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Highlights—June 12, 2010

  • InfoWorld: IBM's mudslinging recalls its own dirt. IBM is quick to criticize others as if its own domicile has been in order, but remember: Those in glass houses... By Paul Krill. Excerpts: June 11, 2010 IBM's mudslinging recalls its own dirt IBM is quick to criticize others as if its own domicile has been in order, but remember: Those in glass houses ... By Paul Krill | InfoWorld Share or Email | Print | Add a comment| 21 Recommendations IBM's mudslinging recalls its own dirt IBM has been "alerting" InfoWorld this week to developments such as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison laying off more Sun employees than previously thought, and Microsoft allegedly trying to derail IBM by using SCO as a surrogate. But is IBM the paragon of virtue we're to assume it is if it's the party pointing fingers at rivals? Perhaps not.

    If you recall, IBM drew scorn last year for suggesting that recently dismissed IBM employees in the United States or Canada could move to India or another faraway land and work for a fraction of their former wages. You're all heart, Big Blue.

    Also, an employee in IBM's Applications On Demand unit in 2008 told of turmoil in working for the operation, although IBM later denied a claim of a reported "three strikes" policy affecting workers.

  • Associated Press, courtesy of Forbes: IBM's $1.8M 1Q lobbying bill among top in tech. Excerpt: IBM Corp. spent $1.8 million on lobbying in the first quarter, one of the biggest bills in the industry for one of technology's biggest companies. The amount, which IBM reported in a filing May 18 with the House clerk's office, included IBM's advocacy on issues such as electronic health records, government spending on technology and education, and funding for "smart" transportation systems. The company lobbied Congress and agencies such as the Commerce, State and Treasury departments.
  • Wall Street Journal: IBM To Open Research Lab In Brazil. By Spencer E. Ante and Nathan Becker. Excerpts: In a move that underscores the growing importance of emerging markets and the globalization of innovation, International Business Machines Corp. said it will open a research laboratory in Brazil with the cooperation of the country's government. The lab, which will help IBM to develop technology systems around natural resource development and large-scale events such as the Olympics, is IBM's ninth research lab and the first in South America. It's also the first new IBM research lab in 12 years. "We are very excited about Latin America and Brazil in particular," said Robert Morris, vice president of services research at IBM. "Some of the pressing problems around sustainability are present in Brazil."
  • Yahoo! Finance: Insider Filings - Palmisano Samuel J.
  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: Palmisano stock activity" by "William". Full excerpt: To put this in perspective: In just the month of May, Sam Palmisano made almost $24.3 MILLION dollars. That's before he even pulled a penny of salary from IBM. For just the month of May. What did you all get in May? RA Notices? Zero through three percent raise for the year? In most cases, even if you had won your state lottery, you probably wouldn't have made as much as Sam did - In just the month of May.

    How about you folks who moved to Iowa for IBM at your cost? If your salary is $43,000/yr, you would have to work for IBM for nearly 565 years to make what Sam made in JUST THE MONTH OF MAY. If you even want to last 5 years - start thinking about what you need to do to improve and protect yourself and fellow employees. ORGANIZE!

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: Palmisano stock activity" by "bits_bytes_and_bugs". Full excerpt: I would just like to remind you of the key failures of the Palmisano regime:
    • Abject failure to grow revenue and the company (although he certainly raised his personal revenue).
    • Taking IBM from being a high quality provider to a average or less quality provider through decimating the US workforce and offshoring to ill-trained and unskilled labor.
    • Along with LVG, took IBM from one of the best companies to work for to being one of the worst.
    • Failure to keep the corporate structure in a relatively flat hierarchy and increasing wasteful executive/management overhead and bureaucracy. He has enabled a corporate oligarchy to run roughshod over their organizations, increasing the already stifling bureaucracy and demanding more and more controls which has hamstrung creative individuals and teams from doing their best work.
    • Failure to properly integrate purchased companies into IBM and allowing these purchased companies to be decimated by severe headcount reductions such that they no longer can build the innovative products for which they were purchased.
    • With the Moffat insider info case, IBM doesn't have a clear and qualified successor to Sam - which is probably the #1 role of the CEO.

