Welcome to IBM Employee News and Links

“News and links for IBM employees, retirees, ex-employees, and persons interested in pension, retirement, off-shoring and corporate governance issues”—The news you won't see on W3!

Our Friends:

Watching IBM Watching IBM Facebook

Quick Links:

Get involved! Insider trading After IBM Lenovo Employee Discount

Previous highlights:

April 2, 2016 March 26, 2016 March 12, 2016 March 5, 2016 February 27, 2016 February 20, 2016 February 13, 2016 February 6, 2016 January 30, 2016 January 16, 2016 December 26, 2015 December 19, 2015 December 12, 2015 December 5, 2015 November 28, 2015 November 21, 2015 November 14, 2015 November 7, 2015 October 31, 2015 October 24, 2015 October 17, 2015 October 10, 2015 October 3, 2015 September 26, 2015 September 19, 2015 September 12, 2015 August 29, 2015 August 22, 2015 August 15, 2015 August 8, 2015 July 25, 2015 July 25, 2015 July 18, 2015 July 4, 2015 June 27, 2015 June 20, 2015 June 13, 2015 June 6, 2015 May 30, 2015 May 23, 2015 May 16, 2015 May 9, 2015 May 2, 2015 April 25, 2015 April 18, 2015 April 11, 2015 April 4, 2015 March 28, 2015 March 21, 2015 March 14, 2015 March 7, 2015 February 28, 2015 February 21, 2015 February 14, 2015 February 7, 2015 January 31, 2015 January 24, 2015 January 17, 2015 January 10, 2015 January 3, 2015 December 27, 2014 December 20, 2014 December 13, 2014 December 6, 2014 November 29, 2014 November 22, 2014 November 15, 2014 November 8, 2014 November 1, 2014 October 25, 2014 October 18, 2014 October 11, 2014 October 4, 2014 September 27, 2014 September 13, 2014 September 6, 2014 August 30, 2014 August 23, 2014 August 16, 2014 August 9, 2014 August 2, 2014 July 26, 2014 July 19, 2014 July 12, 2014 July 5, 2014 June 28, 2014 June 21, 2014 June 14, 2014 June 7, 2014 May 31, 2014 May 24, 2014 May 17, 2014 May 10, 2014 May 3, 2014 April 26, 2014 April 19, 2014 April 12, 2014 April 5, 2014 March 29, 2014 March 22, 2014 March 15, 2014 March 8, 2014 March 1, 2014 February 22, 2014 February 15, 2014 February 8, 2014 February 1, 2014 January 25, 2014 January 18, 2014 January 11, 2014 January 4, 2014 December 28, 2013 December 21, 2013 December 14, 2013 December 7, 2013 November 30, 2013 November 23, 2013 November 16, 2013 November 9, 2013 November 2, 2013 October 26, 2013 October 19, 2013 October 12, 2013 October 5, 2013 September 28, 2013 September 21, 2013 September 14, 2013 September 7, 2013 August 31, 2013 August 24, 2013 August 17, 2013 August 10, 2013 August 3, 2013 July 27, 2013 July 20, 2013 July 13, 2013 July 6, 2013 June 29, 2013 June 22, 2013 June 15, 2013 June 8, 2013 June 1, 2013 May 25, 2013 May 18, 2013 May 11, 2013 May 4, 2013 April 27, 2013 April 20, 2013 April 13, 2013 April 6, 2013 March 30, 2013 March 23, 2013 March 16, 2013 March 9, 2013 March 2, 2013 February 23, 2013 February 16, 2013 February 9, 2013 February 2, 2013 January 26, 2013 January 19, 2013 January 12, 2013 January 5, 2013 December 29, 2012 December 22, 2012 December 15, 2012 December 8, 2012 December 1, 2012 November 24, 2012 November 17, 2012 November 10, 2012 November 3, 2012 October 27, 2012 October 20, 2012 October 13, 2012 October 6, 2012 September 29, 2012 September 22, 2012 September 15, 2012 September 8, 2012 September 1, 2012 August 25, 2012 August 18, 2012 August 11, 2012 August 4, 2012 July 28, 2012 July 21, 2012 July 14, 2012 July 7, 2012 June 30, 2012 June 23, 2012 June 16, 2012 June 9, 2012 June 2, 2012 May 26, 2012 May 19, 2012 May 12, 2012 May 5, 2012 April 28, 2012 April 21, 2012 April 14, 2012 April 7, 2012 March 31, 2012 March 24, 2012 March 17, 2012 March 10, 2012 March 3, 2012 February 25, 2012 February 18, 2012 February 11, 2012 February 4, 2012 January 28, 2012 January 21, 2012 January 14, 2012 January 7, 2012 December 31, 2011 December 24, 2011 December 17, 2011 December 10, 2011 December 3, 2011 November 26, 2011 November 19, 2011 November 12, 2011 November 5, 2011 October 29, 2011 October 22, 2011 October 15, 2011 October 8, 2011 October 1, 2011 September 24, 2011 September 17, 2011 September 10, 2011 September 3, 2011 August 27, 2011 August 20, 2011 August 13, 2011 August 6, 2011 July 30, 2011 July 23, 2011 July 16, 2011 July 9, 2011 July 2, 2011 June 25, 2011 June 18, 2011 June 11, 2011 June 4, 2011 May 28, 2011 May 21, 2011 May 14, 2011 May 7, 2011 April 30, 2011 April 23, 2011 April 16, 2011 April 9, 2011 April 2, 2011 March 26, 2011 March 19, 2011 March 12, 2011 March 5, 2011 February 26, 2011 February 19, 2011 February 12, 2011 February 5, 2011 January 29, 2011 January 22, 2011 January 15, 2011 January 8, 2011 January 1, 2011 December 25, 2010 December 18, 2010 December 11, 2010 December 4, 2010 November 27, 2010 November 20, 2010 November 13, 2010 November 6, 2010 October 30, 2010 October 23, 2010 October 16, 2010 October 9, 2010 October 2, 2010 September 25, 2010 September 18, 2010 September 11, 2010 September 4, 2010 August 28, 2010 August 21, 2010 August 14, 2010 August 7, 2010 July 31, 2010 July 24, 2010 July 17, 2010 July 10, 2010 July 3, 2010 June 26, 2010 June 19, 2010 June 12, 2010 June 5, 2010 May 29, 2010 May 22, 2010 May 15, 2010 May 8, 2010 May 1, 2010 April 24, 2010 April 17, 2010 April 10, 2010 April 3, 2010 March 27, 2010 March 20, 2010 March 13, 2010 March 6, 2010 February 27, 2010 February 20, 2010 February 13, 2010 February 6, 2010 January 30, 2010 January 23, 2010 January 16, 2010 January 9, 2010 January 2, 2010 December 26, 2009 December 19, 2009 December 12, 2009 December 5, 2009 November 28, 2009 November 21, 2009 November 14, 2009 November 7, 2009 October 31, 2009 October 24, 2009 October 17, 2009 October 10, 2009 October 3, 2009 September 26, 2009 September 19, 2009 September 12, 2009 September 5, 2009 August 29, 2009 August 22, 2009 August 15, 2009 August 8, 2009 August 1, 2009 July 25, 2009 July 18, 2009 July 11, 2009 July 4, 2009 June 27, 2009 June 20, 2009 June 13, 2009 June 6, 2009 May 30, 2009 May 23, 2009 May 16, 2009 May 9, 2009 May 2, 2009 April 25, 2009 April 18, 2009 April 11, 2009 April 4, 2009 March 28, 2009 March 21, 2009 March 14, 2009 March 7, 2009 February 28, 2009 February 21, 2009 February 14, 2009 February 7, 2009 January 31, 2009 January 24, 2009 January 17, 2009 January 10, 2009 January 03, 2009 December 27, 2008 December 20, 2008 December 13, 2008 December 6, 2008 November 29, 2008 November 22, 2008 November 15, 2008 November 8, 2008 November 1, 2008 October 25, 2008 October 18, 2008 October 11, 2008 October 4, 2008 September 27, 2008 September 20, 2008 September 13, 2008 September 6, 2008 August 30, 2008 August 23, 2008 August 16, 2008 August 9, 2008 August 2, 2008 July 26, 2008 July 19, 2008 July 12, 2008 July 5, 2008 June 28, 2008 June 21, 2008 June 14, 2008 June 7, 2008 May 31, 2008 May 24, 2008 May 17, 2008 May 10, 2008 2008 Stock Meeting April 26, 2008 April 19, 2008 April 12, 2008 April 5, 2008 March 29, 2008 March 22, 2008 March 15, 2008 March 8, 