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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—January 31, 2015

  • USA Today:

    Despite lackluster performance, IBM's Rometty gets $3.6 million bonus. Excerpts: IBM CEO Virginia Rometty spurned an annual bonus in 2013, disappointed by the company's performance. Despite a lackluster 2014, she'll pocket a $3.6 million bonus for the year.

    Bonuses to Rometty and senior managers are coming despite a fiscal year in which net income fell 7% to $15.6 billion, revenue dropped 6% to $92.8 billion and Big Blue ending the year with another black eye - its 11th straight quarter of revenue declines and a year-over-year 14% drop in its shares.

    But in a securities filing Friday, Big Blue said Rometty earned a $3.6 million incentive payout, on top of $1.6 million salary, $5 million incentive target and stock worth $13.3 million for 2014. ...The company did not detail why bonuses were awarded, but a fuller disclosure about management compensation will be detailed in IBM's 2015 proxy, due out in April. ...

    Among other executives, CFO Martin Schroeter will receive a 2014 bonus worth nearly $740,000. Steven Mills, head of software and systems, will get $703,500, senior vice president John Kelly will receive nearly $800,000 and general counsel Robert Weber, now employed as a senior adviser, will pocket $737,000.

  • Seeking Alpha:

    IBM hikes Rometty's compensation for 2015. Excerpt: The pay hike follows a 2014 in which IBM's dividend-adjusted stock price fell 12%, and its EPS and free cash flow respectively declined 1% and 18% amid top-line pressures that cut across hardware, software, and services. The year also saw Big Blue pull its $20 2015 EPS target.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • As a shareholder I do not think this is deserved. And how was 90% of the potential bonus for 2014 reached with the performance of last year?
    • This shows a total lack of accountability. In what other IBM job can you get a raise after 11 bad quarters? Ginni had 3 years to catch the Cloud market segment and to monetize the Watson Jeopardy victory (which happened 4 or 5 years ago). And she certainly didn't negotiate a great deal in divesting the chip fabrication business.

      IBM has a great employee base, some good technology and should be thriving. Yet, while employees get artificially low performance appraisals and/or laid off, Ginni gets a pat on the back, a bonus and a raise.

    • I am very pleased and happy for Ginni. Good for her.

      All this negativity and drum beating represents the pack bully mentality. This type of vitriol and angst against her is disturbing.

      If you actually took into account Ginni's long standing career with IBM, her knowledge base, her leadership skills in sales and management and her courage to do those things that most men and women would be squeamish to do, I find her salary to be reasonable and well earned.

      The board is also made up of some extraordinary and highly talented individuals. They all did not suddenly drop on their heads and say "you know what...let's give Ginni a raise so we can antagonize a few misogynists today." No in fact it was well thought out and carefully reviewed and challenged internally with the appropriate level of reviews taking place.

      When you can walk in the shoes of Ginni, lead a sales force the size of IBM, make the hard decisions and take all the flack, then and only then have you earned a seat at the table to have a rationale and business respectful discussion.

      Where ever you all are today, I wish for you to all have unbridled success in life and business. Lets stop being negative and start looking at being more positive.

    • Absurd. Won't be surprised if they will announce another pay freeze for their regular employees.
    • Loosing shareholders money, firing thousands of employees, clients abandoning the company like rats from the Titanic, and giving top management bonuses. IBM management is giving the middle finger to everyone. I can't think of a more disgusting and insulting organisation. Corruption reigns at Big Blue.
    • An excellent strategy Ginni could employ is to reject the raise to show solidarity with the workforce and demonstrate that she is in it with them.
    • Not sure how she managed to earn that bonus last year. Hope the cash flow and EPS targets set a reasonably high standard, rather than vesting on a 10% decline.

  • Computerworld:

    IBM may be preparing for a round of job cuts. IBM's workforce globalization plan isn't boosting U.S. staff. By Patrick Thibodeau. Excerpts: IBM tries to keep its layoffs out of the public eye as much as possible, although it fails miserably at this. The company took the unusual step of denying that it was on the cusp of a gigantic layoff amid reports of a possible new round of job cuts that may begin this week.

    The Alliance at IBM, a Communications Workers of America local, is expecting another round of layoffs, and late Tuesday said some employees have received "urgent requests" to meet with managers Wednesday. The alliance, which is informed by its IBM employee members, has a solid track record of signaling what's coming.

    Adding to the layoff concerns are reports the alliance received from employees that evaluation scores for some are being lowered. The evaluation process is "used more as a hammer to force people out of the company," said Lee Conrad, the national coordinator for the alliance. This year's evaluation process "seems to have a little more urgency to it," he said.

    Other than to slap away what it sees as erroneous reports about possible job actions, IBM won't comment on whether there will be layoffs this week or any other. It doesn't talk about its workforce actions. When it does have layoffs, it will point to new jobs added and thousands of open job postings to explain that when it makes cuts it is a "rebalancing." But with IBM, there's a lot more going on.

  • Dubuque Telegraph-Herald:

    State: 202 positions cut at IBM in Dubuque. By Jessica Reilly. Excerpts: More than 200 workers at IBM’s Dubuque facility will lose their jobs next month. The company informed workers today of a “permanent mass layoff event” of 202 employees at the company’s Dubuque facility, according to state economic development officials. A statement from Iowa Workforce Development said the layoffs would become effective Feb. 27.

    Rick Dickinson, president and CEO of Greater Dubuque Development Corp., estimated the move drops IBM’s employment in Dubuque to between 600 and 650 workers — about half of the jobs the company reached during its peak employment of 1,300 in the fall of 2011. ...

    “We are keeping the commitments we have made to Dubuque. That is not an issue,” said Clint Roswell, director of external communications for IBM North America, during a brief phone call with TH Media. “We need to remix and re-balance our (workforce) skills to keep up with the transformation in the industry that is going on.” ...

    Several IBM employees who contacted TH Media this afternoon said they were among the workers terminated. They declined to provide their names, with one noting that employees were told they would lose their severance packages if they spoke to the media.

  • Rochester Post-Bulletin:

    Has IBM slipped from Rochester's second-largest employer? By Jeff Kiger. Excerpts: While there is no way to confirm how many IBM employees were cut as part of a company-wide layoff, it appears that Big Blue can no longer be listed as Rochester's second largest employer.

    Insiders have confirmed layoffs were underway in Rochester Wednesday, possibly continuing into today. Always silent about employee issues, IBM is continuing its 7-year-old tradition of not discussing layoff numbers.

    Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the pro-union group Alliance@IBM, said Wednesday afternoon that only one report had come in to his organization so far. A Rochester IBM employee sent a note that stated: "Management confirmed report of 975 being let go in Rochester, Minn., today and tomorrow. Sad, Sad, Sad." ...

    Prior to the start of this week's layoffs, an IBM employee filtered the internal company-wide employee directory from the "Bluepages" intranet through a spread sheet to calculate how many work in Rochester. The tally came out at 2,300 full-time IBM employees. A similar calculation came out at 2,740 in November 2013. The calculation was duplicated by two other employees. ...

    IBM was the city's top employer for much of the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1966, Mayo Clinic tied it, when each employed 3,600 workers. Mayo pulled ahead in 1967 with 3,850 employees compared to IBM's 3,800. Mayo Clinic has since lapped IBM many times, particularly in recent decades.

  • CNBC:

    IBM Announces Services Centre in UK, Creating up to 300 New Tech Roles. Excerpts: IBM today announced a new services centre in the City of Leicester, UK that will create up to 300 new IT roles over the next three years for the next generation of workers, enabling IBM to extend its delivery of an industry leading range of technology services to UK based IBM clients.

    The newly established IBM Services Centre: Leicester, a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM, will provide UK based IBM clients with high value application development and maintenance, test and systems management services that address the increasing demand for flexible software capability. These services will help UK based businesses harness the benefits of Cloud, Big Data Analytics, Mobile, Social and Security technologies. ...

    "This investment in job creation aims to inspire the next-generation workforce from local technical colleges and universities who will deliver the technology skills needed to drive business innovation in the UK," said David Stokes, Chief Executive, IBM UK and Ireland. "The new centre will help to position Leicester as a hub for global businesses and reflects IBM's long-standing commitment to developing skills and providing high-value technology services to business across the UK." ...

    Source: IBM

  • The Register:

    IBM to cut '118k jobs worldwide' – report claims. By Paul Kunert. Excerpts: IBM is reportedly planning to jettison 118,000 workers to counter 11 quarters of declining sales and the impact of shifting industry demand – which, if true, would make it one of the biggest corporate culls on record. ...

    Well-placed industry sources told us job cuts were inevitable, and could be substantial, potentially nearing the scale of HP’s mass redundancy programme that will eventually see 55k people leave by the end of 2015. ...