    So here we have obscene pay packages for an executive team that produced mediocre results at best, miserable results at worst and have the company at risk of its long-term survival.

  • Yahoo! IBM Employee Issues message board: "Re: Palmisano stock activity" by "trexibmer". Full excerpt: Is it sheer coincidence that Palmisano is now about $24,000,000 richer and the stock market has now went down and down (including IBM share price) after his activity? It's not like he only has a bird on his shoulder whispering in his ear telling him the right time to do this is it?

    Palmisano knows the balance sheet, he has access to what income is coming in, he knows what big deals are on the way, he gets info on the profits and revenues, he finds out when the board wants to do another incestuous stock buyback, he gets to know when the next employee screw job is coming, etc.

    If he knows all this isn't that enough insider information to make a lucrative stock sale and profit or option exercise decision that should raise some investigation with the SEC based on his recent activity. Yes, for Palmisano life is very good indeed.

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Newbie questions" by "mistera1234". Full excerpt: For the first time in my many years at IBM I'm seriously considering retirement (you can guess why). Some questions: 1. Can I retire on Dec. 31 and start collecting my pension (I am eligible already) on Jan 1? 2. Can I also work for a competitor while collecting my pension? 3. I have a Future Health Account to buy into IBM insurance. Can any of you give me an estimate of what that monthly cost will be for me and my wife? $1k? 4. I don't plan to leave till Dec. 31, any suggestions on what I should do before I leave the company? Thanks
  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: Newbie questions" by "brizmoydm". Full excerpt: If you are retiring and not taking a Resource Action Package, then the answer is yes to all of your questions unless you signed a non-compete agreement when you joined IBM.

    I was pushed out the door on Dec 1, 2008. That was my last work day. Since I was retirement eligible, I got a bridge to Dec 31, 2008 (Company Policy is you can't retire on the first day of the month). I started drawing my pension of Jan 1, 2009. Eight months later, I started working for a competitor. The company that hired me vetted the "non-compete" that I signed as part of the Resource Action Package. Since I wasn't going to be calling on the same customers as when I was with IBM, their lawyers felt there was no teeth to the RA non-compete.

    Instead of burning my FHA account for Retiree benefits, which are astronomical, I am using my current company benefits since I am getting better coverage at a lower cost that when I was an IBM employee. A low deductible and low co-pay medical plan as a retiree was going to run me about $1,700 per month for me, my wife, and son who just started college. Dental & Vision was going to cost about $140 as a retiree. There was a $20 per month difference between an active employee and a retiree for dental and vision.

    Go to the benefits section on the IBM Intranet site. Select the area that's titled "When Life Changes". Select retirement. There you can get an estimate of what your benefits will cost as a retiree. There is also a good checklist that is provided. I did that the day after I was informed of my inclusion in the Resource Action. When I saw the medical costs, I thought that I was Fred Sanford. I just yelled "It's the Big One, Elizabeth". Going from $450 a month as an active employee to $1,840 as a retiree was a real low blow. That was one of the main reasons that I was determined to find a job before 2009 came to an end. The RA Package allowed me to pay for medical at the active employee rate for one year. I used my FHA to pay for Dental and Vision.

    I started working for a competitor in August 2009 and am drawing my IBM pension. My only regret was not leaving IBM at 30 years in June of 2004. The four and one half years of pension that I left on the table could have been put to good use.

    Suggestions:

