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—November 29, 2014

  • The Channel Register (United Kingdom):

    IBM lifts axe, will trim UK workforce weeks before Chrimbo. All about 'rebalancing' don't yer know. By Paul Kunert. Excerpts: With only weeks to go before the good folk of Blighty sit down to tuck into their Chrimbo dinners, IBM has decided to swing the corporate axe to trim the local workforce.

    According to company insiders, UK boss David Stokes yesterday hosted a phone conference with employees at 1pm to inform them of their fate.

    “Stokes got over 60 people on a conference call to tell them they are at risk of redundancy. They have entered into a consultation period,” said a person close to the matter.

    The cuts are largely hitting the client execs from the Systems and Technology Group – the folk who spend all their time in front of customers that buy hardware – as well as some people in the channel team, sources told us.

    Reader comments follow:

    • Not just STG. Software Group also has a 30 day employee consultation process beginning on November 26, affecting UK-based client-facing techies and sales staff. IBM are missing the opportunity to be able to make people redundant on Christmas Eve, but there's still potential for some really crap New Years.

      It's depressing to see that IBM is still trying to cut its way to growth, and doesn't appear to have learned anything from the failure of Roadmap 2015.

    • Re: Not just STG. Indeed. The top management needs to be replaced and from outside of IBM. For years now it's been the same story and the chickens have come home to roost.
    • Anyone working for IBM's career is effectively stagnated and has been for the past 5 years or more. No pay rises, no promotions, no training, not to mention miserable working conditions and no incentive to do anything above clocking in and out (metaphorically speaking).

      The thing is, IBM's customers still want to buy hardware and software; just no longer from IBM. IBM is handing them over to the competition to lap up. And the competition is hiring. Anyone with any talent from IBM will find that there are plenty of jobs out there, and will suddenly realise that they can actually earn a decent salary elsewhere. Even some of IBM's partners are hiring: there are still people out there who still believe it's worth buying IBM (and it should be: some of the products are excellent, despite there being no investment in development).

      With IBM not even able to put a salesman into the customer, as they've all been sacked, the BPs (or at least those who haven't yet deserted) are picking up the scraps.

      As for replacing those at the top: it's probably too late for that. They're determined to destroy the company and replace it with a third-rate cloud provider, who nobody will use because IBM has managed to crap on pretty much every customer it has.

      It will take a hell of a lot more than that to restore IBM's reputation.

      Most of the people with any talent and ambition left a while ago! They have been losing talented people for about 5 years now and to be honest, the ones that have stayed are the ones that are scared of life outside of Big Blue. Some of those people will be forced into fleeing the mother ship now and will realize that they should have had the guts years ago!

      Two weeks ago, there was a online forum along the lines of — what do we need to do at IBM to make it a great place to work. I think I missed the suggestion that said lets make a bunch of folk redundant, so that everyone else stays on and accepts the deteriorating conditions.

  • LinkedIn:

    Why IBM CEO should listen to vox populi. The Corporate Madhouse. By Aleksander Jaskowiak. Excerpts: To make earnings (EPS) rise while revenue is falling, Ms Rometty has cut costs, sold business lines, fired employees, figured out creative accounting methods to lower IBM’s tax rate, bought back shares, and taken on loads of debt (with the latter one can claim that since debt was cheap you could use it to repurchase shares but with the QE policy nearing the end debt servicing costs are likely to go up soon). At the same time, sensing the industry’s “unprecedented change”, she started to steadily move towards cloud computing making it one of IBM’s strategic directions. Although IBM was alert to this shift, it failed to invest in it aggressively and proactively, and cloud-computing business now makes up only about 3 percent of the total revenue. Also, cloud computing has become a very crowded space with numerous and well entrenched competitors of all sizes determined to lower prices to keep their respective market shares on the march towards total commoditization as major players (Amazon, Google and Microsoft) have been ruthlessly slashing cloud prices, making cloud a razor-thin margin business. And historically, IBM is a firm that is quite used to making fat margins; it is not a business that feels comfortable at all in the thin-margin universe. One of the other major reasons IBM will not easily transform to the cost leadership (low price) industry is that it needs to support enormous byzantine administration that has grown immensely over the years – there are layers on layers of management in all conceivable reporting configurations known to the modern organization management theory. ...