2008 March 1, 2008 February 16, 2008 February 9, 2008 February 2, 2008 January 26, 2008 January 19, 2008 January 12, 2008 January 5, 2008 December 29, 2007 December 22, 2007 December 15, 2007 December 8, 2007 December 1, 2007 November 24, 2007 November 17, 2007 November 10, 2007 November 3, 2007 October 27, 2007 October 20, 2007 October 13, 2007 October 6, 2007 September 29, 2007 September 22, 2007 September 15, 2007 September 8, 2007 September 1, 2007 August 25, 2007 August 18, 2007 August 11, 2007 August 4, 2007 July 28, 2007 July 21, 2007 July 14, 2007 July 7, 2007 June 30, 2007 June 23, 2007 June 16, 2007 June 9, 2007 June 2, 2007 May 26, 2007 May 19, 2007 May 12, 2007 May 5, 2007 2007 Stock Meeting April 21, 2007 April 14, 2007 April 7, 2007 March 31, 2007 March 24, 2007 March 17, 2007 March 10, 2007 March 3, 2007 February 24, 2007 February 17, 2007 February 10, 2007 February 3, 2007 January 27, 2007 January 20, 2007 January 13, 2007 January 6, 2007 December 30, 2006 December 23, 2006 December 16, 2006 December 9, 2006 December 2, 2006 November 25, 2006 November 18, 2006 November 11, 2006 November 4, 2006 October 28, 2006 October 21, 2006 October 14, 2006 October 7, 2006 September 30, 2006 September 23, 2006 September 16, 2006 September 9, 2006 September 2, 2006 August 26, 2006 August 19, 2006 August 12, 2006 August 5, 2006 July 29, 2006 July 22, 2006 July 15, 2006 July 8, 2006 July 1, 2006 June 24, 2006 June 17, 2006 June 10, 2006 June 3, 2006 May 27, 2006 May 20, 2006 May 13, 2006 May 6, 2006 2006 Stock Meeting April 22, 2006 April 15, 2006 April 8, 2006 April 1, 2006 March 25, 2006 March 18, 2006 March 11, 2006 March 4, 2006 February 25, 2006 February 18, 2006 February 11, 2006 February 4, 2006 January 28, 2006 January 21, 2006 January 14, 2006 January 7, 2006 December 31, 2005 December 24, 2005 December 17, 2005 December 10, 2005 December 03, 2005 November 26, 2005 November 19, 2005 November 12, 2005 November 5, 2005 October 29, 2005 October 22, 2005 October 15, 2005 October 8, 2005 October 1, 2005 September 24, 2005 September 17, 2005 September 10, 2005 September 3, 2005 August 27, 2005 August 20, 2005 August 13, 2005 August 6, 2005 July 30, 2005 July 23, 2005 July 16, 2005 July 9, 2005 July 2, 2005 June 25, 2005 June 18, 2005 June 11, 2005 June 4, 2005 May 28, 2005 May 21, 2005 May 14, 2005 May 7, 2005 April 30, 2005 April 23, 2005 April 16, 2005 April 9, 2005 April 2, 2005 March 26, 2005 March 19, 2005 March 12, 2005 March 5, 2005 February 26, 2005 February 19, 2005 February 12, 2005 February 5, 2005 January 29, 2005 January 22, 2005 January 15, 2005 January 8, 2005 January 1, 2005 December 25, 2004 December 18, 2004 December 11, 2004 December 4, 2004 November 27, 2004 November 20, 2004 November 13, 2004 November 6, 2004 October 30, 2004 October 23, 2004 October 16, 2004 October 9, 2004 October 2, 2004 September 25, 2004 September 18, 2004 September 11, 2004 September 4, 2004 August 28, 2004 August 21, 2004 August 14, 2004 August 7, 2004 July 31, 2004 July 24, 2004 July 17, 2004 July 10, 2004 July 3, 2004 June 26, 2004 June 19, 2004 June 5, 2004 May 29, 2004 May 22, 2004 May 15, 2004 May 8, 2004 2004 Stock Meeting April 24, 2004 April 10, 2004 April 3, 2004 March 27, 2004 March 20, 2004 March 13, 2004 March 6, 2004 February 28, 2004 February 21, 2004 February 14, 2004 February 7, 2004 February 1, 2004 January 18, 2004 December 27, 2003 December 20, 2003 December 13, 2003 December 6, 2003 November 29, 2003 November 22, 2003 November 15, 2003 November 8, 2003 November 1, 2003 October 25, 2003 October 18, 2003 October 11, 2003 October 4, 2003 September 27, 2003 September 20, 2003 September 13, 2003 September 6, 2003 August 30, 2003 August 23, 2003 August 16, 2003 August 9, 2003 Pension Lawsuit Win July 26, 2003 July 19, 2003 July 12, 2003 July 5, 2003 June 28, 2003 June 21, 2003 June 14, 2003 June 7, 2003 May 31, 2003 May 24, 2003 May 17, 2003 May 10, 2003 2003 Stock Meeting April 26, 2003 April 19, 2003 April 12, 2003 April 5, 2003 March 29, 2003 March 22, 2003 March 15, 2003 March 8, 2003 March 1, 2003 February 22, 2003 February 15, 2003 February 8, 2003 February 1, 2003 January 25, 2003 January 18, 2003 January 11, 2003 January 4, 2003 December 28, 2002 December 21, 2002 December 14, 2002 December 7, 2002 November 30, 2002 November 23, 2002 November 16, 2002 November 9, 2002 November 2, 2002 October 26, 2002 October 19, 2002 October 12, 2002 October 5, 2002 September 28, 2002 September 21, 2002 September 14, 2002 September 7, 2002 August 31, 2002 August 24, 2002 August 17, 2002 August 10, 2002 August 3, 2002 July 27, 2002 July 20, 2002 July 13, 2002 July 6, 2002 June 29, 2002 June 22, 2002 June 15, 2002 June 8, 2002 June 1, 2002 May 25, 2002 May 18, 2002 May 11, 2002 2002 Stock Meeting April 27, 2002 April 20, 2002 April 13, 2002 April 6, 2002 March 30, 2002 March 23, 2002 March 16, 2002 March 9, 2002 March 2, 2002 February 23, 2002 February 16, 2002 February 9, 2002 February 2, 2002 January 26, 2002 January 19, 2002 January 12, 2002 January 5, 2002 December 29, 2001 December 22, 2001 December 15, 2001 December 8, 2001 December 1, 2001 November 24, 2001 November 17, 2001 November 10, 2001 November 3, 2001 October 27, 2001 October 20, 2001 October 13, 2001 October 6, 2001 September 29, 2001 September 22, 2001 September 15, 2001 September 8, 2001 September 1, 2001 August 25, 2001 August 18, 2001 August 11, 2001 August 4, 2001 July 28, 2001 July 21, 2001 July 14, 2001 July 7, 2001 June 30, 2001 June 23, 2001 June 16, 2001 June 9, 2001 June 2, 2001 May 26, 2001 May 19, 2001 May 12, 2001 May 5, 2001 2001 Stock Meeting April 21, 2001 April 14, 2001 April 7, 2001 March 31, 2001 March 24, 2001 March 17, 2001 March 10, 2001 March 3, 2001 February 24, 2001 February 17, 2001 February 10, 2001 February 3, 2001 January 27, 2001 January 20, 2001 January 13, 2001 January 6, 2001 December 30, 2000 December 23, 2000 December 16, 2000 December 9, 2000 December 2, 2000 November 24, 2000 November 17, 2000 November 10, 2000 November 4, 2000 October 28, 2000 October 21, 2000 October 14, 2000 October 7, 2000 September 30, 2000 September 23, 2000 September 16, 2000 September 9, 2000 September 2, 2000 August 26, 2000 August 19, 2000 August 12, 2000 July 29, 2000 July 22, 2000 July 15, 2000 July 1, 2000 June 24, 2000 June 17, 2000 June 10, 2000 June 3, 2000 May 27, 2000 May 20, 2000 May 13, 2000 May 6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—January 25, 2014

  • USA Today: IBM sees $1 billion charge for more job cuts. Big Blue may cut 10,000 to 15,000 workers in 2014, analyst estimates. By Alistair Barr. Excerpts: IBM is planning to cut thousands more jobs this year and the technology company expects to take about $1 billion in charges from the re-organization effort. IBM reported lackluster fourth-quarter results late Tuesday that included a 26% slump in hardware revenue and a slight decline in services revenue.