    • If you want to have your first Pension payment in your bank account, on January 1, 2011, submit your paperwork by November 1, 2010. It takes about 8 weeks for it to be processed. I sent mine in December 1, 2008 and got my first payment February 1, 2009. It was retroactive to January 1, 2009.
    • Polish up your resume and spend the money to have it professionally prepared. In my case it was money well spent. Since most companies now use software to read an applicant's resume, a professional will use the appropriate words and phrases that will get your's noticed.
    • Join Linked-In and The Ladders or other job networking sites. Start your networking now. In this economy, the rule is one month for every $20K of salary. In other words, if you currently make $80K per year, it will probably take 4 to 5 months to land a job at $80K.
    • Go to a "For Fee" Financial Planner if you need assistance in deciding if you should take the Annuity or Lump Sum + reduced Annuity. Schedule this meeting and run different Retirement Estimators with all of the available options so you can make an informed decision.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • IBM Project Manager in London, England (United Kingdom): (Current Employee) “Lining their own pockets.” Pros: Good bunch of people to work with. Good training for recent graduates. Cons :Ever increasing targets for the amount of unpaid overtime worked with the threat of being put on a 'performance improvement plan' if they are not met. No pay rises for several years. Senior management taking large pay rises while employees get nothing. Very mixed messages coming from the management which makes it difficult to trust them. Advice to Senior Management: Stop treating your employees as disposable assets. They are the ones who are earning the profits for you.
    • IBM Managing Consultant in Los Angeles, CA: (Past Employee - 2010) “Hard to find work/life balance as a consultant.” Pros: Lots of bright and talented people that you get to work with. You will not get bored of projects because if you do you can work on leaving and finding the next one as long as your job skills match. Cons: If you are a consultant expect to work very long hours. 55+ hours is a typical work week. During project cutovers you can expect to put in a lot of overtime to complete project. When they give your utilization targets they already factor in that you are going to bill more than 40+ hours a week to your clients. Your first line manager is not always going to be well vested in your career development. Sometimes they just become obstacles to your career growth, which can be frustrating and demotivating. Difficult to move horizontally between business units especially in the more senior positions. There are a lot of year-end administrative processes to complete. First line managers are responsible in giving you a yearly assessment score, but often times they do not even work on the same project so they rely on the project assessments that the employee is supposed to complete at minimum every 6 months. First line managers should make an active effort to talk with the leadership team from the projects you work on, but they just go off of project assessments to determine how you performed for the year. It's not a very good process. You feel very disconnected as an employee because when you're not traveling to client sites you basically work from your own home. If you are on a project where you work from home majority you begin to feel disconnected from everyone. Advice to Senior Management: First line managers should take an active role in their direct reports career development. They should be invested in through sending them to educational training.
    • IBM Anonymous: (Past Employee - 2008) “Great place to work if you're young.” Pros: Smart, helpful people - One of the best benefits packages around - Pretty relaxed when it comes to dress code, flexible hours Cons - Upper management's decision-making skills are questionable - Rumor has it that older employees aren't treated as well - A single engineer's contribution to IBM is minimal in the grand scheme of things. Advice to Senior Management: The upper management is what you'd expect from a large corporation: you're just a statistic to them, regardless of the work you do. In reality, you don't deal with upper management too much, so it's not that big of a deal. Department managers range from mediocre to quite good.
    • IBM Anonymous: (Current Employee) “Good place to start out but getting worse every day.” Pros: IBM is a market player in all software products they sell. There's a lot of opportunity to interact with customers and the experience you gain will be applicable wherever you go. The benefits are good and the work/life balance is decent and mostly in your control. Cons: IBM's main strategy for growth is acquiring successful companies in emerging markets, rather than developing new products from within. This means once you are inside the company, you're pretty much stuck. Teams don't grow and there aren't a lot of opportunities for true leadership experience. Development schedules are completely sales driven. There is little regard for whether or not the features can reasonably be completed within the allotted time. Ship then fix is the SOP. Management at every level is surprisingly non-technical, yet any major technical decision has to go through management. This creates an environment where the people "making" the decision simply do not have the technical expertise needed, regardless of how many PowerPoint slides they see. This results in most decisions being made via group think. The process is very political and inefficient, but it creates an environment where there is little or no accountability for wrong decisions. Advice to Senior Management: Right now IBM is mortgaging its reputation for innovation and market leadership for short term gains in stock prices. The most talented people are running, not walking, away from the company as we fall behind the market leaders in almost every product category we have.
    • IBM Senior IT Specialist: (Past Employee - 2010) “Not all bad but more bad than good.” Pros: Flexible work hours allow better work/life balance. The 401k retirement plan is good. Cons: Employees were once considered IBM's greatest asset. Now they are commodities. While individual managers may show employees respect, senior management cares only about the state of their financial packages. They work employees until they drop and then lay them off, with no consideration for contributions or performance. Advice to Senior Management: The true blue IBMer is what made IBM into the powerhouse it is today. You've sold us out now though and are replacing true blue with employees who will work 1 or 2 years and then move on to the next place that offers more money. My advice would be to concentrate on the long range picture instead of the next quarter.