    But still, why are such immense resources being allocated to stock repurchases (See Exhibit 1: since 2000 to date IBM has paid a staggering $150 BILLION for share repurchases almost twice what was spent on R&D during the same period)? Corporate executives give several motives but none of them has come close to the illuminating power of this simple reality: stock-based instruments and reward mechanisms constitute the majority of corporate executive remuneration, and in the short term (or as we can observe in case of IBM long-term, too) buybacks have this almost supernatural ability to drive up stock prices.

    In 2012 42% of the 500 highest-paid executives’ compensation came from stock options and 41% from stock awards (Source: William Lazonick, HBR, September 2014). By increasing the demand for a company’s shares (decreasing their number in the open market), open-market buybacks automatically lift its stock price, even if only temporarily, and can enable the company to hit quarterly earnings per share (EPS) targets (the denominator decreases, sometimes significantly – See Exhibit 1).

    In other words it is the executives themselves who repeatedly benefit from price increases generated by repurchases—by selling their personal shares after exercising stock options (generously awarded as part of their compensation packages) at attractive strike prices. And this is exactly what has been happening at IBM – execs continued to sell their shares almost immediately after exercising stock options. For those interested in the topic, Yahoo Finance provides a very comprehensive analysis of exec stock option transactions. Fascinating read! ...

    What should happen instead? This is a list (and it is by no means complete) of some major changes that I believe should happen fast if the Firm were to reinvent itself yet again:

    • Empower employees and stop treating them as “resources” — listen to vox populi; who can better understand the market needs than those who are serving customers in the local markets;
    • Give more autonomy to country organizations and country-level service heads (GBS/GTS) (pricing, product portfolio, local strategies);
    • Skim the administrative and bureaucratic machinery and simplify the decision making process;
    • Encourage cross-business unit collaboration;
    • Integrate the sales and delivery organizations - the two should understand each others' limitations and capacity (in the failed CIA cloud deal, the agency had serious reservations about the ability of IBM technology to scale in response to usage peaks and assessed the Company’s technical abilities as negligible favoring Amazon who won not on cost but on value proposition quality); ...
    • Review the cost cutting initiatives – cost is not the only determinant of success and all the cost cutting initiatives to date were triggered mostly by the $20 EPS objective;
    • Change C-suite and top management incentive systems from the stock options/stock awards based (which can lead to a temptation to manipulate stock price through massive stock repurchase programs) to that grounded in the long-term value creation KPIs;
    • Dump the “this-is-the-most-important-quarter-in-your-life” lenses through which every business opportunity is viewed and instead start to value opportunities through their long-term value creation potential; consequently, change the mid-level management incentives and KPIs to reflect the long-term view;
    • Discard stock repurchase programs immediately and channel the funds towards the most promising projects/programs/strategic acquisitions instead;
    • Bring in C-suite executives from outside the Firm just as it was done in the 1990s when the Firm went almost bankrupt and was saved by an outsider;
    • Revise and improve the M&A strategy – currently the Firm, otherwise a shrewd serial acquirer, focuses mostly on pushing the targets' products/services through its global distribution channels and sales force neglecting to nurture their inherent qualities and innovation capabilities; thus the acquisitions’ effects usually do not last long as targets, once acquired (usually with high acquisition premia), stop innovating and bringing new products and start losing the best people.

    IBM was a truly great and exceptional firm and it really breaks my heart to watch it slowly (and hopefully not yet inevitably) degrade and lose its cutting-edge competitive advantage. However I do believe that with some effort, determination, focus and open communication the ship can be saved. This ship is full of truly bright and courageous people who are the main asset this great Firm has ever had.

  • Seeking Alpha:

    IBM: Too Much Of A Debt Thing. By Ravi Bala. Excerpts: Even after a disappointing Q3, stagnant growth, and just overall underperformance, IBM still wants to buy back 5 billion dollars' worth of stock. ...

    The fact that IBM buys back shares is not a problem in itself. The problem is the approach IBM is using to buy back shares. It is using debt, not cash generated from its underlying business, because the underlying business is not performing well. ...

    Repurchasing shares decreases the equity outstanding. Since IBM's shares are not being funded from cash derived from its operations, its debt levels relative to equity levels have been increasing rapidly. That is why the chart below is a bit unsettling. ...

    IBM needs to stop repurchasing shares. It is already giving shareholders return in the form of dividends. It does not need to give the shareholders additional incentives to hold onto the company's stock.