    Chief Financial Officer Martin Schroeter told analysts after the results that the company will take a "workforce re-balancing" charge of about $1 billion this year, roughly in line with what it did in 2013. ...

    IBM typically re-balances its giant workforce every year, but the job cuts in 2013 and the reductions coming in 2014 are a bit bigger than in the past because the company has been struggling with weak revenue growth, the analyst explained.

    It costs IBM about $70,000 to lay an employee off, so if the latest re-organization is mostly related to staff reductions, that suggests the company may be cutting 10,000 to 15,000 workers, Sacconaghi estimated.

  • InformationWeek: IBM Plans Layoffs, New Investments. By Doug Henschen. Excerpts: IBM keeps meeting ever-higher earnings-per-share targets, but after reporting another year of declining growth in 2013, the company on Tuesday announced plans for "workforce rebalancing" -- code words for layoffs -- as well as new investments in emerging areas aimed at returning the company to growth.

    Its lackluster performance in 2013 was marked by a 5% year-over-year decline in revenue (2% in constant currencies) to $99.8 billion. Operating income was up 2% from the prior year to $18 billion, despite a whopping $1.7 billion decline in profit tied to IBM's struggling hardware business. ...

    The bad news is that things are going to get worse before they get better, with an anticipated $1 billion workforce action expected in IBM's historically weak first quarter. A similar $1 billion effort in the second quarter of 2013 eliminated 6,500 to 8,000 positions across IBM's massive global workforce of more than 430,000 employees. ...

    True to form, IBM once again promised higher earnings per share for the year ahead, with a target of $18 for 2014. Meeting that longstanding goal of $20 per share by 2015 would certainly please investors, but IBM competes in an industry in which vendors don't always put investors ahead of their position in the industry. SAP on Tuesday rolled back profit expectations so it could grow more aggressively in the cloud. Meanwhile, cloud pure-plays like Salesforce.com and Workday routinely run in the red, keeping investors at bay with strong growth and cash-flow figures and the promise of a long-term payoff.

  • Binghamton Press-Connects: Cuts in the cards for IBM: Insiders say managers must list candidates for 'resource action' by Friday. Insiders say managers must make lists by Friday. By Craig Wolfe. Excerpts: IBM managers are working on their lists and checking them twice, but this is not about Santa Claus. It’s about downsizing. People with access to inside-IBM information have told the Poughkeepsie Journal that managers have to identify candidates by Friday for a future “resource action” to eliminate jobs. Managers in the U.S. Systems and Technology Group were told they needed to do some planning in case a resource action is approved. Employees are not being told at this point. ...

    The Alliance@IBM, a union-sponsored workers group, said the downsizing was code-named “Apollo” and urged employees to send in resource action packages when they arrive so the actions can be reported. IBM hasn’t issued such details for years.

  • Wall Street Journal: IBM Software Blamed for Troubled State Health Exchanges. By Clint Boulton. Excerpts: Software from IBM Corp. has been singled out for technical problems hurting both the Maryland and Minnesota online health exchanges. Officials from both states have blamed IBM’s Cúram, used to determine consumers’ eligibility for coverage, for a number of performance issues, including losing consumer applications.

    With the March 31 deadline for open enrollment period fast approaching, state officials have upped their rhetoric. Last week, the Maryland Health Connection cited Cúram and its “serious software defects.” Previously, the state blamed a squabble between two primary contractors as the source for the exchange’s numerous bugs.

    Last month, in a December letter to IBM CEO Virginia Rometty, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton detailed 21 problems MNsure encountered with Cúram, including applications stuck in pending status, as well as inadequate documentation and duplicate applications. ...

    Responding to Maryland’s claims, IBM spokesman Clint Roswell said that the exchange is improving and that IBM is still working with the contractors on the site. “Based on our latest statistics on the exchange’s performance, we are seeing more than 95% of consumers entering the site now having a positive experience,” Mr. Roswell said in an email to CIO Journal. IBM started offering the software when it acquired Dublin, Ireland-based Cúram Software Ltd. in 2011. Cúram means ”care and protection” in Irish.

    But an official for Maryland Health Connection told CIO Journal Tuesday that while the exchange’s user experience has improved, “significant issues with the Cúram software and other system components still need to be fixed before the website can function as it should.”

  • Bloomberg: Lenovo to Buy IBM Server Unit for $2.3 Billion Amid Slump. By Alex Barinka. Excerpts: Related Lenovo's Smith Sees `Great Marriage' to IBM Unit International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) agreed to sell its low-end server business for $2.3 billion to Lenovo Group Ltd., decreasing its reliance on computer hardware as sales of the products plunge. The deal price includes about $2 billion of cash, with the rest coming in shares of Beijing-based Lenovo, the two companies said today in a statement today. The transaction now faces regulatory scrutiny, including a likely national-security review that could slow or scuttle the purchase. ...

    Even if the deal clears those hurdles, Lenovo could still lose some IBM customers in the U.S., though that may be offset by gains in its home market of China, said Stephen Yang, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sun Hung Kai Financial. “Lenovo may still face some headwinds selling servers to American institutions and corporates due to worries over counterintelligence,” Yang said. “Lenovo would likely focus on growing its China market first, like they’ve always done with any business.”

  • Seeking Alpha: IBM - Revenues Continue To Slide As Stabilization Is Not In Sight Yet. Excerpts: IBM generated full year revenues of $99.8 billion for 2013, down 4.6% compared to the year before. Net earnings fell by merely 0.7% to $16.5 billion while diluted earnings per share rose by 4.0% to $14.94 per share.

    This earnings per share growth was obviously not driven by operational growth, but by repurchasing shares to drive earnings per share. While IBM has access to roughly $11.1 billion in cash, equivalents and marketable securities, its debt pile has increased to levels just shy of $40 billion. This results in a net debt position of almost $29 billion. Note that this even excludes little over $16 billion in retirement and pension obligations.

    Clearly IBM is not happy with the results, with the key executives foregoing the annual incentive payments for the past year. ...

    Living In Borrowed Times. Instead of focusing on revenue growth, IBM appears to be fully focused on earnings per share. While operational revenue and earnings growth stalled, the company resorted to share repurchases to drive earnings per share growth. In the period 2010-2012, IBM repurchased $35 billion worth of shares, while paying out little over $10 billion in dividends. This means that payouts were being roughly equal to earnings of $47 billion for the period. Note that this excludes cash being used for making acquisitions during this time period.

  • The Register: IBM's top brass forgo bonuses after drop in yearly profits. Big Blue execs won't be getting their annual pats on the back. By Brid-Aine Parnell. Excerpts: IBM's top execs are forgoing their bonuses this year after a five per cent drop in sales and a per cent dip in net profit. Chief executive Ginni Rometty and other senior management will graciously eschew their presumably performance-related bonuses since the company's performance has not been all that great, particularly in its hardware division.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Bah! What is this "bonus" you speak of? I have also heard of "raises" and "cost of living increments" but I can't remember having seen one in years.
    • It doesn't bode well for the rest of the IBM workforce, who haven't had payrises or bonuses for the previous 'disappointing results' commonly associated with 'consecutive quarters of double digit growth'. If they can't even justify their own bonuses, what chance have we got? Does anybody manage using carrots instead of sticks anymore?
  • CNBC: Herb Greenberg: IBM simply disclosed too much. Excerpts: In the past, I've questioned IBM execs about the wisdom of such a long-term target, and they proudly showed off their colorful charts and graphs on how they expected to get there. This much would come from share buybacks. This much from a catch-all known as "operating leverage," a.k.a. layoffs. And this much from future acquisitions.

    It looked good on paper but ... it's one thing for a company to have an internal long-term plan; it's another to lay it out for investors, down to the penny.

    In all of my years of doing this, I never quite understood why or how any company could claim to see that far out. Now we know—they can't.