    The mega lay-off is to accelerate the transformation of the business, and staff around the globe will this week get offered redundancy packages, and leave the organisation by the end of next month, the report claimed. This would dwarf IBM’s most significant job cutting manoeuvre on record: it axed 60,000 heads in 1993.

    The very effort required in getting more than 100k people out of the door by the end of next month sounds like a mission impossible, and, IF correct, a recipe for disaster for both channel partners and customers. ...

    According to the Endicott Alliance, an IBM employee organisation, there is no information to confirm the 100k plus redundancies and it urged some media caution. “But as you all know, anything can happen at IBM… and this is the time of year that IBM cuts jobs.” We called IBM but it refused to comment, branding the job cuts as mere “speculation”.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • It's getting sad now. As an ex-IBMer, having seen it all from inside, this is getting sad now.

      That said, I'm sure that about 50-75% of those could be middle managers going, and the company wouldn't even notice. Of the people I had to deal with about 10-15% were the workers and the rest were management, its was pretty stupid.

      For example to get a new network run into our site, there were 4 managers from networks involved (for those insiders it was a red/yellow network, so you can just imagine!), 2 group managers, 2 from IT, then 3 of us doing the actual work... so that's 8 managers for 3 people!

      Death of 1000 Spreadsheets we called it as all of them had things that had to be done in order (steps 1,2,3,4,5 — heaven help you if you did 1 and 2 then tried to skip ahead to 5 because 3 and 4 didn't matter - still had to show you did 3 and 4 even if they were NULL Ops).

      It took 18 months for 1 line.

      Compare that to where I am now... call up Telco, get quote, sign off, have my network guy turn up on site the day of. I think the last network drop took 33 days mostly because we didn't push AT&T too hard to get it turned up.

      Still it was job security because I was on a one-year project that took 3 years to get done. And the upper level managers were not surprised because that was always how things overran.

    • There's no way that IBM is going to get all this done in a month. They're laying off 1/4 of the company. Just the planning meetings to do that and rationalize office space, corporate property left behind by former employees/users, benefits packages, etc. will take a month or more. Much less the business continuity aspects—"What do you mean we layed off the whole team supporting account X and didn't have a succession team in place?"

      It will take several months I am sure.

      Also, let me say that I had a contract about 10 years ago at IBM's Almaden research lab, and you could see the changes coming then. Half the facility had been sold to Hitachi, along with IBM's hard drive business. I understand that investments in R&D can be hard to monetize, but you could see that the knives were out for what was once one of corporate America's and the tech industry's greatest research arms.

    • Re: There's no way that IBM is going to get all this done in a month. You assume there *is* planning and there *is* consideration of the impact to customers. Not from what happened last time. Or recently when we culled contractors. Boom - essential or critical people, out the door, no apparent logic, mid project, mid negotiation, didn't matter. Customer's response - WTF IBM, how are we supposed to do business with you.

      But still, compliance records and audits demand a third of our time, rework due to underskilled global resources requires a third of our time and reporting the same shit to management, their management, some sideways management, regional management, and 'execs' (fuck knows what they actually contribute, nothing at all as far as I can see) takes up most of the rest.

      And we have a 'cost problem'. WELL DUH. Dumbasses.

    • Stock buybacks are the only thing that matters. Not growth, not profit, just artificially boosting shareholder value in the short to mid term. Signed, Ten years of clueless IBM executive management.
    • Re: the key to success. But all these “shareholder friendly” maneuvers have been masking an ugly truth: IBM’s success in recent years has been tied more to financial engineering than actual performance.

      That became readily apparent Monday morning when the company announced its earnings, missing analysts’ expectations by a wide margin. The stock fell more than 7 percent to $169.10 by the end of the day, below the average price Mr. Buffett paid since he started buying the stock in 2011.

      The company’s revenue hasn’t grown in years. Indeed, IBM’s revenue is about the same as it was in 2008.

      But all along, IBM has been buying up its own shares as if they were a hot item. Since 2000, IBM spent some $108 billion on its own shares, according to its most recent annual report. It also paid out $30 billion in dividends. To help finance this share-buying spree, IBM loaded up on debt.

      While the company spent $138 billion on its shares and dividend payments, it spent just $59 billion on its own business through capital expenditures and $32 billion on acquisitions. (To be fair, Ms. Rometty has been following a goal set by her predecessor, Samuel J. Palmisano, to return $20 a share to stockholders by 2015. Ms. Rometty abandoned it only on Monday.)

      All of which is to say that IBM has arguably been spending its money on the wrong things: shareholders, rather than building its own business.

  • Financial Times:

    IBM sales in 11th straight fall amid business revamp. By Hannah Kuchler. Excerpts: IBM reported a decline in revenues for the 11th consecutive quarter on Tuesday, as it tries to divest unprofitable businesses and focus on cloud computing, big data and cyber security. ...

    Despite the overall decline last year, Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman and chief executive, said the company’s “strategic” businesses of cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security grew 16 per cent in 2014 to represent 27 per cent of revenue. These businesses are forecast to grow in double digits next year, the company said.

    That message may play well on Wall Street, but it's not as likely to inspire IBM customers, cow competitors trying to steal market share, or attract the kind of top-drawer talent the company needs to prevail in new areas.

  • InformationWeek:

    IBM Can't Shrink Its Way To Greatness. By Doug Henschen. Excerpts: IBM did a lot to reposition its business in 2014, unloading a customer-care business process outsourcing business, selling its x86 server business to Lenovo, and paying GlobalFoundries (that's right, paying) $1.5 billion in cash to take microchip manufacturing plants in New York and Vermont off its hands. These three businesses drove $7 billion in revenue in 2013, but they also lost about $500 million in pre-tax profit.

    "While we certainly have a smaller business in terms of revenue -- with the divestitures also reducing the number of IBM employees -- it is a higher-value, higher-margin business, and within that we are continuing to remix our skills," said Martin Schroeter, IBM's CFO, in a conference call with financial analysts.

  • Seeking Alpha:

    IBM: A Ship That Is Taking On Water. By Josh Arnold. Excerpts: Tech dinosaur IBM came out on Tuesday with its quarterly confession that it is a dying business and the results spurred investors to do what they always do with IBM results - sell. IBM is suffering mightily from irrelevance and years of blind mismanagement and the results have shown exactly what everyone already knew; this business is in a lot of trouble. But you don't have to take my word for it, just have a look at this chart. ...

    When I last looked at IBM I called the company direction less as the stock continues to lag virtually everything, including the major indices. My gripe at the time was that IBM's years of trying to game the system through financial engineering has left a business with no strategy or purpose other than to try and produce free cash flow that can reduce the share count and boost EPS. It's as though IBM's management doesn't realize they're running a business. It seems to be a game to them to try and engineer their way to EPS growth. But it still isn't working.

  • Forbes:

    Next Week's Bloodbath At IBM Won't Fix The Real Problem. By Robert X. Cringely. Excerpts: I’ve been hearing since before Christmas about Project Chrome, the code name for what has been touted to me as the biggest reorganization in IBM history. Well, Project Chrome is finally upon us, triggered I suppose by this week’s announcement of an 11th consecutive quarter of declining revenue for IBM. Project Chrome is bad news, not good. Customers and employees alike should expect the worst.

    To fix its business problems and speed up its “transformation,” next week about 26 percent of IBM’s employees will be getting phone calls from their managers. A few hours later a package will appear on their doorsteps with all the paperwork. Project Chrome will hit many of the worldwide services operations. The USA will be hit hard, but so will other locations. IBM’s contractors can expect regular furloughs in 2015. One in four IBMers reading this column will probably start looking for a new job next week. Those employees will all be gone by the end of February. ...

    Response from IBM (via its Hong Kong office’s blog):

    IBM does not comment on rumors or speculation. However, we’ll make an exception when the speculation is stupid. That’s the case here, where an industry gadfly is trying to make noise about how IBM is about to lay off 26 percent of its workforce. That’s over 100,000 people, which is totally ludicrous.

    The fact is that IBM already announced, after 3Q earnings report, that the company would take a $600 million charge for restructuring. That’s several thousand people. Not 10,000, or 100,000. Moreover, IBM currently has job postings for more than 10,000 professionals worldwide, with more than half of them in growth areas such as cloud, analytics, security and mobile technologies. IBM’s new cloud leader, Senior Vice President Robert LeBlanc, told Fortune this week that IBM has plans to hire 1,000 cloud professionals.