    IBM needs to focus on the long-term perspective of the company — producing. IBM's focus on the short-term benefit of a high stock price may prove to be harmful going forward. It has to find some way to generate that revenue.

  • The Vancouver, Washington Columbian:

    IBM stuck in the ways of the 1950s. By Malcolm Berko. Excerpts: Dear Mr. Berko: Please tell me what you think about buying 100 shares of IBM. Our dentist (also a friend) has been in the market for over 25 years and strongly recommends the stock. He thinks that the new CEO will turn IBM around and that the price could jump 50 percent by late 2015. — B.E., Durham, N.C.

    Dear B.E.: I think your dentist is using too much nitrous oxide. ...

    IBM is a sales organization, and revenues from its three core businesses — services, software and hardware — are in a downward spiral. IBM is inflexibly huge, and in today’s environment, size doesn’t protect it from emerging long-term threats when customers change their buying habits. Imagine the time it takes for an aircraft carrier to make a 90-degree turn. IBM is like that aircraft carrier, and cloud computing is shifting the enterprise IT landscape, forcing IBM to make course changes. Because computer resources are increasingly delivered by cloud providers rather than traditional enterprise IT departments, the demand for IBM’s high-end servers and software has slowed to a crawl. Additionally, “software as a service” is gaining traction, forcing the middleware and systems management markets to make significant changes. And IBM’s mainframe market is disappearing as new virtualization technologies enable IT people to deploy and manage workloads via a collection of commodity x86 servers. Finally, customers’ appetite for multimillion-dollar IT systems hasn’t recovered from the Great Recession, and a recovery is not expected for a long time.

    Everything about this $90 billion-revenue (down from $107 billion in 2011) company is big. Big is safe — like having an elephant in bed with you — but heaven help you if it sneezes and rolls over. IBM’s stock price is down 50 points since Rometty took over in 2012. Revenues have declined for 10 consecutive quarters, and its historic businesses are fading. Still, IBM’s century-old culture hasn’t changed much. Big Blue is too inflexible to learn new dance steps, too huge to respond creatively to changes in the market, too labyrinthine to recognize the problem and find a repair consensus. IBM has more moving parts than a trainload of Swiss watches. The company looks synchronized on the outside (some managers wear golf shirts on weekends), but on the inside, its multilayer executive team is a blueprint for the Tower of Babel.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “IBM is a company full of dead wood and inept management and executives”

      Current Employee — Sales Specialist. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Great place to work a few years ago. Fair 401k and crummy benefits. Cons: Management—desperate people trying to prove their political worthiness to keep their positions. Advice to Senior Management: Retire. You've been at the company way too long and are now a liability.
    • "As an employee you mean nothing"

      Former Employee — Advisory Software Engineer. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: At one time it was a good place to work. They paid me.

      Cons: It became a terrible place to work and from what I understand not much has changed.

      • Had a backstabbing manager who screwed me over after detailing a family situation I was going through.
      • This company is concerned about one thing — the stock price and will do whatever it takes to inflate it.
      • Management did nothing but pay lip service and say that you had to understand the business.
      • Resource actions there should be illegal, but they operate just under the radar of the laws so that they don't get caught.
      • Was part of a resource action and six months later was contacted by a contracting company about my position under the manager who targeted me in the RA. Only good outcome to that was that his bean counting butt was shown the door.

      IBM has sold it's PC, retail and now server groups...what's left?

      Advice to Senior Management: Eventually you will be looking for another job. There are enough of us 'formers' out there that will hopefully influence companies to not hire you.

    • “Easy going with good work life balance”

      Current Employee — Data Specialist in Hyderābād (India). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: Good work/life balance and work from home.

      Cons: No salary hikes; talent not recognised. I was the top rater for consecutive two years but still had the same salary after three years of my joining with IBM. You will find HR only two times in your entire employment time in IBM: once you join the company, and once you leave it.

    • “Not enough care for the client”

      Current Employee — IT Specialist in Denver, CO. Pros: Stable, decent benefits. Work at home. Cons: No raises or bonuses in recent years. Headcount reductions due to stock price. I don't feel like they have the client's best interest in mind.
    • “Big Blue and lots of Red Tape!”

      Former Employee — Global Marketing in Dallas, TX. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 8 years).