  • I, Cringely: IBM sells Intel server business, company is doomed. By Robert Cringely. Excerpts: IBM today sold its Intel server business to Lenovo, yet another example of Big Blue eating its seed corn, effectively dooming the company for the sake of short-term earnings. It’s a good move for Lenovo and an act of desperation for IBM.

    Wall Street analysts may see this as a good move but then Wall Street analysts typically aren’t that smart. They’ll characterize it as selling-off a low-margin server business (Intel-based servers) to concentrate on a higher-margin server business (Z-series and P-series big iron) but the truth is IBM has sold the future to invest in the past. Little servers are the future of big computing. IBM needs to be a major supplier and a major player in this emerging market.

    If you look at the technology used today by Google, Yahoo, and Amazon and many others you’ll see it is possible to operate a large enterprise on huge arrays of inexpensive Intel servers. For a fraction of the cost of an IBM z-Series (mainframe) or p-Series (mid-range UNIX) system, the equivalent compute power can be assembled from a modest number of low cost servers and the new software tools. IBM turned its back on this truth today by selling the Intel server business.

    Maybe this wouldn’t matter if IBM was selling a lot of those higher-margin Z- and P-series machines, but from the look of their latest earnings statement I don’t think that’s the case. So they are selling a lower-margin business where customer are actually buying to invest in a higher-margin business where customers aren’t buying. Yeah, right.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Metalman January 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm. Meanwhile, HP and Dell are popping open champagne. Well, Lenovo has proven to be a good competitor to those two, so it’s not all roses, but IBM is making a huge bet on a services team that hasn’t been keeping customers very happy. I can’t see this ending well for IBM; it’s like watching the end of Pan-Am.
    • Lack-of-Services January 24, 2014 at 8:05 am - Agree with Metalman completely. I spent 25 years in IBM Global Services and watched the bean-counters gut the technical talent without mercy in the name of offshored low-skill ultra-cheap labor. The technical talent in the Services unit became laughable at best, completely sad at worst. Having been fortunate enough to learn good technical skills OUTSIDE of IBM prior to my 25 years, I saw the pathetic writing on the wall and dumped a 2-week notice on them with little fanfare. Best move I ever made.

      Now the lawsuits and canceled contracts you see customers bringing onto IBM (Bridgestone, State of Indiana, State of Pennsylvania, State of Texas, Disney, First Tennessee) are a real harbinger of how utterly dysfunctional Services has become.

      Remember, the ‘leaders’ of this company, and particularly Services, are all MBA types with Finance skills, not technology or vision skills, therefore they haven’t a clue as to what it takes technically to make healthy I/T happen. I was on the inside and know what went on and how things stand now and as a result, I wouldn’t outsource my data entry to IBM. If they are betting on services saving the day, they are smoking some really good stuff from Colorado! Maybe Boulder…

    • Even More Clueless January 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm. Well written ! so, it won’t surprise you to know that Ginny was running Global Business Services as a losing proposition long before she got promoted to the top. I wouldn’t trust her to run any enterprise, not even a public toilet. It speaks volumes about what the IBM Board is doing and how the members of the board justify holding that particular office.
    • Metalman January 24, 2014 at 2:55 am. Bob has his reasons, I’m sure. But from my perspective, IBM has been a tech bellwether: a company that leads the IT industry. The thing is, most pundits and/or stock pickers only listen to the people at the top, and Bob has made a living of talking/listening to the grunts. The grunts will readily tell Bob the real story, not what’s whitewashed by the talking heads. By disseminating what is really going on in Big Blue, there’s a chance that maybe the direction of the company will change. Not much of one, but the chance is there.
    • Arturo January 24, 2014 at 8:43 am. Somebody give IBM a copy of “Innovators Dilemma.” IBM is US Steel and Lenovo is the mini mills. Lenovo has been able to be profitable in the commodity space and are moving up the chain. Not to long from now, there will be a Lenovo IT Consultant group for high end enterprise needs.
    • Charles Moorehead January 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm. I’ve always thought that the priorities for any business firm was to: 1. Get customers. 2. Satisfy customers. 3. Make a profit. You will notice that making the stockholders happy, paying big bonuses to the officers, and screwing the employees is not on this list. Therefore, I think that IBM has their priorities all messed up.
    • Billy Bluewash January 26, 2014 at 10:19 pm. I spent most of the last decade and a half inside STG at IBM. Was recruited to come to IBM and spent a lot of time marveling or more accurately “mystified” at the way things were done. Countless acquisitions were made in the time that I spent there and everyone had to go through the “BlueWash”. The equivalent is running through an endless double line of management equipped with whiffle bats who’s sole responsibility was to beat them about the head repeatedly until they finally relented to “the way we do it here”.

      Everyone that I spoke with was initially happy to be acquired by a “giant” in the industry, but that soon changed. Each member was offered substantial compensation to stay and insure success, on the average of 2 years. At the end of the 2 year period, most if not all were so shell shocked and numb for the aforementioned “whiffle bat” experience that they couldn’t wait to run for the doors. If you don’t believe me, ask the folks in Canada about their Cognos experience.

      All the Wall Street experts exclaim the accomplishments of such a legendary bellwether, but the view from inside is decidedly different. My viewpoint was the company is run by accountants and spreadsheet jockeys, neither of which have any idea of business acumen besides what appears on a spreadsheet.

      In previous companies, if one were to achieve success with a product, every effort was made to improve that product and make it more successful. Not quite the IBM way. Once a product proved to be successful, the model seems to be, “how can we make this more profitable?” So the first thing that happens is they cut the budget…say 10-15% and raise the sales projections by similar amounts. If that product were to achieve those goals, despite the odds, they again, would reduce the budget by similar amounts and raise the goals a like amount.

      Several products, Websphere, DS8000, BladeCenter and SVC were able to achieve “success” in this manner, yet, despite the success, the yearly “Fall Plan” (which is a whole another story into itself) saw a constant decline in the resources for each of these products.

      The end result was feature/functions became fewer and farther between, support resources became much more constrained and customer satisfaction continued to reduce at about the same rate as the resources. It was amazing to hear executive discussions wondering why customer satisfaction was diminishing. To those of us in the trenches, it was pretty clear...duhhh.

      IBM never outright kills a product, they just continue cutting resources until it reaches a point where sales revenue approaches the amount they are spending on it. Then it either dies or they sell it off like they did with the printer business (once legendary), the hard drive business or the laptops, of which Lenovo was able to not only revive but turn around quickly and become dominant in the industry. I suspect they will have similar success with the x86/Blade/PureFlex business.

      IBM has had some tremendous people, the guy who invented the 3 finger salute Cntl+Alt+Del (sadly passed away last year), a team that invented the supermarket bar code scanner, the team that designed the system for BART, the fathers of the ATM, the original x86 PC, and a guy that when I first joined was dragging atoms around to construct the first atom transistor while we were worried about whether a Qlogic HBA was as compatible as the Emulex HBA. Yet, these resources are constantly being devalued as more and more responsibility is shifted to college hires across the globe. These are typically smart kids, but there is an old saying “Experience is so valuable because you can’t buy it”.

      I don’t agree with the pundits that say IBM will die, but also believe that there are more hard times ahead then there are good times. Times are a changing and while “playing it safe” has ensured stability for more than 100 years, that strategy will not serve well for the coming changes in technology. Dreams of cloud computing and the ability to compete with the Amazon’s and Google’s of today have left this bellwether a long ways behind the 8 ball. Have since moved on to other opportunities and while I love my former colleagues, I fear for their safety, Apollo is but the next great adventure for them and thankfully I will not be a part of that exercise.

    • CJones January 27, 2014 at 8:02 am, Very well said. I spent 30 years there and the last 10 were very painful. The PE roadmap strategy, and Ginni downloading the PWC virus set the course for the culture of slash, burn and focus only on “what is in it for me”.
    • Barney Fyfe January 27, 2014 at 9:30 am. I retired of my own volition on December 31, 2013. The last 5 years saw a dramatic shift in IBM business with executives micro managing all the way down to the hourly employee. They are out of control. They do not want to hear from the troops. The troops that bring forward customer experience, comments, displeasure. Execs simply don’t believe that we know what we are talking about. Just get in the boat and row. They are simply hell bent on forcing customers to like what they offer. Period. This business model is doomed to fail as demonstrated with lawsuits. I am sure more will be coming.