    A little perspective on IBM’s earnings is in order. The company still makes huge profit… $21 billion in operating pre-tax profit last year. And IBM’s “strategic imperatives” represent 27% ( and growing ) of the company’s total revenue… $25 billion in revenues, up 16 percent. We have high growth in a substantial portion of the portfolio, and those areas (CAMSS) have better-than-normal margins in areas that matter most to clients today — that’s the heart of the IBM transformation.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • This guy must be the fly on the wall at IBM. He’s nailed everything right on the head, and not afraid to report it like most other reporters that write things to stay in the nice graces of IBM.
    • WOW…I’d love to know where you get your information from as I feel it is totally inaccurate. You must have a personal vendetta against IBM to write an article like this. IBM’s reported earnings for 2014 was $92B. Hardly the sinking ship you portray. My opinion is IBM is on the right path of making sure their solutions meet the business outcomes their clients need. My experience has been that IBM has always put the client first, and am confident they continue to transform to be sure that continues.
    • Right. And Enron is about to knock it out of the park too. Just one more quarter, honest.
    • My attitude is that we are indeed aboard a sinking ship, and that leadership is completely blind to the true issues. For far too long this company has been in the business of selling stock while creating the illusion that it’s truly innovating. The truth is that our profit has largely been generated by accounting tricks, and now that those are running out we’re going to cut a quarter of the workforce. There’s no doubt that there’s plenty of fat to be cut here, but I do doubt that IBM will be effective in making those cuts. My suspicion is that those who make it through this action will find themselves even more lacking in the necessary resources to successfully execute. Given how much resources have already been slashed, that sounds like a terrible move to me.
    • Let me tell you this. I was working at IBM in 2009 when I received an email directive from the head of HR stating that reporting policy was changing and individual countries would no longer report headcount. Headcount would only be reported globally. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that IBM was closing the shutters on the windows to prevent the public from seeing the carnage that was about to happen inside.

      So with the upcoming Project Chrome, all we may ever know is a headline number. (and based on their history of honesty, even that may not be accurate). The sad thing is that IBM will hide true human cost and the impact on local communities.

      While I sympathise with the IBMers going through this (and I don’t wish for this to happen), IBM’s decline and ultimate failure is a matter of justice. A company can’t treat its employees, clients and general public this way and expect to stay in business.

    • Don’t let IBM pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. After the dust settles, we’re going to hear about employees who where laid off, but we’ll also hear about those that decided to retire and those that decided “voluntarily” to leave IBM. People are in the process of being FIRED right now. They’re being told their performance ratings have dropped because of some subjective reasons. Those folks are given a choice to voluntarily separate from the company or try to improve their performance. The standards to improve are set up for the employee to fail so the employee takes the voluntary separation package. For those that are eligible to retire within the year they can separate with a package and be put on a retirement bridge. They are then considered retired.

      So, IBM will mostly spin a low number of Layoffs when in fact they are forcing a lot of people out through some very underhanded tactics. There is vary large population of employees that are going through this now. The announcement on the 28th, if it occurs, will only be about those folks being laid off… not about those folks being forced out to take retirement or voluntary separation because of “performance”. reasons. How do i know this? Because i’m of those people who has been targeted and will separate (“retire”) next week “voluntarily” IBM was once a great company, great to work for. Today, i wouldn’t recommend anyone work there.

    • As an IBM employee for a decade now what I find it insane is that every time the CEO and the senior executive leadership team fails to make shareholder expectations they pretend to be doing something by restructuring …aka laying off employee’s..and changing division names in IBM. What is even more insane is why the key shareholders put up with this nonsense. Obviously like any leadership team if they do not produce results, for sure after 11 straight quarters in a role..you would think they would ask the CEO Ginny Rometty and her senior leadership to step down. Obviously what they are doing ins’t working and they need fresh leadership. Instead great employees and visionaries that make IBM great are being fired and the guts of the company are being ripped apart…what a mess
    • First, you can tell that IBM is desperate to control the situation (as the author posits) when an official uses the word “stupid”. This is not the IBM I knew. Second, the only vision that the baby boom generation of IBM executives have for their business comes in their LSD flashbacks. Third, the company was founded by someone that understood employees and said something to the effect… “If we take care of the employees, they will take care of our customers.” He also said, “A good manager is a dime a dozen, but a good employee is very hard to find.”

      IBM has done a wonderful job making employees work harder than Nordstrom does with 80 and 100 hour weeks, no weekends off in a year, no vacation, yet spouting the “work life balance” party line. IBM managers make a habit of insulting the legitimacy of employee’s children and on and on. The place is a known hell hole and a snake pit. It deserves to die at this point. It started to die, when it started to be managed by MBAs. When it was run by engineers and engineers that were amateur accountants the company was riding high. This is Stouffers and Howard Johnson’s replayed.

    • Been hearing rumors of this for a long time before I got out. When you do stuff like rubber stamp a $250k blog redesign, $50k a month hosting for one website, redundant hiring for the same position (at least three VPs were announced every month in my group), and have the program manager for digital and social ask you what a blog was (for real), maybe you’re in trouble. IBM has been top heavy for a long time and instead of trimming the exec suite they’re going to kick themselves in the shorts.
    • Where have you folks been for the last 3+ years? IBM has been systematically laying off large numbers of folks on the down-low for years. I believe this author published information years ago about IBM’s goal of laying off 85% of it’s workforce by the end of 2015 with the goal, among others, of increasing the stock dividend. I am a former IBMer, having been laid off in April, 2009, during the last big layoff.

      I have been in touch with folks at IBM since that time; what used to be complete departments of 10-20 people is now 1 or 2 people in their 300mm manufacturing line in East Fishkill, NY. Same/same with the folks I have contacted at their Essex Junction (Burlington), VT manufacturing plant.

      IBM used to believe in it’s employees and the folks that made IBM what it is (or was), but for some time the accountants and lawyers have been running the company and that is all over. Tom Watson, Sr. must be spinning like a top in his grave. All of the most talented engineers, programmers and technicians that built this company have been discarded as “overhead”, while the Executive management get promoted and many more perks as the “resource” count continues to drop. It is really sad.

      IBM used to be a world-class company. No more. I am really happy that I got out of there, involuntarily as it was, when I did.

    • For all of IBM’s strong protesting that Cringley’s 26% forecast is incorrect, they will struggle to disprove it. IBM has out-smarted itself by deliberately reporting only global workforce numbers with no granularity. Unless IBM changes its own secretive policies, the public will never know how many of the 430K ‘employees’ are contractors, fixed term hires, regular employees, T2R, sold to other companies, US based, etc. Nor will the public know the technical means IBM has used to dispose of them.

      If IBM really want to quash this rumor, then they only need to open up their workforce records for full and independent disclosure. Until then, they continue to operate behind an Enron-styled curtain of secrecy.

    • My Manager told me today that this layoff was coded “Project Chrome”. So Mr. Cringely has very good inside sources. Not sure about the 26% cut by Feb, but I do believe that it could be 26% by Q4; that is the only way IBM can continue to exist.

      The Cloud market is too competitive and IBM has too much catching up to do. CAMSS is still a lot of dream ware. I don’t think that Amazon, Google, Microsoft are just sitting still waiting for IBM to catch up, but sometimes I think that IBM leadership is of that belief.

      The common theme that I am seeing is that the majority of people being axed are 50 or older. Everything is secretive and if anyone dares to challenge it and refuses to sign the separation agreement, IBM will deny separation benefits and severance pay.

      I’m surprise that there is not a class action age discrimination lawsuit over this. Maybe why IBM is hiding the details of the layoff. Yet IBM is still hiring just not sure where. Interesting fact is that those of us that had our salary decrease by 10% in SEP for 6 months, got axed 3 months early. So what was the real purpose of the 10% pay cut? The 10% salary decrease still in effect until our last day 27 FEB.

  • I, Cringely:

    IBM’s reorg-from-Hell launches next week. By Robert X. Cringely. Excerpts: IBM’s big layoff-cum-reorganization called Project Chrome kicks-off next week when 26 percent of IBM employees will get calls from their managers followed by thick envelopes on their doorsteps. By the end of February all 26 percent will be gone. I’m told this has been in the planning for months and I first heard about it back in November. This biggest reorganization in IBM history is going to be a nightmare for everyone and at first I expected it to be a failure for IBM management, too. But then I thought further and I think I’ve figured it out…

    I don’t think IBM management actually cares. More on this later. ...

    In one of the new business units I’ve heard that everyone is going to be interviewed and will have to give a sales pitch. If you can’t sell, you’re out. Clearly IBM’s declining revenue problem is tempering the organization of this unit. This team will fix the problem by getting rid of the people who can’t sell. This is the classic treat the symptom and ignore the cause way of thinking. There are reasons why customers are buying less from IBM. Working harder to sell won’t fix those problems. If anything it will probably increase IBM’s problems with its customers. ...