      Pros: IBM does allow many people to work from home and this cuts down on the stress of traffic and enhances time with your family. Additionally, your peers are some of the most highly respected professionals in their area and it is easy to learn from them. IBM is a big brand name and that power opens doors into B2B clients and business partners.

      Cons: Higher management acts as if there hair is on fire and that you need to put it out! There is actually screaming in some business meetings as we are trying gain a common road. Decisions that are made at one meeting are undone at the next and you never know what decision to follow — makes it hard to "get it right".

    • “Dehumanizing”

      Current Employee — Senior Service Delivery Manager in Washington, DC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros: Some of the people with whom I worked were pros for this organization — some of my peers, the technical line staff, and occasionally an executive who understands the balance of delivering well with ensuring overdelivery is avoided. Executives take the manager's side on most manager-employee disputes.

      Cons: They offer very poor compensation vs. the market, and offer no consideration of work-life balance. People at sub-executive levels literally live in fear of "resource actions" that are executed annually to move more resources offshore for a (currently) favorable price model. Repositioning the truth to the customer to reflect internal changes in policy or strategy is commonplace.

      Advice to Senior Management: If you choose to work for them in this capacity, expect overwork (80-90 hours/week without a break for months and months on end). IBM promotes and encourages an overarching corporate drive to move all domestic resources offshore for no quality reasons, but to simply offer the customer a cheaper deal.

    • “Great people, but company needs to invest in future”

      Current Employee — Software Engineer. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Flexible work hours; very good peers with deep technical background. Cons: The company does not appear to invest in hiring enough new people in order to show they care about the future. Advice to Senior Management: Get back to basics and rebuild the business: good products, services, and a growing pool of talent. Stop worrying only about earnings per share and the stock price.
    • “Unexpectedly disappointing experience”

      Former Employee — Senior Consultant in Quezon City, National Capital Region (Philippines). I worked at IBM full-time (less than an year).

      Pros: Brand recognition. Competitive compensation. They have spacious office space.

      Cons:

      • I transferred to IBM because the company was known for its processes but it turns out the processes are just done on paper and nobody fully understands why it is done. Therefore, most of the time it does not add any value.
      • Irregular working hours
      • The Manila Delivery Center was very bureaucratic. Even though it is an international company, management is like a microcosm of the Philippine government. Disappointing, really.
      • For people thinking of transferring here, keep in mind it is mandatory to go to work on Regular Holidays. Regular Holiday pay mandated by the PH government does not apply, you only earn a Time in Lieu leave.
      • However, taking leaves like Time in Lieu, Vacation Leaves are discouraged. Most of the these benefits are forfeited to achieve the company's financial goal at the expense of the employee's time.

      Advice to Senior Management: Give value to giving back to your people. Consider 360 degrees performance review.

    • “Project allocation is really frustrating process”

      Current Employee — Applications Developer in Pune (India). I have been working at IBM full-time (less than an year).

      Pros: No compulsion to go to office if you are not allocated in a project.

      Cons: I have a very bad experience of getting allocated to project in IBM. Despite me telling my work location preferences I was assigned to distant office which was about 2 hours journey from my home. No proper interaction in office. You will feel like resigning in first month itself. Think thrice before joining this organization.

      Advice to Senior Management: Should follow proper procedure for new joinee.

    • “Mediocre”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: This place provides work flexibility. Cons: Not a place for innovation. Company lags behind in new technology. Advice to Senior Management: Please train your employees in new technology areas and consider it as an investment. It will pay out big time!
    • “IBM Brno — Czech Republic”

      Current Employee — IT Specialist in Brno (Czech Republic). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than an year.)

      Pros:

      • good start of career
      • great colleagues
      • if you will decide to do something else, you can move to other department
      • multicultural environment
      • ability to work on new projects

      Cons:

      • none benefits
      • none pay rise (what you will deal at beginning at interview you will get forever)
      • none paid team-buildings
      • managers do care about themselves not people; they will put you down just to go higher (even they are wrong)
      • cost center
      • company doesn't invest into people at all, high fluctuation
      • total chaos, nobody knows where to find what
      • their Global Delivery Framework (GDF) doesn't work at all in reality—it is their fatal mistake

      Advice to Senior Management: Realize that people makes money for company not useless greedy managers. So invest into them, into relation, education; people will be happy then working for IBM => customers will be then happy and not leaving IBM.

    • “Associate System Engineer”

      Current Employee — Systems Engineer in Chennai (India). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than an year).

