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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—December 27, 2014

  • Wall Street Journal:

    IBM Is One Week Away from Dow Infamy. By Kevin Kingsbury. Excerpts: International Business Machines has been making a go of it lately, rebounding 7.8% from last week’s low and adding 75 points to the Dow Jones Industrial Average in that time amid the index’s 1,000-point pop since last Wednesday to 18000.

    However, Big Blue’s shareholders remain, well, blue. Last week’s low was also its lowest level since January 2011, and IBM remains the DJIA’s worst performer of 2014 with a 13.5% drop—all of it since the Dow first closed above 17000 on July 3 and equal to a 168-point ballast on the index since then. The index’s second-weakest stock this year has been Chevron with an 8.8% decline.

    As such, IBM is just a week away from some infamy—becoming the first Dow component to be bottom of the barrel in consecutive years since now-departed Bethlehem Steel in 1995 and 1996. So unless oil swoons anew or big company-specific news comes the next week, IBM is set to join that club.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • IBM's whole approach can be summed up as selling some family silverware every year and taking on debt to to it. Eventually, the cupboard is bare.
    • When a fish smell it smells from the head down. IBM has done very little for shareholders over the past 4 or five years. Unfortunately, Rometty is not up to and has never been up to the task of leading this once technological giant and R&D powerhouse.

      Watson and Watson Jr. would be turning in their graves over the goings on at IBM over the past few years. As an IBM shareholder of over 15 years, I say it's about time the board did something before it is well and truly too late.

  • Benzinga:

    Did A 'Ginormously Huge' SEC Probe Contribute To IBM's Recent Earnings Miss? By John P. Gavin. Excerpts: IBM’s recent earnings disappointment may have been influenced by a massive SEC investigation that ended only this year combined with a festering Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) SEC probe that remains ongoing.

    Management may still be adjusting to potential changes triggered by both recent and on-going SEC scrutiny. If so, earnings visibility for the company could easily be a challenge until this gets further along. ...

    Disclosures made by IBM in just the past 18 months point to SEC pressure in two areas: A festering FCPA probe that appears ongoing and investigation in May 2013 into how IBM reports cloud revenue, which was concluded in May-2014. The company reports the cloud revenue investigation was concluded without the SEC taking enforcement action.

  • Business Insider:

    IBM's Stock Is About To Hit An Embarrassing Milestone. By Julie Bort. Excerpt: Unless something magical happens between now and the end of the year, or oil stocks go into another tailspin, IBM is on track to be the worst performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average two years running, writes Kevin Kingsbury in a column for the Wall Street Journal.
  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Account Executive”

      Current Employee — Account Executive in New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: IBM truly has global reach, which if used to one's advantage can be very exciting. They also feature many, many talented employees. Cons: Senior leadership is sociopathic and is looting the company. There is no other way to describe it. IBM is dying. It will take a long, long time to die, but the disease is called incompetence and I'm afraid it's terminal. Advice to Senior Management: Sociopaths don't take advice.
    • “IBMers mostly work together well but put in an extraordinary amount of time which limits the work/life balance”

      Current Employee — Program Director in Raleigh, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: The people are generally fantastic. Many folks are very talented and will work incredibly long hours to deliver what is asked of them. Cons: Unfortunately, IBMers are spread so thin that although they may know what they would like to do, many IBMers don't feel like they can spend the time to complete their deliverables and help everyone else.
    • “Good resume padder for recent graduates, don't overstay your welcome”

      Current Employee — Financial Analyst in Rochester, MN. I have been working at IBM full-time (less than an year).

      Pros: *You get an alright entry level experience of financial planning and analysis for a Fortune 30 company. *Great networking opportunities and you work with some incredible and brilliant people. *Awesome work life balance, but at the cost of performing unfulfilling humdrum work. *You get really good at Ping Pong, and they have a private disc golf course on site that is top quality.

      Cons:

      • Rochester COE has no room for advancement. Your promotions = greater workload for the same pay. While there are boundless opportunities within the company at large, COE's are viewed as back office support roles and there is no clear progression to advance within finance or even horizontally transfer to a different location or country.
      • IBM is at the cutting edge of IT, some of the growth initiatives are amazingly exciting and progressive (i.e. Watson) but the COE is too far detached from the excitement of overall company. Aside from the occasional meeting or education initiative you forget that you are even working for an top IT company.
      • IBM doesn't practice what they preach; we sell Cognos TM1 and BI software to our GBS clients yet Financial Analysts are forced to use archaic and outdated systems, software and tools.
      • While IBM looks good on your resume, your day-to-day tasks and skills are so limited in scope and specialized specifically to IBM and your role, that you don't personally develop many transferable skills.
      • "Restlessly Reinvent" is a ruse — every aspect of IBM is inefficient and there isn't much room to challenge this status quo.
      • Full Time FA salary for Rochester MN, COE = $41,000 — even with cost of living adjustment this is significantly low compared to the market.
      • *Understand what you're getting yourself into as a Financial Analyst — I took this role as a co-op while I finished my last class required to graduate and then went directly into a full time role because I lacked substantial internship experience. It is a good experience in that you learn what jobs you don't want to turn into your career. If you are content with putting in your hours and performing unimportant work than it is a safe gig, but if you're a go getter I wouldn't suggest staying for over a year.
    • “Sinking ship”