    Now to why I think there’s a good chance none of this actually matters to IBM management. Investors and analysts alike have to stop believing everything they hear from IBM. Big Blue is a master at controlling the discussion. They state or announce something, treating it as fact whether it exists or not. They build a story around it. IBM uses this approach to control competitors, to manage customer expectations, and to conduct business on IBM’s terms.

    So while IBM is supposedly transforming, they are also losing business and customers every quarter. What are they actually doing to fix this? Nothing. In saying the company is in a transition and is going to go through the biggest reorganization in its history, will this really fix a very obvious customer relationship problem? No, it won’t.

    Selected reader comments (over 200 have been posted to date) follow:

    • I am about to become an ex-IBMer. Was the worst job I’ve ever had in 20 years. I lasted a year. IBM to me seems like decoration of the company. the company blog, the HR policies, the time sheets, the logos. There is no evidence of any philosophy driving business. It’s a shell.
    • IBM policy Is simply to grow share price at all costs nothings else matters it is how senior managers are incentivesed Redundancies are removing cost but they are not increasing sales Delivery is grinding to a halt and customers are falling over themselves to leave IBM. It is a very slow and painful demise but IBM will fold in a few years if it carries on.
    • IBM doesn’t care about productivity of its employees it is purely cost. The SKILLS system and other software introduced by Moffit into IBM commoditized employees. To them an employee is no different than a nut or bolt used to build machines. You buy the part at the least cost.

      To give you an idea, during the Sam years I was having a conversation with a division VP. He was under direction at that time to look at offshoring 20% of his development work to Eastern Europe. When I brought up the skills gap the response I got was “I can hire 5 or 6 people there for what it costs me to hire one person here. Assuming I lose some and end up with only one or two employees I still come out ahead budget wise even after accounting for lost training costs”. India changed the ratio to 9 or 10 people.

      Tomorrow some other country will have a better ratio and you will see IBM moving work there. Until the current executive team and much of the management below it are gone none of this will change.

    • I was employed by them for 5 years, following their acquisition of Cognos. Before that I along with the rest of the Cognos staff were so happily employed & productive for what was the truly great company: Cognos.

      Cognos was known as an industry leader in the BI space, innovating every year, and releasing impressive new versions on a regular basis with new features and improved usability. The work environment was amazing with a good & experienced workforce that was motivated, productive, and very good at what it was doing.

      Once IBM took over Cognos, it was a continuous train-wreck after a train-wreck, for the Cognos customers, & employees. IBM brought it’s non-sense processes and procedures, that lead to continuous loss of customers, and then they tried to fix it by getting rid of productive and experienced employees on a regular basis. The product lines got stalled, quality went down, work environment morale plummeted, then more re-orgs happened trying to fix things, yet with each “Cognos” re-org things got worse and worse.

      Following the IBM acquisition of Cognos, in the 5 years that I was there, the products were in a sad state, no new features, quality got worse and worse, instead we had to put up with those endless & useless procedures, bureaucracy, and non-sense that was stressful to say the least . People had lost their enthusiasm.

      When I got the chance to get out, I was glad to leave, and felt really sorry for the people that had to stay behind, dealing with that toxic environment, further tainted by that poisonous PBC system.

      To make matters worse, at each round of layoffs, some of the people leaving were so happy to get out, it was as if they had won the lottery. There were people that were very disappointed at each round of layoffs that they weren’t the ones let go as well. They desperately wanted to get out with that envelope in hand.

      Literally IBM has repeated the same story with most of their acquisitions: paying top dollar for amazing companies and then literally destroying them. It makes no sense to “sabotage” your investments that way.

      In the end I feel that the top management only cares for their short term gains (2-5 years) and pocketing the hundreds of millions of dollars in salaries, bonuses, stock options, etc… and then exiting for the next poor chap to fix the mess. The customers, and employees already got screwed badly for the last number of years

      Now it’s about to be the turn of the shareholders to get whats coming to them. Shareholders, like Mr. Buffet should have really been paying more attention to what was really happening in IBM for the past 10-20 years.

    • We have been customers of two products that IBM acquired – DataStage and Cognos. In both instances services went from top-tier and stellar before each acquisition to pretty much non-existent afterward. Well, we would get service but often from staff that didn’t know the product very well. We ending up abandoning both products.
    • Add me to the disappointed Cognos customer list. Cognos was a great product and company. It’s a shadow of it’s former self now. IBM continues to tweak with the licensing model to maximize revenue (squeeze current customers). Support is rough, training/education has been outsourced, and the sales team cares about one thing. Selling anything to hit their number. Worst partner I have right now – Pentaho research has commenced.
    • Another ex- Cognos and ex-IBMer here. Cognos wasn’t perfect but it was making good cash and had great retention before IBM came along. Slowly IBM brought in “IBM” managers who either pissed off the old Cognos management or laid them off. Anytime a good product or feature would come out of Business Analytics (Cognos) it would get destroyed by integrating this or that or because it wasn’t some other groups idea. I was a consistent PBC 1 and after little to no raises I looked around and realized how much I could be making as a developer else where… I’m happy I’m out of there but feel bad for some of the good people left behind. I have much better job satisfaction, make more money and don’t have to deal with the tools that are now running BA.
    • The exact same happened with their acquisition of Initiate Systems; I could take your whole comment, replacing ‘Cognos’ with ‘Initiate Systems’ and it would be just as true…
    • This culture started with Sam Palmisano and has continued with Ginny Rometty, I was in Global Services under Lou Gerstner then Sam. I left when Ginny took over.

      The PWC acquisition was the beginning of the end for Global Services. IBM was successful, PWC was near bankruptcy yet Sam and Ginny put PWC culture, organization, policies, and management in place over the New Blue culture that Lou had created. Things quickly changed and a brown nose nepotism culture took root. Protecting those above you while those above you didn’t care about you became the norm.

      It’s been over 10 years now since I left, and I see this PWC culture has successfully wrecked the company that I was once very proud to work for. I feel bad for those on pins and needles waiting for their phone call and package to arrive. Advice to them, there is life after IBM. You will find companies that will scoop you up gladly.

    • Amen to that. I left about half way through Sam's tenure. I saw the company go from forward looking to inward looking. Process was all that mattered, productivity and actually delivering good service were alien. It only mattered that you followed process.
    • I just completed my first year of retirement from IBM and all I can say is … boy am I glad to be gone. I would offer a couple of thoughts here. First, I’m not sure if you whack every 4th person you can even have a company any more; it’s almost an admission that the next thing that happens is the doors are locked and the lights are off.

      Second, a very astute friend of mine who climbed quite a long way up the greasy pole before getting disgusted and leaving made an interesting observation about IBM reorgs to me once, years ago. It was that the further up in IBM one goes, the less real change you can effect, but that no one cares if you fiddle with the org chart, ergo, execs diddle with the org chart to show they’re doing something.

      Over the course of parts of four decades, fewer truer statements were ever made; I lived through dozens of them and nearly none of them had any real effect. That being said, this one has all of those hall marks. Whomever it was that made the observation that ‘The ones good at office politics will be remaining behind. Those techies with limited social skills will be out the door.’ was spot on.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more. I left almost one year ago, and it was the best thing that happened to me. I had worked for three large IT firms in my career (DEC, Sun, and IBM), and I have to say that IBM was the most atrocious company I ever worked for. Management at all levels was totally inept, and while I was offered chances to go into the management ranks, I refused in all cases.

      The saddest part is that after the years at DEC and Sun I have a lot of good memories of those companies. After seven+ years at IBM I have zero positive memories of that company. Sad, particularly since my late father was there for almost 35 years after WWII, and that IBM was very good to him and my mother. But alas, that company has not existed for some time, particularly under the reign of Palmisano and now Rometty.

    • To the remaining 74%, make a plan now to get out. You will be better off in the long run. There is a lot of pain and suffering to come. IBM’s past reorgs and layoffs have been mild compared to what lies ahead. They have been busy over the past 5 years cooking the EPS books, During this time, they destroyed top customer relationships, divested from key technologies and laid off critical personnel that are the prerequisites to selling and delivering any new emerging services. Simply put, the baby has been thrown out with the bathwater. What we all are seeing now is a fender bender compared to the massive train wreck to follow!
    • A lot of IBM’ers are “in touch” and have desperately trying to talk some sense into management. Finance and the obsession to turn in good quarterly earnings statements is what really decides what is done in IBM. We know our products are out of date and falling behind. We know they need to be refreshed. There’s no money or no people to do it.

      Then a few years later when the bottom falls out on a product, senior management panic’s. “OMG — we not making our sales numbers!” Their first reaction is to throw people under the bus and make those that are left to “sell harder.”

      I’m sorry, but it is the customer who makes the final decision. If your stuff is crap, its not the sales person’s fault. Its not the divisions fault. It is managements fault for choking the life out of the business. The dropping revenue is senior managements fault.

