stay. We’re not trying to combine,” Krishna confirmed.

He even hinted that there could be expansion: “Red Hat has a building in downtown Raleigh. IBM has facilities in RTP. All of them are chock-full to the gills. So we can take from that what might happen next.”

Red Hat’s neutrality and culture?

Krishna also reaffirmed Big Blue’s commitment to maintaining Red Hat’s neutrality.

When it comes to making decisions about product lines, partners and clients, that’s Red Hat’s call.

“Red Hat is going to be an independent sales team. They’re not getting folded into the IBM sales team,” he said. “They make their own decisions with pricing, who they work with, the number of people they work with.”

Red Hat’s Paul Cormier. Source: Red Hat

That also means they won’t get comped for IBM’s products, clarified Paul Cormier, executive vice president and president for Red Hat’s Products and Technologies.

“That was a conscious decision on IBM’s part,” he said. “That independence is essential to assure our other partners – in some cases competitors to IBM – that they will have an equal shot at the business out there, and can feel confident that we will continue to remain neutral as we go to market with them.”

Furthermore, he reiterated IBM Ginni Rometty’s promise to preserve Red Hat’s distinct “open source” culture.

“I don’t think IBM will even have an opinion on what our culture should be,” Cormier said. “That’s important for not only our people, but also to continue the momentum that we’ve gotten from bringing open source to the enterprise.”

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