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As newly transferred workers tried on the corporate color of their new employer and celebrated with parties at the plants, executives said that this company is one that is clearly focused on semiconductors and making chips for everything from smartphones to IBM's Corp.'s big computers.
It was the other side of the coin that IBM had flipped. Big Blue has exited the chip-making business. But it continues to maintain research and design divisions that will work closely with GlobalFoundries, which has a 10-year deal to supply high-end chips to IBM. ...
While not addressed in the conference, executives have previously said that future nodes of technology process will be developed at Malta. Under IBM, that work was done historically at East Fishkill and in Westchester County labs and in more recent times, in Albany. ...
The closing end months of required regulatory approvals and will move an estimated 5,000 IBM workers — split between the East Fishkill, Dutchess County, and Burlington, Vt. plants — over to the payroll of GlobalFoundries. ...
"What I've seen is pretty positive," said Earl Mongeon, a 36-year IBMer who works at the Burlington plant and has been outspoken in his concerns about Big Blue's path. He has been serving as vice president of the Alliance@IBM, a union-backed worker group, a post he's leaving since he'll no longer be an IBMer.
The transferred workers are getting the same rate of pay as they did with IBM and the health benefits look better, he said. The out-of-pocket payments he's looking at are about half of what they are under IBM, he said, and, "The premiums are much lower."
He said, "(GlobalFoundries) wants to run it as a business and wants to invest in it and keep it going." IBM, which was known to be planning an exit from the business, had trimmed back its investing and was experiencing difficulty hiring or keeping new recruits on board, he said, attributing that to uncertainty about IBM's future in the business.
Shareholders, however, have been less than pleased with IBM's handling of the deal. The City of Sterling Heights Police & Fire Retirement System, a Michigan-based pension fund, has sued IBM for allegedly inflating the value of the chipmaking division ahead of the sale, which the fund claims subsequently caused IBM's stock to tank.
IBM’s fabs had been losing significant money in recent years; it’s two primary fabs lost approximately $700 million during 2013 and 2014. IBM’s East Fishkill, N.Y., fab that made about 15,000 wafers a month mainly in 45 and 32 nm silicon-on-insulator processes. The fab is also ramping the 22 nm process used to make IBM’s Power 8 processors and has some 14 nm technology in development for the follow-on generation.
The Burlington, Vt., fab which makes 45,000 200 mm wafers per month. The fab uses a wide variety of processes, including a 130/180 nm RF SOI process for RF front-ends and switches used mainly in cellphones and a 90 nm silicon germanium process, mainly for power chips used across a wide range of high-end applications including car radars and high-frequency radios and testers.
Selected reader comments:
Pros: The pros are having a job to go to every day. There are so many nice people working there and they help whenever they can. Employees are encouraged to participate in a lot of community involvement and diversity is respected.
Cons: No pay raises ever and they tend to pay under the national and local averages. Promotions are promised but never come to pass no matter how hard you work or how much of your life you devote to your job. You have to be in the right clique at the right time. Managers are not given head count to meet the growing demands of the business.
Advice to Management: Pay more attention to your employees and recognize them for the hard work they do.
Pros: Slow ponderous processes that micro micro manage everything. Why is a good thing? Because given their near pathological hatred of their own workforce, their own internal processes make it difficult to actually fire people. So you get a grace period before they do so you can get a better job.
Cons: Technology and the people who do it died years ago. This is a company run by and for lawyers and financial risk managers. There's little actual computer 'stuff' going on. And what there is is shift based grunt work. No matter who you are if you're not a manager you will be on call, for something. And you will be required to work those nights and weekends. And you will be expected to work on your 'days off'. And if you handle any sort of operational task for customers, because staffing, for all its bloat is quite thin, you will be required to put in 80 hr weeks.
When I started 20 years ago I was 5 levels from the CEO. Today I am at the same job level as before and I am 14 levels from the CEO. IBM run by middle managers whose sole job is to compile the status of the the status of status reporting reporting reporting. And woe to he or she who afoul of one of the thousands of attorneys. You will get fired or wish you hand been.