      Every product, every service in IBM has this problem. Customers are speaking loudly with their checkbooks. Why can’t Wall Street hear this message? Why can’t IBM’s board hear this message?

  • Seeking Alpha:

    IBM suggests layoff report is off the mark (updated). By Eric Jhonsa. Excerpts:
    • "IBM does not comment on rumors, even ridiculous or baseless ones," says Big Blue in response to a report it's laying off over 110K workers. "If anyone had checked information readily available from our public earnings statements ... they would know that IBM has already announced the company has just taken a $600 million charge for workforce rebalancing."
    • IBM adds it currently has ~15K job openings worldwide, and that it "continues to remix its skills to match where we see the best opportunities in the marketplace."
    • Workers' union Alliance@IBM suggests taking a cautious view of the report. "Various members of the media are picking up on Robert Cringely's assertion that 100,000 IBMers will lose their jobs next week in a massive reorg at IBM. The Alliance has no information that this is true ... But as you all know, anything can happen at IBM anymore and this is the time of year that IBM cuts jobs."

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • I believe that IBM has recorded 12 quarters of negative revenue growth. Isn't this is a very bad product portfolio management story? Isn't this a very poor reflection on the executive management team: technology development, systems development, software development?

      Could IBM have averted this lengthy revenue decline if it had "reinvented" its product portfolio six or seven years ago?

      How many times did Schroeter say that IBM would hit the $20 EPS target? Does he have a credibility problem?

      I can't wait to hear how blogosphere rationalizes these questions

    • Well, they might both be right, but in IBM's case only technically. Suppose they are planning to layoff a few thousand and then flat out fire for alleged "cause" 100,000 more? I understand that many many people are suddenly getting "3"s and will be put on the performance improvement plan (PIP). The PIP virtually always ends with a pink slip, thus saving IBM blood money by tossing out the employees with no severance and no opportunity to draw unemployment, since if you are fired for cause you don't get unemployment. If this is actually what happens in the next 4 months, amazingly enough they still have a lower rung to go. They could hire gang bangers, who will kill someone for a few hundred bucks, to just mow folks down in the parking lots.
    • "Is it time for an IBM Senior VP management purge?" I would say yes, however, it doesn't appear to be close to happening. The long time entrenched senior execs are being shuffled around, while visionaries & true leaders who could possibly be the future of IBM, are driven out. I believe the timing of Crosby's departure is very telling in that it comes right before the current employee purge and upcoming reorg announcement.

      "It’s official now: SoftLayer’s Lance Crosby exits IBM" http://bit.ly/15JeTxE

  • I, Cringely:

    IBM is right, I am a gadfly. By Robert X. Cringely. Excerpts: Sometimes being a gadfly is exactly what’s required. That’s certainly the case with IBM and has been for the almost eight years I’ve been following this depressing story.

    Gadflies came up because IBM finally reacted today to my last column predicting a massive force reduction this week. They denied it, of course — not the workforce reduction but its size, saying there won’t be even close to 110,000 workers laid off — and they called me a gadfly, which was apparently intended as criticism, but I’m rather proud of it.

    So what’s the truth about these job cuts? Well we’ll know this week because I hear the notices are already in transit to be delivered on Wednesday. (I originally wrote in the mail but then realized IBM would condemn me if they are coming by FedEx, instead.)

    I think IBM is dissembling, fixating on the term 110,000 layoffs, which by the way I never used. Like my young sons who never hit each other but instead push, slap, graze, or brush, IBM is playing word games to obscure the truth.

    There are many ways to spin a workforce reduction and here’s how one IBM source explained this one to me just this morning:

    If you are following the Endicott Alliance board (an organization of IBM workers) you know that they are only ‘officially’ laying off several thousand (maybe 12K I’m guessing), but others are being pushed out by being given poor performance ratings. This includes people on their ‘bridge to retirement’ program that took that option, thinking it kept them ‘safe’ from resource actions (layoffs/firings).

    There is a loophole that says they can be dismissed for ‘performance’ reasons, which is exactly why many of my long-time, devoted, hard working peers are suddenly getting the worst rating, a 3. It’s so they can be dismissed without any separation package and no hit to the RA or workforce rebalancing fund. Pure evil.

    The same trick allows IBM to not report to the state’s WARN act about layoffs. It used to be something like 10 percent of employees ‘had’ to be labeled 3’s, but recently the required number of 3’s was way, way upped according to some managers. So that’s how they are doing it… Some managers have teams of hard working people that put in tons of overtime and do everything they are asked, and by requirement some must be given 1’s, some 2+, some 2, and unfortunately some 3’s. It’s 50’s era kind of evil.

    They also got rid of some employees by ‘stuffing’ them into the Lenovo x86 acquisition, shipping tons of people over there that never even worked on x86 stuff. Lenovo has discovered this and has given some of them a way better package (year salary and benefits), and taking it up quietly with IBM.” ,,,

    My further understanding of Project Chrome is IBM plans to give people notice by the 28th (Wednesday) so they will be off the books by the end of February. That timing pretty much screams that these are more than just layoffs, which could involve weeks or months of severance pay. It suggests outright firings, or offshore staff reductions, or contractors released, or strongly motivated early retirements as mentioned above. None of those are layoff’s, though there will undoubtedly be layoffs, too. ...

    For the last few months, I’ve heard that senior managers have been pleading with IBM executives not to go through with Project Chrome because it will break accounts and inevitably lead to IBM’s failure to meet contract obligations, losing customers. But that’s apparently okay. Just don’t call them gadflies.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Obviously what needs to be counted is not what IBM calls “layoffs”. It should be total number of employee departures. This number will be substantially larger than the 10,000 that they are owning up to. Employee “voluntary” terminations due to incentives when told either take it or get fired or terminations because of “poor performance”, etc just mask the real issue which is total numbers of IBM employees being forced to leave the company by management.

      As for the other claim of IBM looking to hire up to 45,000 new employees, one really needs to analyze the demographics of that group. Proportion of hires in the US, proportion of new college hires, starting salaries of new hires, etc.