    • IBM Senior Software Engineer: (Past Employee - 2010) “Political Environment.” Pros: Friendly colleagues if you are lucky. Some are really brilliant but working really on very less compensation packages. Cons: No transparency at all between the senior management. They have so bad management that it's really difficult to survive. The leads are given overall powers and project manager is only concerned with the mails he receives apart from that he looks into nothing and completely depends on Leads who really are freshers in the management fields and some even freshers for the process for which they call themselves as leads. Poor management makes the whole environment so negative that whole productivity goes down. Senior Management doesn't look into competency of the employees they look how much they accept each and every politics played by them. Will never recommend anyone to work for IBM for any public funded projects. Advice to Senior Management: Try to be more clear and transparent with the people rather being political. Try to utilize people to their best of abilities rather than expecting their approvals in their political roles. Project Managers should treat the team with humane and should believe in their instincts rather than believing only leads who are corrupt and irresponsible and should keep the ego away when at work.
    • IBM Senior Consultant: (Past Employee - 2009) “Only worried about the bottom line.” Pros: Progressive work from home policies. Acceptable benefits packages. Flexible work schedules. Cons: Only worried about the bottom line. Significant push to move all US labor off shore and or outsource. No longer a company to consider pursuing a long term career at. Advice to Senior Management Management: needs to reevaluate their work force restructuring strategies. Too much experienced talent is being lost to off shored resource that dose not have the appropriate business experience, work ethics and business controls.
    • IBM Solution Architect in Dallas, TX: (Current Employee) “IBM Sales and Distribution in SWG.” Pros: Career development. Access to knowledge. IBM technology, IBM Research. Cons: Shift is away from rewarding software sales teams even though deals are complex. Reviews are based on relative performance, so in a small team, even though metrics are hit, IBM gets squirrely, reviews are right out of a Dilbert comic script. IBM performs funny math on quota attainment, OTE and they take away base salary only to have you "earn" it back under the compensation plan. Advice to Senior Management: Be honest on metrics Hold mid-management accountable to their effectiveness with the people they manage. Take a hard look at performance measures and how they are not tied to what matters
    • IBM Software Sales: (Current Employee) “Barely OK.” Pros: Work/Life Balance. Big Blue Brand Resources to fight fires. Customer loyalty. Cons: Slow to react to marketplace. Commission plan that has steadily gotten worse as the business has increased - and I'm a top performer. Taking customer loyalty for granted. Advice to Senior Management: Wake up or you'll actually have to go back to work in the trenches some day soon.
    • IBM Team Lead: (Current Employee) “Made there pyramids long back... nothing new happening.” Pros: Good brand. Makes you feel recognized and proud. Can do a lot of work, if you want to. Learning material enormous. Counterproductive sometimes. Cons: No funds for training in US. Learning investments is fake. Don't know who learns except from day to day work. Pathetic salary. Dinosaur like organization No regards for employee. Good place to get a jump start in IT though. Advice to Senior Management: I don't want to sound like a broken record. people crib that management sucks ... but here it really does. I think people up to first, 2nd level of management know the deal. But top folks just sit and come up with stupid ideas and have no clue on how much clients dislike them.. not on money but on delivery. Management reminds me of Pharaohs... they built great pyramids. But that's about it.. didn't do anything after that.
    • IBM Anonymous: (Current Employee) “Just a paycheck, not a career.” Pros: Good benefits, IBM discounts, decent hiring salaries, looks good on a resume, liberal work from home policy, liberal dress code, talented work force, access to good tools. Cons: I was hired into a recent acquisition. IBM let us drift for years without direction. They set impossible goals, crippled our sales force, and then left us with non-IBM managers that simply didn't understand how to get products sold through IBM channels. It was a disaster. Every year we had layoffs - big layoffs. My department is down to a skeleton crew. What's left are the least senior and lowest paid. We're still adrift with no focus or direction. The products are being deconstructed and assimilated into other products. Everyone left is just waiting for the axe to fall. Yearly reviews are political. Some departments take the brunt of a bad review quota IBM requires for each department. Employees working on products slated to be discontinued are particularly vulnerable. Raises are extremely rare and marginal when they happen. Promotions seem to be reserved for management - no career paths or promotions for the rank and file. Navigating the bureaucracy is a nightmare. Everything is tedious - purchasing supplies, getting technical support, staying in compliance with IBM requirements. IBM just doesn't seem like a good place to work if you care about your career or about the customer. It's just a place to get a paycheck for a while and a good resume-builder. Advice to Senior Management: Start caring about employees again, and not in the superficial town hall way. Another power point slide deck is not going to solve any problems. Start writing real personal business commitments that your reports can actually help you achieve, that actually help the company - not those super generic goals that do nothing but give everyone a blank check for re-defining "success" next year. Refocus on the IBM values. Be brave.
    • IBM Consultant in Saint Louis, MO: (Current Employee) “Sucks.” Pros: name recognition, ok $ and benefits Cons: I've seen some of the most talented individuals let go from the company in the last two years (2010). It leaves you feeling that doing your best won't matter if there is another resource action. Morale is low as a result. Advice to Senior Management: nothing I can say will save this rotting corpse
  • eWeek: HP Plans to Eliminate 9,000 Jobs over Next 3 Years. By Don E. Sears. Excerpts: Following a steady stream of acquisitions, including EDS, 3Com and Palm, Hewlett-Packard announces plans to cut about 3 percent of its workforce over three years, eliminating 9,000 jobs. The hardware and services company says it plans to add 6,000 jobs in sales and services during the same period. Hewlett-Packard plans to cut about 3 percent of its workforce, or about 9,000 jobs out of 304,000, as it restructures and consolidates its Enterprise Services business, invests more in cloud computing and automation, and updates its data centers, company representatives said in a conference call June 1 with analysts and stockholders. The company is taking a multiyear charge of $1 billion for severance and asset impairment charges and expects to see "annualized gross savings of approximately $1 billion and net savings after reinvestment in a range between $500 million and $700 million." ...