Advice to Management: You won't listen so there's point in bothering to suggest anything. Hell you'd probably sue me for lifting my head from the ground to dare to speak to you at all. My best advice would be to fire the top 12 layers of management.
Pros: Massive presence and brand, top notch telecommuting environment for individuals who qualify. Touch many areas and industries.
Cons: I think they invented bureaucracy, or at least perfected it. HR is a an offshore call center, I once hung up after being told the average wait time was 2 hours. At IBM you are literally a number. Most of of the company seems obsessed with "growing" through squeezing customers and tightening margins, not much technological innovation for such a powerful company with a proud history.
Advice to Management: Return to technology and stop letting the accounting department chart the future. Fire any purely overhead employee who has been with the company more that 10 years, they are gaming the company. Listen to customers, because many dislike IBM and only remain because they feel stuck.
Advice to Management: Listen to your staff and start to care. Ego only gets you so far; there are talented people in IBM. It's a shame that there are far more players and talkers than actual doers. Leadership isn't also about making profit or the position you are at. It's about building the next wave of leaders and helping those talented individual succeed.
Advice to Management: I like the focus on Agile, but you need to follow the old saying....you can't think you're way to a new way of acting, you need to act your way to a new way of thinking. For Agile to be successful, top management needs to change the way they work. Daily cycles, and going to where the work is done instead of asking it to come to you (which is what you do when you schedule meetings in your conference room...try going to the daily scrum meetings instead...you'll learn a lot more and feel like you're part of the team.
Pros: After 15 years living and breathing IBM, I learned A LOT about enterprise IT. I had a chance to do big things, work with great customers, tread new territory in the outsourcing market. I met some brilliant people, made some life long friends.
Cons: They are asset stripping themselves on purpose. Managers who have been with the company over 20 years will tell you they also hate what it has become. Cold hard steel. I left before I made it to the RA stack for an excellent job 2 levels up at 30% more pay. What this should tell you is a lack of fair compensation or promotions for many years along with ridiculous policies and overhead has made this company a dying behemoth.
Advice to Management: Replace Ginny. Take better care of your people. Focus on how to grow revenue, not cut cost.
Advice to Management: Ginny who? Better communication would be a big plus. Twelve straight quarters with missed revenue targets. Maybe it's time to make some changes at the top.
Pros: The culture amongst IBM's engineers is one of collaboration and cooperation. I really liked that primary communication was done through chat, not email, and that engineers were generally immediately helpful in getting others unblocked. Combine that with the fact that the engineering core is highly competent, very driven, and run a broad range of experience levels, and you have a very efficient and effective work environment.
Cons: IBM's executives have been gutting the company to keep an earnings-per-share promise from a decade ago. US workers continue to be laid off in big chunks, replaced with cheaper labor in China and India. Furloughs have also become commonplace, meaning that their otherwise middle-of-the-road compensation is actually below market averages. Their intent to unburden themselves of their hardware holdings is quite clear despite their clumsy attempts at veiling that "secret", which means that the remaining loyal workers are facing an uncertain future.
Advice to Management: Get out while the getting's good. Earnings-per-share can only be propped up for so long by having the company eat itself. Eventually the remaining senior engineers will pack it in and take their institutional knowledge with them; the cheaper labor force will not be able to cope much less maintain high production standards, programs will falter, schedules will slip, and earnings-per-share will take a dive. The share price will drop like a rock when investors recognize the free lunch is over, and in a panic the executives will start dumping entire programs overboard starting as it always does with middle-management.
"It became a bit of a chuckle because it was so ironic," they said. "When I first joined IBM, they didn't say, 'Oh, you're only going to be there for one year, two years or three years.' So when they say, 'Yeah it's a one year contract,' that has about as much grain of truth in it as when you first got hired. They cut you when they need to cut you."
Absolutely true! And as a contractor you are just an IBM Purchase Order (PO). Yes, that's all. And IBM can terminate a PO whenever they want to not pay for it anymore. -Anonymous-
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