    • Bad management of a large, otherwise great company, is a feast for a gadfly. I hope you don’t get so fat that you can no longer fly. All gad and no fly is no good.
    • Interesting post:
      1. You definitely earn some credibility points with this one. IBM is going to look really foolish for responding to your article, if what you say is true. “Care to comment on Cringely’s response?” Response: “Uh, normally we don’t comment, except when he is totally wrong, but if he again calls us out for dissembling after our response, then we really don’t comment.”
      2. I wonder if Watson can do text analysis to figure out who your source was, if that is an email.
      3. Is Warren Buffett simply blinded by political correctness in his adoration of Ginni, making his first technology investment with a woman CEO and one of his worst ever (proving the younger Warren right about technology, how convenient), or has the old guy simply lost his touch?
    • Hello there, The IBM problem is the level of management, they are cutting off specialists and leaving those dinossaurus managers, without any technical skill. Sample, manager taught colleagues that they do not need know how to perform a task, they need to know someone who can perform that for you.
    • At this point, does it matter if Cringley is right or wrong? IBM is a shrinking company. It may not lay off 100,000 workers in this (upcoming) RA, but over the course of the year or beyond (as it shrinks more and more) it will get close to or reach that number. Good on Cringley for calling IBM out. There is nothing IBM can hide now because once loyal employees who chose not to speak out are now speaking out, because speaking up within IBM is fruitless.
    • Just confirming that many “Transition to Retirement” IBMers will be retiring sooner than the previously agreed December 31 2015. Yes, T2R participants cannot be RA’d…but if they were given 3s on their PBCs, they can (and will) be let go “for performance reasons,” which is not (technically) a layoff.
    • Private Equity won’t touch IBM as it appears that current IBM management has already sucked the company dry. There will be nothing left to loot once they get done. I bet it gets bought by Tata sometime in the 2020 decade at 10 cents on the dollar.
    • Even if Cringely’s off by 10 or 20 thousand, it won’t change the fact that IBM is a complete mess. Or that they are treating their employees like dogs. I’m not sure why I’m even taking your comment seriously, but it was a good chance to repeat that IBM is a once great company that has turned into a train wreck.
    • I was RA’d in 2013 and it was the best thing that ever happened to me to get out of IBM. I was 1 of 4 in my dept we we’re all old timers in our 50’s and 60’s and great performers. My question is “Why isn’t anyone looking into the blatant age discrimination IBM is doing? I always thought that was illegal?”
    • My dad went through this several years ago with EDS. It’s a long road, and often you get very little after the lawyers are paid. Bottom line: They have kennels of lawyers, and plenty of time. Do you?
    • It is not really the layoffs that are at the core issue for IBM. The core issue is their core business are crumbling due to poor management at the top of the company and the layoffs are just the fruits of their decisions. What is really horrific for IBM is when customers walk away because they know they are getting far below what they contracted. Customers bailing on IBM is not something they cannot dissemble or dismiss since it results in a loss of revenue and then accordingly layoffs as we are seeing today. The fact that they are having layoffs like they are is the smoke and the board of directors should have serious concern about the fire within!
    • The problem that I saw in ten years at IBM is they cannot compete on a price/value level with most modern tech firms, and once the flow of easy money stopped, that’s when the real mismanagement started. IBM requires too high a profit margin, is extremely risk adverse, and has a lot of bureaucratic overhead. Then, as profits diminished, rather than reinvest in things that matter — employees, training, wages — they hired a bunch of bean-counting boneheads that have made cost cuts that put projects on skeleton crews filled with overworked and under-qualified people. You can’t charge BMW prices for a Ford Taurus, and there are plenty of other options out there these days.
    • When Cringely said 26% I think he meant to refer to the US workforce, even though he followed with the worldwide number. Roughly speaking that would be taking the US workforce from say around 80K down to around 60K. Let’s hear IBM deny that.
    • Anybody that’s lived IBM the last decade knows these human resource management practises mentioned have been actively used at IBM over the last many years. It’s just hard to believe a company would treat its human resource assets so poorly. Forget all the allegations and rhetoric. When a company (especially one which runs a Professional Services business) views its human resources as liabilities and ‘chattel’, the soul of the company is completely gone. Hard to imagine a customer wanting to enter into a services-based long term contract with IBM, and no sympathy if they do and it turns sour in a short while. There’s no vision or customer service commitment left at IBM. Even IBMers see it.
    • I thought it was interesting, and perhaps telling, that the IBM response came from the “official” blog: IBM Hong Kong. And this “official” blog is hosted on a WordPress.com site. Not ibm.com domain name; wordpress.com. The ‘response’ has no one’s name…so can’t be verified.
    • I remember another time IBM called out a Cringely blog as false with a strongly worded internal email (“outsourcing” network services). And of course, Cringely was spot on. I’m confident that IBM is planning to get rid of 26% of the employees, the how is the more interesting question. IBM has become masterful at getting rid of employees without drawing much attention.
    • Rumor had it 10% of IBM’s workforce received 3’s (poor ratings) in 2013. This year, by management decree 15% of the workforce is to get a 3. If 2/3’rds of the 3’s get fired that’s 10% of the workforce or 40,000 folks. Many of my grey haired coworkers are being asked to accept early retirement. It sounds like IBM is trying to cut about 10% this way. If you add in the 10,000 or so IBM is claiming will be “resource actioned” you start getting close to 90,000 employees and are in the 20% range of the work force. I think Bob’s use of the word dissembling is perfect for this situation. I’ll give IBM 3 months, then let’s see how many workers will be left.
    • In Australia it started today (28 January in Austin and 27 January in the US) with people being retrenched. I have so far heard of 10 people gone from the one account before the day was out. This is never announced in team meetings as it is a confidential issue which the affected person may choose to disclose or not, so it’s hard to know who is gone until March. Thanks Ginni.
    • RA’d today after 14 years with IBM. Manager thanked me for my heavy amount of unbilled work in saving a major account last year and said he had no explanation and was sorry, but he had no choice in the matter and I was gone.
    • Cringely was correct. The firings are in progress now. What was once the epitome of American business has become the poster child for all that is wrong with American business. Thanks Bob – for telling this sad story, for relentlessly speaking truth to power, for not backing down, and for supporting workers. BTW, IBM’s future is cloudy indeed – Lance Crosby was forced out this week as well.
    • It’s a race to the bottom, and IBM’s in the lead. I worked there ten years and left for greener pastures four years ago. I got sick of the constant layoffs and cost-cutting that included wages and education. The deadwood was trimmed years ago. These are not reasoned decisions, just pea-brained bean counting. It’s just Workforce Rebalancing performed by accounting knuckleheads who press a button in a piece of software and force middle management to do the dirty work. One thing you are right about: there are many clueless people out there, like you, who think that having IBM on your resume is meaningful. It is not anymore, unless it means you can put up with a lot of $hit and eat it too.
    • According to several people I know in IBM AU, there were approximately 4000 employees given notice in the Asia-Pacific region this week.
    • The 2007 10-year plan had forecast a US employee population at 35K by 2017. Looks like they are on target for US. The real surprise is the BRIC technical headcount losses. The plan to have all technical skills commoditized and out of the US seems to have failed.
    • While Cringely may not exactly hit the predicted numbers, I predict he will probably be very close. That said, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Cringely, you ‘da man for your insightful articles over the years about IBM. Thanks for exposing the ineptitude and hypocrisy at IBM.

      I am one of those white haired IBMers with 18 years of service and who got my first 3 ever on my PBC. While I did not receive my walking papers yet, I soon expect that to happen. As others have stated, the 15% of us who who were mandated to receive a 3 won’t even get a severance package nor will we be counted among the layoffs, because IBM can lie and proclaim to the world that we were under performers.

      I say it is time to form a class action lawsuit for age discrimination against IBM.

      Rometty is so typical of the low-hanging fruit psychopaths who are running corporate America. Of course, just like our president, she blames all the problems on her predecessor, an excuse which always works with the American public. Fortunately, people throughout IBM finally realize that they have been gamed by a flawed system and inept management. Rometty and her ruling cabal have managed to create golden parachutes for themselves, but bottom feeding scum like those under the top level managers will be thrown under the bus with nothing but a lump of coal.

      IBM makes a practice of promoting the most inept people to management positions. Members of my group were joking about how Rometty was attempting to spin the negative results into something positive. It is all smoke and mirrors with these types.

      It is really funny to read the comments from Rometty’s cabal. They were sent out to put out her disinformation, but those who are affected by her RA know and speak the truth.

    • 5 or more years ago they did an internal audit and discovered that the cost of processing an average purchase order was something like $500, but 80% of the PO’s processed were considerably less than that. A decree was passed giving first-line managers the power to spend up to $500 without any approval and up to $5000 with only the second line manager's approval. That lasted about 12 months. Last year it took 4 levels of management approval to order a set of business cards. Buying necessary equipment is a 3-6 month process and a whole nuther story all together. Change is hard so don’t see this happening any time soon. Expect next quarter revenue to be off another billion (1Q15).
  • Columbia Daily Tribune:

    Department of Economic Development to review IBM incentives after Columbia layoffs. Company has received $10.26 million from state so far. By Alicia Stice. Excerpts: Staff at the Missouri Department of Economic Development planned to spend Friday looking through department records to determine whether this week’s layoffs at IBM’s Columbia service center affect the company’s eligibility for state incentives.

    So far, IBM has received $10.26 million in incentives, department spokeswoman Amy Susan said Thursday. The incentives come from various programs within the economic development department and are triggered by benchmarks, such as hiring a certain number of employees.

    Although the company confirmed it had laid off some employees at its Columbia service center, spokesman Clint Roswell would not say how many people lost their jobs or how many people work at the local service center. Because the state’s incentives are performance-based, layoffs could affect IBM’s eligibility. Susan said previously that the company reported 606 employees at the end of 2013. ...

    IBM came to Columbia in 2010 after the city and state partnered to offer an incentive package worth up to $31.2 million. That number includes a $3 million city-owned building that houses IBM. The city is paying $300,000 a year for the building over 10 years.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “It's Time to Go”

      Current Employee — Sales Specialist in Detroit, MI.

      Pros: Benefits are average, able to work from home. lots of time on my hands because we are losing new business and contracts.

      Cons: Executives/management do not care about you, it's all political. If you aren't a sheeple you won't survive. Compensation sucks; no raises or bonus's for years. It's a toxic cutthroat environment and takes a very tough skin to work at IBM. They truly have their heads in the sand.

      As an IBM employee, we all saw this tanking of IBM coming for years and knew their vision wasn't sustainable. They constantly fire employees to make their gross profit look higher as they can't grow their revenue.

      Future employees, please be aware you will not be happy at IBM, avoid at all costs.

      Advice to Senior Management: RETIRE!!!!! We need new blood from outside of the company...they will stab you in the back as they whisper sweet nothings in your ear.

    • “Welcome to corporate”

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

      Pros: The amazing minds I have met and the amount of determination I have seen in trying to please this company.

      Cons: The lies. You do better than you're taught and still get told you're not doing well enough. I can only wonder if my 'poor performance' stems from lack of quality training on these applications that IBM is buying. What are we really doing in the client's office when developers are 'punished' for providing quality solutions?

      45 hours a week is what I'm contracted to provide. No OT pay, but my work ethic pushes about 60 hours a week out of me. Two of three project managers value my work, but the one that can fire me says that I don't contribute. Me == confused.