      PureFlex or Pure Systems. What a dumb name. Sounds like a water filtration system for your home. Remember what happened to Coke when they changed their formula? And CLOUD? My personal opinion is that cloud is a security disaster waiting to happen. Who is going to control security in the “cloud”.

      Oh, BTW, HR and the bean counters are running the company.

    • Bill Costa January 28, 2014 at 10:40 am. Someday some third-tier Asian company will buy-out IBM just for the name.
    • steve February 3, 2014 at 8:30 am - Reply I used to work at IBM on one of their middleware performance teams. We would test and improve the performance of our software product across all the enterprise server platforms (P-Series, i-Series, z-Series, and x-Series from IBM in addition to Solaris/Sparc and HP-UX servers). So I can definitely say that selling off the low end (xSeries) to focus on the high end (P and Z) makes a lot of sense, if IBM had a time machine and could travel back to 2004 when the P5 came out.

      The Power 5 servers were amazing compared to their competition. Our software benchmarks were designed to stress the Application Server, not the Database server, so a smaller database could support a much larger App Server, or so we thought. The P5s were so fast that our 4 core Intel Database machines couldn’t keep up with our 4 core P5 boxes. The only machine we had that was fast enough to run the Database tier for a P5 app server was another P5 box. Add to this a seeming insurmountable lead in LPAR and Virtualization technology, and a superior profit margin, and one could easily make a case for selling off X to preserve the dominance of the Power technology platform, which backs all of IBMs servers (P, I, and Z).

      But as I said, that was 2004. Then Sam went to work turning IBM into a holding company that he and other top execs could loot. First wages were basically frozen because we never made our internal goals no matter how much we beat Wall Street. Then we stopped getting co-ops and college new hires. Soon we had a yearly layoff, then bi-yearly, then quarterly. Product development and R&D budgets plummeted, squeezing the most profit out of our current products, at the expense of the next generation.

      By the time I left the team in 2008, Intel had pretty much caught up core for core with Power; now it’s not even close. Intel has the fastest server processors on the planet. Everyone else is years behind given the current levels of investment. So while it’s good that IBM finally got out of the commodity server business, it’s really really bad that they did it 10 years too late. It also begs the question, how to they expect to compete in the cloud business, if they don’t understand how to make commodity infrastructure profitable?

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • Day in the life of a sales person” Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: IBM name and reputation, product quality, highly talented development team. Cons: High rate of organizational churn, internal processes are arduous. Advice to Senior Management: STOP THE MADNESS. The churn is impossible for the employees and the customers to manage. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • Once a great company, now fixated on EPS and executive bonuses” Managing Consultant (Current Employee), Chicago, IL. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: IBM still has many great skills and talents, particularly in the Research division. The Watson technology certainly proved that point in winning the Jeopardy challenge. Cons: Crushing workloads brought on my constant "do more with less" from execs; no raises for years; managers only looking out for themselves; inability for employees to ever attend conferences to maintain skills; lack of reimbursement for cable line for work at home employees—such petty expenses that "your father's IBM" would ever have dreamed of. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend.
    • Victim blaming” Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: Health care coverage was good while an active employee. Cons: Constant micro-management from executives. Too many executives listed in "report tree" that had little or nothing to do with work done by team. Previous CEO promised more jobs in US, then promptly laid off thousands. No raises for "average" employees, which reduces morale of teams filled with high performers (so bell-curve results made some look "average"). Advice to Senior Management: Reduce number of executives and use that savings to hire people that actually contribute concrete results to the company. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • Falling smarter” Financial Analyst (Current Employee), Somers, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Talented smart people. Loyal peers in face of a company that has not reciprocated.

      Cons: Few opportunities for advancement in North America. Executives are tone deaf. Limited staff to support clients. Morale horrible. Using outmoded stacked ranking.

      Advice to Senior Management: This advice is really to SVPs since low-level exec and line management do not really have any leadership impact and merely are in react mode to save their own jobs. Stop the short term looting of a once great company and invest in the long term focus on customers and employees as an asset instead of liabilities. This may mean actually leading the company and forgoing personal wealth targets. Any company that predicts EPS 5 years in the future is intoxicated on its own current performance and is just seeking to become an investment tool—not a company. Stop buying back shares to buoy the price and taking profits from your own stock awards, RSUs and bonuses. On demand, smarter planet, big data, watson—stop with phrases and start creating something of value!

    • Rudderless Ship” Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM for more than 10 years. Pros: Long company history of innovation. Cons: Lack of concern or interest in employees. Advice to Senior Management: Care about your people instead of yourselves. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • Buying all competition cannot make a market leader.” Staff Software Engineer (Current Employee), Bangalore (India). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years. Pros: Technology exposure; work life balance. Cons: No method to madness of software, short sighted software development in some areas. Buying all competition to survive. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • Teamwork mattered the most.” Business Controls Advisor (Former Employee), Somers, NY. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Great work atmosphere and wonderful team environment. Great salary. Great employee benefits. The ability to work from home at any time. Cons: There really weren't any downsides to working at IBM. There was great flexibility on work locations, they paid very good salaries and the paid time off was very good and based on your years of service. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend.
    • Horrible Place” Sales (Former Employee) Dublin (Ireland). Pros: Salary, training, safety of job. Cons: Unreal targets, politics, lots of parasites. Advice to Senior Management: The whole management should be sacked. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • Layers of politics and managers covering very deficient products” Software Engineer (Former Employee), Buenos Aires (Argentina). I worked at IBM part-time for more than a year. Pros: It looks good in your CV. Decent work life balance and relaxed environment. Very low expectations overall. Cons: It is a monster company and sometimes it looks like it is out of control. Products and services are generally outdated and their features overlap resulting in huge inefficiencies. Nobody can be bothered to care about that—there is pressure to work on your small-picture area, and it would be useless anyway since the scale of the technical field has grown way beyond tractability. Also, hordes of managers not really adding much value. Advice to Senior Management: Where do I even start... No, I would not recommend this company to a friend.
    • IBM Innovation?” Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). Pros: IBM offers a lot of innovation like Watson and advancements in future technologies (i.e. Nano). Cons: There is little innovation available in IBM services. We are very locked down to sell only what IBM creates or what its approved partners offer which makes for a very repetitive, production line feel to the job. There very few opportunities to develop innovative, outside-the-box solutions. I can only use what IBM and its approved partners offer even though there are other suppliers with more innovative offerings that I could use in the past. With all of the layoffs over the past year, I find a lot of low motivated employees with little creativity that tend to focus on how far away they are from retiring. Advice to Senior Management: You tend to spend more time focused on IBM investors and how the company looks in the market than really understanding how the company is functioning and the impact on the employees and their output. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • Tivoli SME, team leader” Tivoli SME, Team Leader (Current Employee), São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: Multi-cultural company, you will work with people around the world, flexibility company (home office, flexible shift). Cons: This company seems to always be cutting expenses and laying off good employees. It's hard to believe that they will continue to load off some regions to send to low cost regions (OK it is low cost, but what else? They don't have any skills set, never will get the job done, will always cause troubles). Seems that IBM is always thinking in costs and leaving the quality. Really sad!!! Advice to Senior Management: Start to take care of the employees. There are really good people leaving the company or being lay off. Start to think in quality instead of just transition to low cost region. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • GOOD” Systems Analyst (Current Employee), London, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than a year. Pros: Great place to work. Great benefits. Co-workers are genuinely nice people. Much less political wrangling than I've experienced at some other places where I've worked. Lots of great new products and content. It is an exciting place to work and they value their employees. Cons: It is an American company, so if you work in EMEA, it is sometimes challenging to keep track of the latest developments that are happening in the US. This issue is not really specific to IBM, but is a basic challenge when working in the UK for an international company that is head-quartered in the USA.
    • Started out strong, but declining fast” Program Manager (Current Employee), Burlington, VT. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Work/life balance and they still have some of the smartest people in the industry. Projects are challenging and it's great to work on problems that have never been solved before. Cons: "Respect for every IBMer" is a corporate value that is not practiced by the executives. Stock price is everything lately, and layoffs are both common and very poorly handled. Advice to Senior Management: Forget the 2015 EPS target—you're sacrificing the company to that false god. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend.
    • Beware the Peter principle!” Product Sales Specialist (Former Employee), Edinburgh, Scotland (UK). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years. Pros: Well paid. International travel options. Camaraderie with (same level) colleagues. Terrific technical innovators. Good Senior Management (and by that I mean the Board in the U.S.—not the Country/regional management 'yes' men). Cons: Highly political working environment. Managers more interested in their next move than you (or the job at hand for that matter). No management training (other than 'how not to get IBM sued'). A need, not only to play the game, but to be SEEN to play the game. You ARE a number (P.S. mine was 16882 if you're interested). Advice to Senior Management: Junior and middle managers: MANAGE your people and not JUST the business!!!! Treat your employees as people rather than 'tools'. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend. I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • IBM Malaysia—not as it used to be... "Equal Opportunity Employer" no more.” Finance/Accounting (Current Employee), Petaling Jaya (Malaysia). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: Worked full time at IBM Bandar Utama nearing 7 years now. Work life flexibility, comfortable work place.