    HP has followed nearly every acquisition announcement with organizational restructuring and workforce reductions. Since 2005, under the helm of CEO Mark Hurd, HP has announced nearly 50,000 eliminations of jobs as part of restructuring and cost-trimming efforts. In a conference call in 2008, Hurd told analysts and stockholders, "We've acquired 30 companies over the past four years ... We're good at it." In 2005, HP restructured and eliminated 14,500 jobs; in 2008, after the $13.9 billion EDS acquisition, HP announced 24,600 job cuts. In March 2009, U.S.-based EDS employees who made more than $40,000 in salary were forced to take base pay cuts of 10 percent on top of February 2009 base pay cuts in the range of 5 to 10 percent depending on job level.

  • New York Times: Legacy for One Billionaire: Death, but No Taxes. By David Kocieniewski. Excerpts: A Texas pipeline tycoon who died two months ago may become the first American billionaire allowed to pass his fortune to his children and grandchildren tax-free. Dan L. Duncan, a soft-spoken farm boy who started with $10,000 and two propane trucks, and built a network of natural gas processing plants and pipelines that made him the richest person in Houston, died in late March of a brain hemorrhage at 77.

    Had his life ended three months earlier, Mr. Duncan’s riches — Forbes magazine estimated his worth at $9 billion, ranking him as the 74th wealthiest in the world — would have been subject to a federal tax of at least 45 percent. If he had lived past Jan. 1, 2011, the rate would be even higher — 55 percent. Instead, because Congress allowed the tax to lapse for one year and gave all estates a free pass in 2010, Mr. Duncan’s four children and four grandchildren stand to collect billions that in any other year would have gone to the Treasury.