      Pros: Less Work. Can work from home.

      Cons:

      • Very poor management. Managers are not good mentors here. They are still in 20th century
      • Pay scale is too low.
      • Growth is at snail's pace.
      • Personal space is invaded most of the times.
      • Productivity too low.
      • Can't think innovatively and your creativity is at all time low.
      • Have lots of managers for a single resource.
      • Stupid financial policies.
      • No perks/employee benefits of any kind except for the managers.
      • Workplace politics at the max.
      • Work Environment — non-conducive for learning
      • Don't expect hikes, you will never get it.
      • You can't expect peers to be decent and to behave like a professional.

      VERDICT: You be here, for sake of holding your job. If you can work here, you can work anywhere else.

      Advice to Senior Management: Are you blind?!

    • “Met the best people here, but you're just another cog in the wheel”

      Former Employee - Staff Software Engineer in San Jose, CA. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros: IBM is great for people with families. There is a lot of flexibility in your hours and when/where you work. You'll find some very smart people here, and I do have to say, most of my closest friends are from IBM, because they are just that nice. There's some flexibility in moving around the company and trying different roles.

      Cons: Everything here, salary/bonus, promotions are generally just a numbers game, whatever is available in the pool. Employees feel under appreciated. No more real perks like free coffee. Salary is more likely on the low end.

      Advice to Senior Management: Everything is just a numbers game now, and that gets passed from upper management all the way down, so I'm not sure how much can actually be done or changed.

    • “BAO practice”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros: Good domain and technology exposure. Work/life balance is good in most of projects (barring some exceptions). Very rich repository of techno/management training material that can avail at your pace. Very open internal social network for collaboration.

      Cons: No clear visibility on personal growth and promotion. IBM has blindly acquired many products and individual brand manager does not know how to handle various IBM brands to resolve client's business problem. This results in fragmented view of IBM in front of client.

      Office Culture is highly depended on team you are working with.

      Advice to Senior Management: IBM has tendency to acquire new products and companies from outside and then blue wash it. IBM should encourage home grown product and tool innovation.

    • “Employees are well cared for, but the organizational structure of the company is a disaster.”

      Current Employee — Designer in Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time (less than an year).

      Pros: Compensation and benefits are solid, lots of vacation, good insurance, and I'm working with an extremely talented team.

      Cons: The org structure prevents real work for getting done and there's constant pressure to help the company as it struggles. Despite promises and going above and beyond for my group, I've been blocked from promotion.

      Advice to Senior Management: There has to be more buy in from mid level secs for design thinking, or products are going to continue to fail. Give your employees a chance to grow a little in their careers instead of treating them like replaceable cogs.

    • “It WAS a Great Company”

      Current Employee — Maintenance Technician in Essex Junction, VT. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Time off; direct management trust and communication. Cons: Too many benefits removed or eroded in the last 10 years. Advice to Senior Management: Try to stabilize the work environment. Too many changes happening too fast.
    • “Closing the shop...”

      Former Employee — Services Sales Executive. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: Trying to understand what are those. Not even the image sells. Cons: Good people left. No one to deliver the business. Company ran by accountants. No vision on management. Advice to Senior Management: People come first.
    • “Bureaucratic mismanaged no-common sense monster

      ” Current Employee — BI Analyst in Bratislava (Slovakia). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros:

      • easy to get a job, basically speaking proper english and being communicative and friendly is enough
      • home office and flexible working hours
      • fully compensated sick leave
      • relatively safe employment (won't get fired easily)

      Cons:

      • no direction, only cost cutting and constant reorganization
      • -only way of growing is moving into middle management and brown nosing
      • promotions are just as little to keep you in, and doing lots of overtime next year again
      • -weak PCs, slow and buggy tools, lack of standard office & collaboration tools (excel)

      Advice to Senior Management: Figure out a way on how to lead technology again — or resign. Watson is totally incapable of delivering anything, and there are other systems that are years ahead (Google, Wolfram Alpha). All the talks are just the typical IBM way of selling inferior, incomplete, buggy systems with clever marketing and then blaming the customers for not delivering their part on the implementation.

  • Bloomberg BusinessWeek:

    The Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist. By Josh Eidelson. Along with temporary deportation relief for millions, President Obama’s executive action will increase the number of U.S. college graduates from abroad who can temporarily be hired by U.S. corporations. That hasn’t satisfied tech companies and trade groups, which contend more green cards or guest worker visas are needed to keep tech industries growing because of a shortage of qualified American workers. But scholars say there’s a problem with that argument: The tech worker shortage doesn’t actually exist.