      Cons: Not as it used to be. Previous Director takes good care of the employees. Family days, company-employee events, subsidies (in-office beverages, medical coverage,etc) were good. New Director took most of it away and so far no Annual Day event for 2 years straight now. Probably try to hard impress the board at the expense of the employees.

      Very poor bonus-performance system. Seen good employees (company-oriented ones) receive mediocre bonus due to the reporting manager's *ahem* misjudgement (read:dislike).

      Seen lots of good employees not being promoted to supervisory/manager level despite he/she is more knowledgeable and better at decision making than the reporting managers. Also seen ridiculous employees promoted due to @$$-kissing and if you are from the light-skinned race (not being racist here, mind you).

      Highly recommend IBM to remove the tagline "Equal Opportunity Employer" as it is no longer for more than 5 years now.

      Advice to Senior Management: Have a deep look at your 1st line and 2nd line managers. Get the employees feedback on them. Do not take in 100% what the managers are saying about the employees as most of the managers are just judging based on their emotions, totally UN-PROFESSIONAL at all.

      The large number of managers from the certain light-skinned race speaks for itself.

      If you are not from the light-skinned race, do not dream to climb up the corporate ladder as you will have a hard time to get promoted due to your hard-work.

      If you are from this light-skinned race, get in, work at your pace, be promoted within the 1-2 years. Very high chances to be in supervisory role well within 1-3 years. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Business Analytics Brand Portfolio Rep” Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years. Pros: IBM is arguably the most successful technology company, which brings instant credibility with existing and prospective customers. IBM invests in the training of its employees. Cons: Heavy administrative burden. Redundant management means extra pipelines reviews. Constant changing of territories and technologies that can be sold under Business Analytics umbrella. Commission plans are always changing. Advice to Senior Management: Care about people who are out in the field doing the job. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • I worked for Immigration Services within IBM that discriminated against qualified employees.” Immigrations Case Management (Former Employee), Durham, NC. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: Offered work from home privileges. Cons: Unrealistic goals and quotas; very limited advancement opportunities for persons of color; required excess of 45 hours a week to meet the rigors and demands of the department. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend.
    • Good learning experience, however no promotional avenues, or opportunities to move around the company.” Software Tester (Current Employee) Dublin (Ireland). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: Good technical learning ground. Products are overly complicated and a bit dated, so good prospects as an external consultant. Some very talented people work there. Cons: Very difficult to move around the company, or to different areas. Very one dimensional experience, after the first couple of years. In very stark contrast to other multinationals I have worked for. Advice to Senior Management: Variety is the spice of life, varied experience is essential for career growth.
    • Used to be a great company to work for” Field Service Engineer (Current Employee), Boulder, CO. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Job security, Advancement opportunities, can transfer to other locations. Cons: Disjointed, unorganized business. Management disassociated from ground level work. Advice to Senior Management: Information flow is critically lacking, business model for running a company is seriously flawed. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • A company with no vision” Anonymous Employee (Former Employee). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: The pros are hard to come by these days. The people you work with are hard working and professional. Cons: No vision and because of this the company is struggling. Revenue is flat lined. Salary increases are abysmal, profit sharing shrinks year after year and benefits cost more. People are clearly "resources" and "assets". Upper and senior management have no concept of respect for the individual. Work/life balance has magically morphed to work/life integration meaning your life is your work. Internal processes are extremely bureaucratic and it is a grind it out environment—day in and day out. Advice to Senior Management: Get a vision and get back to respecting your employees. I would not be at all surprised if IBM sees a significant departure of highly skilled resources over the next 24 months as people find a more employee friendly employment. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
    • Profit at all costs company.” Senior IT Specialist (Current Employee), Charlotte, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Large market share in the outsourcing and business consulting arenas. I have been a full-time employee for 15 years as Senior IT specialist. Initially they gave us great raises, and very affordable benefits. And because of the large market share, it was easy to move to new assignments when contracts ended. But as the saying goes, all good things come to an end.

      Cons: Things started getting bad about 6 years ago. Raises for long term employees mostly disappeared. Some of my colleagues have not had a raise in 7 to 8 years. My cost for insurance for my family went from $180 per month in 2004 to $724 per month in 2013, 289% increase. If you are IBM US your days are numbered. A few years ago IBM implemented its plan to reduce US employee head count by 60%. Moving everything to IBM India. I believe they are in year 3 of the 5 year plan. They can get 2 to 3 employees in India, with little to no experience, for the price of one US employee that had many years of experience. And the work product delivered shows a drastic decline. At one point I actually had to tell an offshore resource who had not added error trapping/handling to a project "because the customer did not ask for it" that it is up to us as professional developers to add it because it is part of industry best practices. Every year when they announce the resource actions (sometimes 2 per year) I hold my breath. I know my days are numbered, because I have 15 years now. Maybe I can get one more year.

      Just my 2 cents.

      Advice to Senior Management: Ms. "Ginni" Rometty needs to change this trend of getting the cheap labor from offshore, or the already diminishing IBM image will crash completely and she and all of the executive board members will be in the job hunt. Of course they will all have a nice multi-million dollar severance package, while the displaced employees will get the 2 weeks salary for every 6 months worked severance ( up to 26 week max). No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.

    • It's not your father's Oldsmobile.” Advisory Engineer (Former Employee), Essex Junction, VT. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Company sites in small cities; usually pay more than other employers in the area. Cons: Career opportunities for just a few 'golden' employees. Work life balance exists as long as your definition of that is you work as many hours as it takes. Advice to Senior Management: Stop telling execs what they want to hear, and tell the truth.
    • IBM is not anything at all like it used to be.” Advisory Software Engineer (Former Employee), Research Triangle Park, NC. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: IBM has lots of very talented and hard working people. There is a wealth of technical knowledge within the company.

      Cons: IBM seems to be focused solely on the bottom line. The company no longer seems interested in maintaining a competitive advantage through technical innovation or by attracting and retaining top technical talent. IBM is bleeding away talented people through resource actions (aka layoffs) and people leaving on their own initiative. The remaining people are expected to carry the ever growing workload with fewer resources after losing strong experienced people. Also, the periodic layoffs strip away any sense of job security.

      Advice to Senior Management: Stop focusing on the bottom line. Make it a priority to attract and retain top technical talent. Use technical excellence and innovation to create and keep a competitive edge. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.

    • IBM employees in the USA especially in System and Technology Group” Senior Engineer (Current Employee), Poughkeepsie, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Flexible hours; working with latest technology on the highest end server design. Cons: IBM server and storage is no longer growing especially in the USA. Jobs has been outsourced and there is little or no chance for advancement.
    • IBM --> Idiots Become Managers” Anonymous Employee (Current Employee), Wrocław (Poland). Pros: Good company name to have on resume. Space to grow in terms of career available trainings online. Cons: Inexperienced young kids leading the departments; no leadership; no people management, everything done on last minute without proper planning. Advice to Senior Management: Don't promote people to first line manager without experience inside IBM. Think twice to promote young people. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend.
    • Big, slow, top heavy with management.” Software Engineer (Former Employee). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: A degree of flexibility as to working location and hours. Some truly incredible and talented people. Cons: Too much process; managers that are scared to make a decision; execs that only care about the bottom line and their bonuses; slow as molasses. Big words, big visions but not backed up by any real execution. Advice to Senior Management: No advice; you wouldn't listen when I was there, you won't now. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
  • Glassdoor IBM Canada reviews

