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Lotus Lays Off 183

Lotus Development, the Cambridge, Mass., software firm, is laying off 183 workers, in part, to eliminate overlap with parent IBM .

The cuts, which represent a little more than 2 percent of Lotus' workforce, were spread throughout U.S. offices. A more specific breakdown was not immediately available. Nearly 3,000 of Lotus' workers are employed in the Bay State.

Lotus spokeswoman Mary Rose Greenough said the cuts follow a two-month internal review by IBM and Lotus managers and had little to do with the tech market tumble.

"There was some redundancy," Greenough said Thursday afternoon. "For example, we had a full marketing and communications group as did IBM."

Workers whose jobs were eliminated received severance packages and some may be offered other jobs with IBM, the Armonk, N.Y., computer giant. Greenough said Lotus continues to hire in engineers and other technical staffers.

Greenough declined to say how much the cuts would save the company annually.

Lotus has grown steadily in recent years thanks to the success of its Notes software. Close to 80 million people use the product which helps colleagues attached to local area networks communicate via e-mail and other channels. IBM does not release sales figures for its divisions, so the exact degree of Lotus' revenue growth remains private.

Shares of IBM jumped 6.15, or 6 percent, to 106.05 on a day when tech stocks posted solid gains. In the last 52 weeks, Big Blue's stock has been as high as 134.938 and as low as 80.062.

Layoffs at Lotus follow a string of job cuts at other high-profile companies including 3Com, Gateway, Lucent and Nortel.