      Advice to Senior Management: Hello, my name is NOT Watson. I!BaMachine...I am a person with a family like you. Have a heart. This is America and the Holocaust is long ended.

    • “Treat the employees like disposable widgets”

      Current Employee — Applications Developer in Chicago, IL. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros: Food experience on various products looks good on a resume.


      • Layoffs always. No security.
      • No pay raises ever.
      • Toxic work environment.
      • Unethical zero people skills management who are incompetent.
      • CEO and executive managements are clueless and driving company into the ground.
      • Bad benefits, very costly $1,000/month out of pocket for a family.
      • Will not even pay for any meals if you travel that day.
      • Cheap on expenses.
      • Constant reorgs.
      • IBM needs to commit to the long term with the company and employees.
      • Rock bottom morale.
      • Stay for 2-3 years then leave is what the new hires do.
      • Everyone hunkering down hoping they get the next package out.

      Advice to Senior Management: Treat your employees with respect and fairly. Contribute to benefits more. Include employees in profit sharing.

    • “Lack of leadership from CEO and Senior Executives”

      Current Employee — Senior I/T Specialist in New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: For me, the best part about working for IBM are the people on my team. We work well together and I have to say, the majority of the people I have to work with are top notch and good people. Unfortunately, there are not too many other "pros" i can come up with.

      Cons: Our CEO and senior executives have a total lack of leadership. In the past few years the company has used much of it's profit to simply buy back stock to prop up the EPS. Revenues have been declining and instead of investing more in the company (and some to their employees), they consistently buy back stock. With their stock grants, they have all made tens of millions of dollars. Revenues are declining quarterly, yet they still get the big bucks.

      The employees typically work quite a bit of OT and over the last few years there have been minimal to no raises, the cashed out pension is stuck making T-Bill +1% with no opportunity to select where to invest it and it's value is way below the target value that was given to me years ago when I was cashed out.

      IBM puts some dollars into a medical account which is supposed to help purchase medical insurance through the IBM plan after you retire. Unfortunately you don't get the money unless you are 55 and at least 15 years of service. There are many of us with over 30 years of service but are not yet 55 and we wouldn't get a dime for healthcare.

      These are just some examples of how the company tries to take every penny away from the employee while the top few reap the rewards.

      Every year the company also has "Resource Actions" which are run under the guise that people with poor skills are being let go so they can hire those with the necessary skills. It is a lie and only done to hire cheaper labor. There are MANY people they have fired and then hired back as contractors because they needed them. If their skills were so bad, why did they take them back?

      I would not recommend this company to anyone. If you are young and can't find another job, then by all means work there, get some experience and get out as soon as possible. The company talks about growing talent and continually improving skills but they don't follow through, there hasn't been any budget for education is the last 10 - 15 years.

      Advice to Senior Management: IBM used to pride itself on respect for the individual, the turn to total disrespect for the individual is ruining the company and people's morale is at an all time low. If you would concentrate on keeping your customers happy and treat your employees with some respect, the rest would follow. True leaders lead by example.

    • “Not as described in the recruiting process”

      Current Employee — GBS Partner in Minneapolis, MN.

      Pros: IBM is well respected, with a long history of product innovation.

      Cons: While IBM has leading software solutions, IBM consulting services (GBS) can not deliver on client projects. It lacks the internal capabilities, focus, leadership, methods and discipline to effectively compete against other more qualified firms like Accenture. It's no good to sell work to trusting clients that IBM can't or deliver on.

      Advice to Senior Management: GBS is broken — it isn't synergistic with IBM's core strategy nor does it have the independence to become great in its own right. It is tarnishing IBM's reputation in the market.

    • “Roller coaster and very disappointed in Leadership”

      Current Employee — Senior Manager in Dallas, TX.

      Pros: Opportunities are available for career growth, education, training and skills development.

      Cons: Untrustworthy; work-life balance terrible, no awards, no recognition, constant resource actions especially of skilled, older workers.

      Advice to Senior Management: Make employees a priority; IBM talks about values but yet management doesn't lead by example. They have so many layers of executives that nothing can get approved and they are scared to make a decision. These are Directors, VPs and GMs who make large sums of money. And the incompetency in the upper levels of management is rampant.

      I don't understand how our CEO does not see a real need to invest in employee morale, research and development and elimination of the layers of management. I know for a fact we have over 400,000 employees not focused on the right things to help turn the ship around.

    • “Senior Management Disaster a IBM”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee.

      Pros: Work from home office...the only Pro left at this once great company.

      Cons: Too many to list but I'll try. 1) Salary flat for 10 years. 2) Reduction in benefits. 3) Poor quality deliverables due to outsourcing. 4) No cultivation of employee skills. 5) Senior management stopped listening to rank and file. 6) Internal tools and support at an all time low. 7) Morale at an all time low. 8) Best and brightest are all gone.

      Advice to Senior Management: Focus on the most important asset in the company ... its PEOPLE.

    • “IBM is on track to continue its decline in 2015”

      Former Employee — Senior Marketing Manager in New York, NY.

      Pros: Ability to work as a mobile employee. Benefits are average, however compensation is not competitive. Opportunity to change jobs without leaving the company.

      Cons: Employees are not viewed as assets but rather as resources. There is an "I" in team where the objective is to survive the next round of layoffs. IBM is bleeding business and customers every quarter. It's a revolving door where there is a constant stream of talent leaving. Essentially it is a lumbering elephant that is without leadership, vision, strategy or direction.

      Advice to Senior Management: Respect and support your rank and file. The path to growth is not fueled by financial engineering or layoffs. Being a politician is not a prerequisite for being a good manager. Agility and the ability to innovate and deliver is impossible in an organization heavy in incompetent leadership and management.

    • “Terrible place to work”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: None — company is on a downhill slide. Cons: Too many to list — employee morale is so low — everyone is busting their tails trying to hold on to their jobs to avoid being laid off. Top executives receive excessive pay while the average worker doesn't get a raise and is expected to be available 24/7. Advice to Senior Management: The entire top-level executive team needs to go including the CEO or this company will be out of business in 5 years.
    • “Great company, people make it.”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: There are loads of opportunities to grow in IBM, it's a solid employer with good benefits and great support for the employee. Cons: Corporate orders undermine management in local areas. Advice to Senior Management: Stand together to create positive change.
    • “Big Blue will make you blue”

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

      Pros: Remote employee. If you have the discipline, working form home is a great idea. Don't kid yourself, it is a also great for the employer. You end up working more hours. They don't have to pay rent, buy desks and chairs, pay electricity, pay for heat or air conditioning. It is a win win situation.

      Cons: Their infrastructure is sub par and requires substantial manual intervention/manipulation. They will place you in roles that are very far removed from your skill set in order to support the need for manual intervention. IBM typically has Resource Actions once or twice a year. Their selection process is indiscriminate, not attached to performance and is the only tool in their bag to rebut poor earnings (11 straight quarters as of this posting).

      Advice to Senior Management: The Board needs to make big changes at the the top. The problem with poor earnings are not the rank and file, but, the leadership. Their strategy is obviously not working.

    • “Internship during the first summer of law school. The process was rewarding and a very beneficial experience for me.”

      Current Employee - Intern in Buckhead, GA. I have been working at IBM full-time (less than a year).

      Pros: The attorneys and partners are all very welcoming and informative when there are unknown territories in the line of work. The work environment is also very conducive to growth in the firm and in the market.

      Cons: During the summer, business ramps up due to increased home buyers in the market. This leads to longer, but still very manageable work weeks.

    • “Trying to cling on to positive memories, but...”

      Former Employee — Senior Services Manager in Paris (France). I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Some residual prestige associated with the name. I honestly thought I could find more to say than this, but I can't.


      • Poor executive management, largely there to maximise personal gain before leaving. Most do not believe 'the strategy' will work and don't care.
      • Cowardly management chain, not prepared to challenge obvious stupidity or without the stomach/dedication for a fight. Many are just trying to get in as many paydays as they can and have also lost belief.
      • Hard-nosed, naval gazing HR who churn out unpopular and irrelevant initiatives, hence consuming even more of the precious time which employees no longer have.
      • Pervasive self preservation rather than team co-operation to serve the customer.
      • Tick sheet/call centre/low cost centre mentality, even where totally inappropriate, leading to 'hidden' extra costs to solve problems.
      • Broken and massively discredited performance appraisal system, now almost completely hijacked for other purposes.
      • Professional judgment, constructive challenge and considered 'risk taking' suppressed.

      Advice to Senior Management: A senior VP said on more than one occasion, '"Don't ever let anyone compromise your integrity". It is a great pity this person did not follow that mantra. Unless this value can truly be restored throughout the company the future looks very bleak. Proper executive encouragement and accountability is vital.