  • Wall Street Journal: Betting on the Bad Guys. Cartoonist Scott Adams's personal road to riches: Put your money on the companies that you hate the most. Excerpt: When I heard that BP was destroying a big portion of Earth, with no serious discussion of cutting their dividend, I had two thoughts: 1) I hate them, and 2) This would be an excellent time to buy their stock. And so I did. Although I should have waited a week. People ask me how it feels to take the side of moral bankruptcy. Answer: Pretty good! Thanks for asking. How's it feel to be a disgruntled victim? I have a theory that you should invest in the companies that you hate the most. The usual reason for hating a company is that the company is so powerful it can make you balance your wallet on your nose while you beg for their product. Oil companies such as BP don't actually make you beg for oil, but I think we all realize that they could. It's implied in the price of gas.
  • Jim Hightower: Plutonomism. Full excerpt: For the super-rich hoity toities of our land, the democratic populism arising among the hoi polloi is unpleasant, messy, and... well, so common. Instead of that, they sniff, America should be ruled by an "ism" of their invention: plutonomism. Yes, it's an actual word, derived from "plutocracy." It was coined in 2005 by a team of "global investment strategists" at Citigroup, the Wall Street financial giant. While populism is based on the egalitarian principle of the common good, plutonomism unabashedly espouses the virtue of "the rich getting richer."

    In a 2006 memo to Citigroup's wealthy clients, lead "strategist" Ajay Kapur declared: "Our thesis is that the rich are the dominant drivers of demand" in the U.S. and other "plutonomies." How does a country become a plutonomy? One essential factor, he writes, is "favorable treatment by market-friendly governments [to allow] the rich to prosper." Another is to have corporate CEOs who "lead the charge" on globalization and automation to transfer more of the nation's wealth into corporate profits "at the expense of labor."

    Kapur notes that the wealthiest one percent of Americans – whom he calls "the plutonomists" – had benefited disproportionately from recent increases in worker productivity, and he happily forecast that "global capitalists are going to be getting an even greater share of the wealth pie over the next few years."

    Gosh, in this happy world of plutonomics, does anything ever go badly for the rich? Well, it's possible, he admits, because the ever-widening rich-poor wealth gap could lead to a populist backlash. After all, he warns, even in the United Plutonomy of America, the "one person-one vote" system still exists.

    This is Jim Hightower saying... Of course, the plutonomism movement is working furiously to replace that with "one dollar-one vote."