      Current Employee — Senior Consultant in Rome (Italy). Pros: Good salary. Little to do apart fight to survive. Cons: Horrible management. Terror in the workshop; low skills. Advice to Senior Management: None.
    • “No pay rises or bonuses or praise for many years. A tech company run by money grabbing accountants”

      Current Employee — Senior Software Engineer in London, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Great history and good people. Cons: Tech company run by accountants who don't understand what made IBM successful. Advice to Senior Management: Invest in people and reap the the rewards. Stop the them and us attitude and stop being so greedy. Should be customer then employees then shareholder then execs not the other way round
    • “Medical benefits keep being eroded, year after year.”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: They expect, and pay for, high performing employees. Most "education" is informal, learning from peers.

      Cons: The medical benefits are worsening, year after year. The cost to the employee goes up, and the coverage goes down. For some common medications, Medicare offers better coverage. I suspect that is kind of where the medical benefits are headed: to the Affordable Care Act, with the employee's portion subsidized by IBM. That'll suck.

    • “Sales — good training but they just didn't care.”

      Former Employee — Enterprise Sales in Dallas, TX. I worked at IBM full-time (more than an year).

      Pros: The training for sales is the best in the business. Strong team and IBM provided adequate time to take the training. Sales compensation was average at best.

      Cons: Lack of support — everything is "on your own" to figure out. You get 5-page emails to set up your phone and no support if it doesn't work. Hopefully you have a friend that can help you out. Antiquated systems — the forecasting solution is a joke. It's still Excel based, way too complicated, and you spend a great deal of time trying to figure out why numbers don't match no teamwork — there is no sense of team. None. Most of the team is made up of "B" and "C" players just trying to "get by" and find a role where they can "hide" for a year or two.

      Advice to Senior Management: Act like you care about your team. When I was at IBM it was all about numbers and sucking up to the management team that was in charge at the time. It seemed like performance, integrity, and teamwork were lost concepts.

    • “Not a special place to work anymore.”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Good company to work outside the US. Cons: Cost cutting, no new products, no more innovation.
    • “IBM is not recommended.”

      Current Employee — Administrative Assistant in Rockville, MD. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than an year). Pros: I honestly have no good things to report about working for IBM. I do not recommend working for this company. Cons: Disorganized place that disrespects its employees. Too large to give employees individual attention. Even though this is a high-tech company they still give their employees very outdated, failing computers.
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 12/20/14:

    My sympathies to those having to endure very difficult times at IBM, especially during the holidays. Wishing everyone a better 2015! -xibmr-
  • Comment 12/22/14:

    Please take the IBM Alumni Survey to try to make a difference. The survey is legitimate! Find the survey at https://feedback.clearpicture.com/IBM_Alumni_LI It was originally posted on LinkedIn and then made its way to the IBMPENSION Group at Yahoo.com. -IBMSurveyTaker-
  • Comment 12/22/14:

    IBM management has lost all honor and integrity to their employees. All executives care about in IBM is their stock options and golden parachutes. Isn't it strange but IBM executives have a contract and yet are totally against the rank and file having a contract. The days of full employment and respect for the individual are long gone in IBM. There will continue to be RAS over the holidays, IBM employees will continue to have lousy Christmases after loosing their jobs, but IBM executives and their families will continue to have great Christmas on the backs of IBM employees. Join the union to stop this corruption. Join the Union -join the union-
  • Comment 12/25/14:

    I don't understand Warren Buffet. He is supposed to be some mid-western goody goody yet still takes part in investment management that deprives us of our jobs and livelihoods for the love of money. Its all "counter twisted" and hypocritical. These people kill our pensions, steal our wealth and throw us on the street and then take all the money they amassed and donate it on aids research for the third world when they retire. Rob Peter and and pay Paul is bit stupid and counter intuitive. What's the point? Why not start with charity here and stop robbing me and depriving me of my livelihood in the first place. Charity and good will starts here at home. Idiots. -non-Warren-
  • Comment 12/27/14:

    Once again I see someone asking how to volunteer for a separation package. It's easy. Find another job. Then give IBM the old 1 over 5. Middle finger raised then a wave as you walk out the door. Staying and not doing something to fix what makes you unhappy is a lot like staying tied to the whipping post, because eventually the person whipping you will tire out and ask you to leave. Not going to happen. Organize to make working conditions more acceptable. Find another job and walk out the door with dignity or wait for Corporate America to take mercy on you. BTW...The third one will never happen. -Exodus2007-
  • Comment 12/28/14:

    "Is there a way to volunteer for a separation package?" Answer: It's too late, the lists have already been drawn up. But to really answer your question, you have to have a good relationship with your FLM and you have to be in a situation where you are able to make out that if you leave it will not break things. -How_To_Volunteer-
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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