One of the world's biggest tech giants is in the middle of a bitter legal battle amid claims it sacked tens of thousands of workers in a bid to boost its "cool" factor.

IBM is facing a number of age discrimination cases brought about by disgruntled ex-employees who claim they were let go for being too old.

Citing a court document filed this week by IBM"s former human resources vice president Alan Wild, Bloomberg reports the company fired up to 100,000 workers in recent years.

Those people were allegedly pushed out because the company wanted to keep up with arch rivals Google and Amazon and attract the millennial market.


In the document, Wild said IBM tried to show Gen Ys it wasn't "an old fuddy duddy organisation" and to prove it was a "cool, trendy" business.

"To do that, IBM set out to slough off large portions of its older workforce using rolling lay-offs over the course of several years," the document states.

Wild spent almost eight years at IBM before leaving the company in October 2018.

One of the alleged victims of IBM's strategy was Jonathan Langley, who is suing his former company for age discrimination after claiming he was forced out in June 2017.

The 61-year-old had worked at IBM for 24 years after joining in 1993.

"Had Langley been younger, and especially if he had been a millennial, IBM would not have fired him," reads the statement of claim filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas last year.

"Langley's age was a motivating factor in his selection for termination."

Langley provided examples of so-called millennial bias, which started after Ginni Rometty was appointed chief executive in 2012.


His suit alleges Rometty wanted to "change the face of IBM" by recruiting "digitally native" millennials born after 1980.

In a statement published by Bloomberg, IBM said the company had been "reinvented" in recent years.

"We have reinvented IBM in the past five years to target higher value opportunities for our clients," the statement reads.

"The company hires 50,000 employees each year."

But there have also been scores of job losses across the US, Canada and other countries.

In fact, by the end of 2018 there had been a 19 per cent decrease in its overall workforce compared with 2013.

IBM was founded in June 1911 in New York and it is often referred to by the nickname "Big Blue".

Despite the recent lay offs, it still has one of the largest workforces in the world.