  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • Supreme Court Hears Landmark Union Case Involving Home Health Care Workers
    • Last Chance to RSVP for Conference Call with Sen. Bernie Sanders Monday Night
    • Insurance Industry Ads Seek to Preempt Medicare Advantage Cuts
    • Scam Using Medical Alert Devices was Aimed at Seniors
    • Hawaii Alliance for Retired Americans Holds its Convention, Elects Officers
    • Obituary: Kenny Stevens, Member of Alliance Executive and Regional Boards
    • Obituary for former Vermont Alliance President Chet Briggs
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 01/19/14: @laid-off-2013: An employer trying to claw back money that has already been paid to you is probably illegal. Contact the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Office for your area: http://www.nlrb.gov/who-we-are/regional-offices I had a situation similar to yours a number of years ago, and my former Employer backed down real quick, once they got a phone call from an NLRB Attorney. -Voting Alliance Member-
  • Comment 01/20/14: RA coming 1st quarter. Code name Apollo. RA names being gathered now. Employees to be notified last week of February and will be gone by last week of March. -Paul-
  • Comment 01/20/14: I'm not bitter anymore, but would like to get out. I quit being an IBM manager when I found out on the morning of the day I was delivering PBC results that the ratings I had given my employees had been changed with no discussions with me. Obviously I still had to "own the decision", which meant some hasty re-writes. Has anyone experience with requesting a package? I don't understand why they don't offer voluntary packages. They could offer less than the RA ones and have no legal worries. -Crazy Train-
  • Comment 01/21/14: I am curious as to whether the IBMers who received "3" PBC ratings recently had any recent one-on-ones cancelled by your manager? I have not been rated yet, but in the past couple of months my manager has cancelled our one-one-one the last minute either by SameTime or just not shown up to the meeting then ping me and tell he she is on another call and will get with me later, which never happens.

    I fear that the PBC "3" might be coming my way. I AM NOT A 3, and if I am rated as such, then I will act accordingly, like a "3". I will sign on at 9, sign off at 5, no weekends, take my lunch break every day. Not one bit of extra effort will be exerted on IBM. I will spend my time networking and doing my resume and looking for another job. It is sad because I really WANT to be an IBMer, I like my co-workers, team leader and my manager, I am sure it is not her fault at what she is being forced to do by upper equity vested goon management. -ForceMeToBeThree-

    Alliance reply: Use your time to help organize the Alliance. Talk to your co-workers, send us names of IBMers and their email address. Don't just go meekly out the door.

  • Comment 01/21/14: Well the results are out and they suck ..revenue down 5% to 99b. We all know what that means. IBM is not worth working for anymore. I have decided to parachute out when I have the chance. -Sinking feeling-
  • Comment 01/21/14: I was rated a 2 on my PBC right before I was let go in February of 09'. As many have stated, it's a joke. When I confronted my 2nd line in a teleconference after my RA, he told me that even though I was a "2" performer, there were others that performed better than I did. My reply to him (and he already knew) was that I didn't think there was a difference between one 2 to another 2 and that the process is flawed (and still is). The 3rd line refused to even speak to me being the spineless little gnome he is. If what's left of you don't organize, you continue to get what you deserve. In hindsight IBM did me a tremendous favor in the end. Good luck to you all. -*Glad_to_be_Gone_too*-
  • Comment 01/21/14: Managers at IBM Kenexa were also asked to submit their list of names for RA by this Friday. -Tim-
  • Comment 01/21/14: The Alliance@IBM has received information that managers in Systems Technology Group and the acquired business Kenexa, must submit a list of names for a resource action by Friday, January 24th. This years resource actions, and there will be more through the first quarter, is code named project Apollo. CEO Rometty, in response to the earnings report said this,
    "in view of the company's overall results, my senior team and I have recommended that we forgo our personal annual incentive payment for 2013".

    Big deal. They are rich enough to withstand that. They should forgo their jobs. As we go through another critical time for employees we need now more than ever for people to say no to Roadmap 2015. The Alliance is here to help organize and fight back. Information is also key. Send RA packs to the Alliance at ibmunionalliance@gmail.com -Alliance-

  • Comment 01/21/14: IBM employees need to be aware that IBM continues to block our email alerts to internal addresses. In order to receive these at such a critical time please join the Alliance as a supporter here: http://action.cwa-union.org/content_item/allliance-signup And if you really want to help join as a member. -Alliance-
  • Comment 01/21/14: Given the 3 today. Like a kick in the gut after on call over the holidays and checking emails while on vacations. Doing the job when the global team fails for hours. Not a knock on the global team they just don't stay around long enough to get the experience needed. Started with a career; trying to hold on to a job. Sad to see the company has come to this.. -House of Blues-
  • Comment 01/21/14: I firmly believe IBM's problems were well known to Ginny when she took over. However, I also knew she would not undo what Sam did in her first year as it would have significant impacts across IBM. Every new CEO needs to tread carefully as to not alienate Sammy's support base, nor move sharply away from what others regard as a working strategy (employee morale and treatment aside). That said, eliminating the CFO was HUGE in my mind to get back to a day where IBM was well regarded. She knows how to fix IBM. The key test will be whether she actually does what she knows to be the right thing. Maybe in the next year or two she will put programs in place to cater to employee morale. Time will tell. Until then, she still has an uphill battle and a lot of trust still to be earned. -Anonymous-
  • The Alliance received information that STG employee names for inclusion in a new resource action must be turned into IBM executive management by Friday Jan. 24, 2014. -Alliance-
  • Comment 01/21/14: As per the prior posting about 401k matching I went back to my 2011 through 2013 paychecks and found that in 2011, while on commission, I did receive a 401k match for each commission payment but for 2012 and 2013 I did NOT for my excellence awards. Unfortunately I moved from commission to bonus in 2012, for the exact same job, which resulted in substantial savings for IBM. I need to get a hold of the 401k plan document to review the criteria for matching. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/21/14: Wow, Some of the posts I am reading reminds me of playing the violins while the Titanic is sinking. Posters thinking that Ginni has a clue and is going to turn it around (really ?) to people asking if certain parts of STG will be affected (all jobs in STG will be affected) to posters calling for a strike (should have been done 10 years ago) to employees still giving up their weekends and holidays and getting a 3 and then thinking it is sad the company has come to this. No, that is not it at all.

    It is sad you career has come to this ! Feels like I am reading posts from a bunch of sheep. Wake up people, this is the IBM of 2014, they will do anything to fulfill this crazy Roadmap 2015 strategy and if it means cutting YOU, it doesn't matter! It doesn't matter what you have done for IBM or what your appraisal rating is. Be prepared to leave and always focus on your skills and career! -longtimrbeemer-