  • Huffington Post: Disturbing Job Ads: 'The Unemployed Will Not Be Considered' by "Laura Bassett". Excerpt: Still waiting for a response to the 300 resumés you sent out last month? Bad news: Some companies are ignoring all unemployed applicants. In a current job posting on The People Place, a job recruiting website for the telecommunications, aerospace/defense and engineering industries, an anonymous electronics company in Angleton, Texas, advertises for a "Quality Engineer." Qualifications for the job are the usual: computer skills, oral and written communication skills, light to moderate lifting. But red print at the bottom of the ad says, "Client will not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason."
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  • To Alliance@IBM supporters: The Alliance is the only organization that advocates and supports IBM employees and ex-employees. In fact, there are few like it in the Information Technology field. It is always difficult to keep an organization like this alive, but as a supporter you know how important it is that we exist. We are calling on you today to help keep us alive another year by joining as a member or associate member. See our online forms below. As our membership has dropped, it is imperative that we gain new members or this organization and web site will cease to exist. Help us keep our organizing and advocacy work alive!
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  • Job Cut Reports
    • Comment 6/06/10: Glad to see acknowledgment that Sammy P is worse than Gerstner was for employees. Also have to agree with Alliance assessment that next CEO is likely to be worse the Sammy the Barbarian. If you want to change IBM, become an active member of the Union OR leave. Anything else is Ostrich behavior. -4merBeamer-
    • Comment 6/06/10: "Hopefully, this time around they will let go some of this worthless management and PM's" Don't count on it. Until the last technical person who still knows how to remove a file on a PC or format a floppy is still around they will cut these techies; before the "yes people" who blindly, without backbone, carry out the RA plans like the management and PM's ever have to worry about getting RAed. All technical folks who call themselves professionals need to unite fast and organize. It's the only way and only thing left to do -POed-
    • Comment 6/07/10: To Hula Girl - IBM knows how to spin. They may be hiring, but these are low paying jobs, and as one who looked for a long time, and now periodically out of morbid curiosity at the IBM Jobs site, I can tell you that there are indeed many jobs out there. But a quick scan will show you that a) the vast majority are outside the US. b) Look at software development (SWG) - almost nothing. c) Most jobs are NOT "professional" level - they are more entry level. d) Most jobs are consultant-type roles, NOT development. e) Many of the listings, upon closer inspection state they are NOT for any specific openings, but for positions that match this general description (so who knows if there are really any openings to fill - certainly not from *these* listings.) And my list of questionable "here's how many job openings we have posted" practices goes on. IBM knows how to spin and manage PR. Is it lying? Arguable. Is it deceptive? Absolutely. It is a reprehensible practice? Sure seems so to me.... -RAed Jan 09-
    • Comment 6/08/10: To POed: I know of a PM who recently got the RA. I told him for years to get out of there but he said he was going to hang in there because he didn't think it could ever happen to him. The piddly projects this guy worked on were nothing, and he was not PM certified. Now he is going to have a very tough summer trying to find a job in the real world with no skills. It will catch up with most of these people eventually. They can't hide from the dreaded RA forever. -Long_Gone-
    • Comment 6/10/10: I have watched this board since it was formed. I see no action by anyone that it still within the IBM ranks, nothing but chatter. I left IBM in 2007 on my own after almost 24 yrs of service and have never regretted this decision in anyway ! I am more relaxed, enjoying my family more, making more at the company I am at now. If you continue to just bitch about what is happening, that's all you are going to get period! If you want to stay with IBM, then darn it, stand up for yourselves and quit the whining, crap there is a ton of cheese here already needed to go with the whine! -Left2007-
    • Comment 6/10/10: I heard a rumor today that anyone over 30 yrs of service takes the old retirement plan or must switch to new plan. This may force a lot of retirement. Any Truth to this? -LastOne-
    • Comment 6/10/10: Can anyone tell me how much Sammy will have plundered from IBM when he is shown the door at age 60? I do hope the door kicks him is the ass. If I recall correctly, Lou Gerstner walked away with a cool half billion dollars in 2002. I agree with the Alliance. Sam is much worse than Lou. I hear that Ginny Rometty is in line to replace Sam. Wasn't she on the AIG compensation committee giving the million dollar bonuses to all the Wall street fat cats? God help us all. -IBMer- Alliance Reply: Gerstner's total walk-away was more like $700,000,000. Three quarters of a billion.... and Gerstner had a CONTRACT. So does Sam. Why not the rest of the working IBMers? Organize!
    • Comment 6/10/10: Heard tonight from a friend of a friend in HR that the pension change mentioned here in May will be announced in July. Basically us 'prior pension plan' people out by 12/31/10 or our pensions get converted to a lump sum. Whether that goes into a cash balance plan or a 401K remains to be seen. -annonymous-
    • Comment 6/11/10: Re. Pension rumors - can people citing pension rumors please give their sources, even if it's just "an HR manager" or another message board? That helps to determine how valid they might be. Also, one variation of the rumor says all old plan employees get credited with 5 years of service so that they can all retire. Can anyone with a mgmt contact for this check into it further? -Anon-
    • Comment 6/11/10: Today 6/11/10 all IBMers that joined Qualxserv (now World Wide Services) IN NYC were LAID OFF. They were given their paychecks this AM and were offered their old jobs back at a per-call basis of $22.00 per call; no medical insurance and taxes taken out. THIS IS THE WORST COMPANY IN THE USA. THE SAD PART IS THE IBMers that went over all KNEW IT! -Bedbug-
    • Comment 6/12/10: Was laid off end of March after 13 years. Didn't take IBM long to replace me with contractor. -Former IBMER-
    • Comment 6/12/10: Has IBM ever given anyone anything like 5 years of credit in recent memory to boost a pension? Sure doubt it will now. They just keep reducing benefits anyway they can regardless of the impact on the laid off workers. -anonymous- Alliance Reply: The only times, I recall , that 'credit' for 5 years service was ever given; was if you qualified for a "bridge to retirement" if IBM offered a "VTP" or Voluntary Transition Program pkg. back in the 1980's and 1990's. For example: You had 25 years service, and IBM offered a "VTP" package of 5 years to bridge-meaning if you took the package, you left IBM and were then eligible for FULL pensioned retirement 5 years after you left. IBM stopped offering those kinds of pkgs 15 or more years ago. You'll never see THAT again.
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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