    “There’s no evidence of any way, shape, or form that there’s a shortage in the conventional sense,” says Hal Salzman, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University. “They may not be able to find them at the price they want. But I’m not sure that qualifies as a shortage, any more than my not being able to find a half-priced TV.”

    The real issue, say Salzman and others, is the industry’s desire for lower-wage, more-exploitable guest workers, not a lack of available American staff. “It seems pretty clear that the industry just wants lower-cost labor,” Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, wrote in an e-mail. A 2011 review by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the H-1B visa program, which is what industry groups are lobbying to expand, had “fragmented and restricted” oversight that weakened its ostensible labor standards. “Many in the tech industry are using it for cheaper, indentured labor,” says Rochester Institute of Technology public policy associate professor Ron Hira, an EPI research associate and co-author of the book Outsourcing America.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 11/23/14:

    Received notice from my contracting company yesterday that for the month of December I'll be "receiving" a 28.5% per hour salary reduction. I'm not an IBM'er, just a subcontractor. -Albert-
  • Comment 11/23/14:

    Does not matter how many are resourced. The problems will persist as the management layer is dysfunctional. It needs to be streamlined. Just walk through Blue Pages and see how many VP's and executives there are. There is so much overlap and redundancy. -Ginny Tookus-
  • Comment 11/24/14:

    -Over55-, I was RA'd in March 2012 at age 57. I took the year of IBM-paid COBRA then paid for six months of COBRA myself. Instead of using FHA funds, my wife and I bought a "bronze" policy through the ACA exchange ("ObamaCare"). With only my pension check as income, we received a substantial assist with the monthly premium. That's the good news.

    The bad news is that with the exception of preventative care, the first $12,000 of medical expenses this year (and $14,000 next year) is completely out of pocket. It's really just catastrophic insurance; but, I'm grateful...before the ACA we couldn't have gotten private insurance, and the private insurance then available would still allow for us to be bankrupted in the case of a major expense like cancer. My strategy is to hope that the FHA funds stay in place, and then use them for Medicare supplemental insurance. -RA'd and Retired in 2012-

  • Comment 11/25/14:

    To -Big Bob- I know for a fact that there are first and second line and directors who worked for different divisions in IBM that have had no college degrees and some of them have no college courses at all. I could name who they are but I won't. IBM management is made up of the good old boy network and politics. That is the trouble with IBM management. No respect for the employees and constantly wanting to give the employees the shaft. IBM management is in desperate need of a union. -Big Don-
  • Comment 11/26/14:

    As a portfolio in GTS, I see that a major restructuring is coming to Brazil in 1st quarter. Do you know what GTS new director plans for Brazil? The morale here is too slow. It seems that IBM is inducing employees to ask for the pink slip in order to avoid more severances. The new H.R. tool has an option for the employee to request on how to ask to go and leave company. I never seen that in my whole life working with so many USA companies? Someone from Brazil to share some light here? -sabrinaty-
  • Comment 11/26/14:

    IBM GTS UK (formerly ITS) have announced a consultation period today. -AngryMan-
  • Comment 11/27/14:

    As far as first line managers and lack of education go. Many...many are in a technical management position without a lick of technical background and little other education either. The issue is with me (I'm in a tech position) is my manager just doesn't "get" the issues we have to deal with. She's so into charts and graphs, that's all that counts...not how to manage our workload in an intelligent way. -Vermonter-
  • Comment 11/28/14:

    No matter how many shrines IBM builds in NYC to promote the Watson Platform, or delve into CAMSS, it is bound to fail. One thing I noticed about business is that there are basic fundamental things that have to be in place for business to succeed long term such as respect for the employee and honourable management. IBM management is juvenile in thinking Cloud and Watson will save them without fixing fundamental, cultural and organizational problems. Thinking about the intangibles and fixing them takes intelligence and hurts the brain. It is easier to put together a fancy website.

    Also Cloud is a race to the bottom. Watson technology will be made redundant by other entrants that will come forth and dominate. IBM will not be able to compete with them. Like the city of New Orleans, it has serious, fundamental problems that need to be taken care of but ignored such as corruption and injustice. This is my opinion only. -foo-

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.