  • Comment 01/22/14: Received a 3 for the first time in a very lengthy career. Unfair. Undeserved. The question is what to do next? Ask for the RA? I'm not seeing a future here for anyone but political bureaucrats. Technical folks should move on. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/22/14: Getting a 3 is like getting a Mafia kiss of death. You have been marked for death. Appealing a 2 or 3 upstream is like appealing a mob hit contract upstream to the mob bosses who ordered the hit in the first place. Needless to say PBC is a totally dodgy and corrupt system. Join the alliance! -FooBAR-
  • Comment 01/22/14: Expect all employees to have to forgo their incentives (bonus, pay raise, etc...). This is the year we are not getting anything at all. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/22/14: CNN reported today that IBM will be laying off 15000 to 18000 employees in 1st qtr 2014. due to missing revenue projections. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/22/14: Check out CNBC report: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101350931 IBM is good at "Engineering growth that no one believes" = cooking the book. Shouldn't growth come from research & development through innovation and engineering... not from bean counters cooking the book. It may work for a while but people will see through. -Engineering Growth-
  • Comment 01/22/14: Head count reduction has been IBMs policy ever since Lou became CEO. Sam Ginny and Lou will continue to make millions while they continue to RA employees to make the numbers each quarter. IBM needs a union to protect the employees or else RAs will continue. -ANA-
  • Comment 01/22/14: Appealing your PBC rating will NOT help. As a matter of fact, the moment you start whining about your PBC rating, your immediate manager will themselves offer to escalate to higher levels even before you do! One, they don't need to suffer the aggravation of having to deal with you any more. Second, the managers will happily let you talk with higher levels because they themselves know that they are faithfully following the order of higher levels to lower ratings. Your escalation will only prove to the higher levels that your manager was doing his/her job very well just as ordered! -BeenThereDoneThat-
  • Comment 01/22/14: @anonymous - "I firmly believe IBM's problems were well known to Ginny when she took over." She damn well better have known as she was part of IBM's senior management team for years before. If it can be shown she was not was she clueless or did Greasy Sammy cook the financials along with Loughridge. Wonder if possible for class action suit against Sam to claw back his $50M retirement parachute. -Anon-
  • Comment 01/22/14: Starving your kids and family of time by staying late at IBM in hopes of getting a 2+ or 1 is a waste for most people. In the new IBM it is rare that it will pay off. More than likely you will end up laid off anyway divorced and you would have just robbed you kids of time you will never get back and regret. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/22/14: Hey Ginni, how's that offshoring strategy working out? Getting rid of the experienced American workers for low cost know nothing foreign workers is a recipe for disaster and it is now showing in the quarterly reports. The iceberg has been hit. You're on the way down. -Big Blew retiree-
  • Comment 01/22/14: Why does the man who led STG into this hole still have a job?? SVP of Corporate Strategy, no less. Failed execs keep jobs ... folks doing the work get canned. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/22/14: No point to appeal PBC ratings, the managers have quotas on PBC 3s they have to give out and nothing can change the results once approved from top. Most likely your manager did not even want to give you a 3 but he was forced to give it to someone and your utilization was the lowest from peers. -cnd_ibmer-
  • Comment 01/22/14: How could I possibly be surprised to see news of another resource action when they let me go last summer while retaining less qualified - albeit younger - peers? The disintegration of IBM is the classic consequence of greed in bed with rash stupidity. It will soon be Ginni and a couple henchmen holed up in Armonk like Tony Montana at the end of Scarface. "Say 'ello to my little EPS friend!!!" -not even remotely surprised-
  • Comment 01/23/14: -Never-Ask- wrote "I see many posters talk about asking for a package or RA. Never do that unless you trust your manager completely.". I did ask to be RAed and did not really trust my manager. I was given a full RA package at next cut. A manager friend told me that having someone asking for an RA was a plus for any first line manager with a conscience since it saved cutting someone else. If you want to go badly I would ask for a package. Better than staying regardless in my view, and now sounds like the time. -Gonein13-
  • Comment 01/23/14: -Gonein13- I couldn't agree with you more. If you are sure you want to leave, ask for a package. The managers have to provide the names of people to be let go to their bosses based on quotas they are given. If they have a volunteer that gives them one less they have to worry about anteing up. It will also save someone else who might want to stay. I was a manager for a short time in the late 90's and would have loved to have people like that in my back pocket when they were soliciting names. Unless you are totally invaluable they will probably honor your request because it is easier for them. -longtimebeemer-
  • Comment 01/23/14: No GDP payout for 2+ and below performers Only 1 performers. Was in Ginni's broadcast today. She said it with a smile on her face too! -Anon-
  • Comment 01/23/14: Even if we got a couple thousands IBM'ers signed up for the Alliance, I have little hope that this is going to make a difference. For starters, for some reason, the majority of the employees don't seem to care and have decided not to join. More important then that, IBM management is running the company into the ground. Many skilled people have been laid off or have already left. Reminds me of the early 90s. I applaud Alliance's efforts and joined last year. Wish more would do the same. Folks, our jobs are on the line! -Anon-
  • Comment 01/23/14: I've been at IBM for 3 years. I am hopping off this sinking ship while I still can. I have been an LTS, converted to full-time and then had my conversion revoked during 2013's RA. I will no longer live with the sweatshop hours, job security anxiety, and empty promises by management. Good luck to to all still chained to the IBM slave masters. -ByeByeBigBlue-
  • Comment 01/24/14: The x86 sale to Lenovo looks very promising for those that will be gone from IBM. IBM is still going to reduce 10-15k employees. Most of those are going to be from STG. The System x team is now not part of those discussions which mean P and Storage are going to get the brunt of it. At least in the X group, they get 6-9 months before the deal is done, another 12 months at least with Lenovo with a good chance of staying on beyond that. IBM is definitely not the company my dad started at in 196x. He was smart and took the FAP in the late 80s. Left on a Friday, back on Monday as a Supplemental making more money. He warned me to think IBM would be like it was when he started. -Gone-
  • Comment 01/24/14: Any idea what will happen to the folks that?s not part of STG supporting System x products at customer locations and is not moving to Lenovo as part of this deal. Example, folks in the Service organization, how will this announcement impact them after the deal is completed, they will now be supporting products that IBM does not own anymore. My guess is customers will ask for Lenovo employees to replace those folks, since Lenovo (ex-IBMers) employees are closer to their products and will be familiar with their in-house support process. Looks like a good reason for IBM to get rid of all remaining System x skills since they support products IBM no longer owns. It's not like IBM will retrain those folks. Any information will be appreciated. -Samson-
  • Comment 01/24/14: Hearing that call center workers at IBM's Smyrna Georgia site are having their jobs sent to Bulgaria. -anon- Alliance reply: First of all, any workers losing their jobs because work is moved offshore are eligible for Trade Act Adjustment benefits http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/ Second, the alliance is tracking job loss and offshoring. Post information here or send to ibmunionalliance@gmail.com
  • Comment 01/24/14: Just confirmed that the only ones getting GDP bonuses this year will be those with a 1 PBC rating. -ModernDayTitanic-
  • Comment 01/24/14: OK, that does it. I just read some of the comments on Ginni's 2014 kickoff -- written (every one!) by a happy, inspired, optimistic, hard-working, committed employee. Sometimes posts on this Alliance board go a little overboard on negativity... but given the events of this week, those comments were ... mind boggling. I am hitting Paypal to say thank you the Alliance for this OPEN discussion forum. -15yrsandcounting-
  • Comment 01/24/14: 15 billion in stock buyback + the dividend payouts, 0 for employees. Just the stock buybacks are 30-40,000 per employee - yet we can't get $1000-$3000 bonuses? An organized "do not disturb" in SameTime for a morning may get some attention. -canuck-
  • Comment 01/24/14: After 29 years with IBM I was finally given the heave-ho in 2013. I feel for everyone who will be affected by this years RA. Please know that there is life outside IBM. You will feel stress at having to find another job, BUT...I can tell you from experience that there will also be a massive amount of relief. The biggest benefit I was not prepared for was the feeling that I had my life back in control. My life always revolved around 24x7 coverage, not being able to plan a weekend or for that matter a day off from work without being called back unexpectedly. It's the most amazing thing to be able to plan something with the family and not have to cancel the event. Best of luck to everyone! -miss_understanding-
  • Comment 01/25/14: While those transferred to Lenovo may miss the IBM ax, I wouldn't count on anything other than short term. Of the 1800+ transferred in RTP to Lenovo in 2005, there are only between 100 to 150 left, mostly in management and marketing positions. -IBMtoLenovoAndOut-
  • Comment 01/25/14: Yes Indian IBMers get pbc 3 and get RAed but no severance or anything. It really sucks in ibm India. Management is rotten to the core and only sycophants survive. .@ss licking gets u promotions...pathetic work environment. -RA ibm India-
  • Comment 01/25/14: A colleague told me that bonuses are cut from all but the top performers this year. Is that true? Normally, this colleague is very pro-IBM. But this time even he is disappointed for having to pay for other division's losses (our division's making money). And FYI, even though we aren't top performers, we still have good PBC rankings. If what he said is true, it's as if our hard work and devotion are not appreciated unless we are at the absolute top. -Anon-
  • Comment 01/25/14: About "disappointed for having to pay for other division's losses". I am so tired of being a whipping boy for IBM. The truth is that HW is distinctly disadvantaged as services gets all the maintenance agreements and SW gets any contracts longer term. Couple that with a need to sell HW for a loss to get in, and is in any wonder why our counterparts find themselves dripping in $. Further complicating this is the face that priority in STG has z, p, and then x. I for one am glad to be done with it. I am not sure I see viability in services only model... but I do wish you the best of luck selling service contracts on Dell and HP systems. -Dugo-
  • Comment 01/25/14: Is it true they got a bunch of ex-IBM'ers to go to Poughkeepsie as contractors for the final server push then laid them all off last week. Sounds like they used peoples misfortune of losing their jobs last year to their advantage. -EFK'ED-
  • Comment 01/25/14: The GDP for '1' performers only is not a rumor, it was laid out in Ginni's 2014 kickoff webcast. -anonymous-
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.

This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.