    • “Nothing like it used to be”

      Former Employee — Client Executive in London, England (UK). I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Blue Chip credentials get you access with clients with some of the best brochures in the industry. Pay is OK.

      Cons: IBM refers to employees as "resources" and treats them as such — a commodity. Most managers simply follow the directives from above — could be performed by e-mail or SMS. We used to talk about "Client First" but that changed to a real stock price focus a few years ago, and with it a swing to cost cutting and negative impact on clients. They're voting with their feet.

      Advice to Senior Management: Grow a pair and stand up for what you're supposed to do — serve the best interest of the business. Put a stop to the constant charades (artificial pipelines etc) and tell it how it is. You've been spotted.

    • “Contractor — second class citizen”

      Current Employee — Senior Project Manager in Poughkeepsie, NY. I have been working at IBM as a contractor (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Highly respected by team I am working with - although not the team I report to. My client is a Project Management dream - highly organized, functional, where every member of the team is integral and responsible, with upper-level corporate management regard.

      Cons: There is no correlation between the work I do, the high-satisfaction level of my internal client, and my compensation. I have had the same manager for over 2 years and have never had him address me, call me, or respond to emails from me. So, even though I bring my department in more revenue than many of my full-time IBM counterparts - there is not, nor ever will be any reward for my hard work.

      I was not allowed to take a job offer that would have been an incredible professional opportunity in a new organization.

      Advice to Senior Management: Understand that there are 2 classes of employees - and that the contractors do not want to hear you complain about things such as being forced to take your vacation. Believe me - during holiday periods it is the contractors alone who have to fill-in for the full-timers. Try to bridge the gap.

    • “Solid career choice”

      Current Employee — Communications in Armonk, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: The talent and diversity are unmatched. Education opportunities abound through MOOCs and traditional settings. Numerous career advancement opportunities. Cons: Stress to perform. Pay could be better. Advice to Senior Management: Keep up the good work. Stay the course to shift to higher value.
    • “Waste of time”

      Current Employee — Project Manager in Wrocław (Poland). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Can't think of any pros other than ability to work from home. Cons: Lack of development path. No bonuses. No raises. No respect for the employee.
    • “Profits above all and at all costs”

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

      Pros: The people are generally really great to work with. Well credentialed, professional and work well together. Salary and benefits are near par in the industry.

      Cons: The current strategy is based on lowering the employee expense base and as a result, many, many positions are being moved to low-cost countries. In spite of on-going cost reduction activities, profits continue to disappoint. As a result, the leadership has adopted a 'use a stick' philosophy of motivation. The performance review process forces a distribution on the management team to ensure a ready pool of individuals pre-identified for resource actions.

      Advice to Senior Management: After years of managing the number of resources down using a biased, false performance distribution, encourage employees to once again become the driving force of growth. When a company like IBM has difficulty with retention of new talent, it is time to do something besides, layoffs, small (2% or less) to no salary increases and increased anxiety over the constant fear of layoffs.

    • “Work/life balance is lip service”

      Former Employee — Delivery Project Executive.

      Pros: Large company, some talented people.

      Cons: Exempt professionals expected to work 60 hours a week yet only claim 40 hours a week. If you claim actual time worked, then the account is charged time and a half for everything over 40 hours and you have to take FTE cuts to compensate for it. My last year at IBM I worked an average of 80 hours a week. I worked stretches of 30 days straight without a day off and without compensation for it yet was mandated to do it by management in order to achieve goals and targets. They preach work/life balance yet they do not give you the time to have a balance.

      Advice to Senior Management: Stop cutting the headcount as a way to meet your financial obligations to investors. If revenue is down, ask the question "why?" five times to get to the root cause and address the root cause. Management needs to change at the highest levels and reductions at the highest levels will reduce the overhead much faster than at the technical level that is supporting the contracts that IBM signed and agreed to. Wake up and look at your competitors as they are flying past you and taking away your clients.

    • “Abysmal”

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

      Pros: Co-workers. But nothing else.


      • Management is so busy taking cash out of the company that they have lost control of the business.
      • After the last re-org theatre there are literally 1000s of people sitting around with nothing to do. There is no mandate. No direction.
      • Employees are blamed and penalized for management's misdeeds.
      • No raises. No control over your career. There are no careers left at IBM. You are at the whim of the company.
      • The rating system is entirely corrupt. It awards brown-nosers.
      • Management forces business conduct guidelines and platitudes down your throat while breaking every rule.
      • The company is completely hierarchical. Employees are serfs who are punished for speaking up.
      • Stock prices are manipulated.
      • Employees are lied to.
      • Employees lose their jobs for no rhyme nor reason.
      • Employees are pitted against each other.

      Advice to Senior Management: Quit pretending. Everyone knows what you are up to.

    • “Fear & Loathing in IBM”

      Current Employee — SWG Employee in San Jose, CA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: They are rare, but if you are lucky you can find one, maybe two IBM managers in a 20+ year career that actually care about the people and are professional.

      Cons: What was once a stellar example of reciprocal fidelity and mutual respect and professionality in the 70s/80s is now a maze of backstabbing, obfuscation, double-talk, and outright lies. No, I wasn't even cut in the "Project Chrome" resource action, but I may end my tenure shortly and by choice. Piece of advice: don't work here; this isn't knee-jerk, it's honest. Look elsewhere because I haven't inflated my comments; they are accurate. I am not angry. I am disappointed, and that is far far worse. Find a company that will value and nurture you to give them your absolute best, but don't look here.

      Advice to Senior Management: I really don't know what to say...nothing good will come out of how unprofessional, unpleasant, and unskilled 90% of you are, to your reports and to each other. (How do you offer advice to people who don't care what you think?)

    • “Toxic”

      Former Employee — Partner in Pitts, PA. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: Some amazing technology and an over abundance of smart employees.

      Cons: The culture is GBS is as toxic as it gets. It is a competitive, soulless, brutal place. To survive there you have to focus only on yourself and nobody else. Win at all costs.

      As a so called Partner which is the over inflated name they give to what are essentially engagement directors with quotas, you will have a sales quota of between $10 and $20 million typically, called a signings target. You will also have a revenue target which requires you to be actively delivering an engagement. You will also be given a personal utilization target of at least 35% at a bill rate that is quite high and a profit target.

      You will be rated based on a formula of how you achieved against those metrics depending on how they are weighing each component that year and that can and does change every year.

      If you do not make that number and all elements of your quota, you will be rated a 3 and be fired at the end of the year unless you are lucky enough to be part of the boys club and then they will try to manipulate the numbers enough to make you a 2.

      No commissions of any sort are paid and you may not get a bonus if there is no funding in the profit sharing regardless of your rating. Last year it is was funded at 30%.

      Partners are ranked against each other in their work group and then folded into larger groups. They are rated on total dollar volume not percentage of attainment so if you do small deals and somebody sells things that are large deals, they will always be ranked higher.

      There are no real rules for territories. Anybody can sell on someone else's patch and there is no shared credit. If someone does a deal in your territory and refuses to team with you, tough luck. And if you are teaming you will have to divide up the deal among all the mouths to feed including the APs. There is a shortage of qualified deals so people glom on.

      There is this team shadow credit but it is a joke and doesn't keep you from being fired. Partners can cut out other partners by bringing in APs that have the domain knowledge. APs love that. APs have to do almost all the work on RFPs and there is almost no presales and/or presentation development support.

      There is no good system to forecast resource needs on a deal. You have to fill out a tedious and outdated Excel spreadsheet that is then sent to Costa Rica to be re-entered.

      Methodology is hit or miss and there is no good knowledge sharing portal for methodology. What there is is pretty poor and not used. Many PMs make up stuff as they go along. There are legions of staff people that have big dog jobs supposedly maintaining and developing methodology and produce nothing of real value. The reason projects fail is usually due to lack of resources and/or methodology. Just ask customers.

      There is a shortage of consultants in many areas as staffing and hiring is not undertaken until a SOW is signed. So on many occasions there is no way to execute and ramp up quickly. Retention is actually fairly good considering unless it is resource action time but there are still staffing issues galore.

      There is no money for team meetings so you never get much chance to meet your colleagues and since you are pitted against them in the rating system that is probably better.

      Teamwork is non existent and nobody bothers to answer emails or calls. That bad habit is rampant. Many of the senior people are the worst offenders. I worked for a woman who would not even make eye contact with me in an elevator once. It was like I didn't exist. She was my boss's boss. She rarely answered any emails I sent and I only sent her things on rare occasions. One other partner I worked with would never and I mean never answer emails from almost everyone.

      Travel is heavy and the expense policy is typical but frugal. The expense report system is great and some of the best software they have. They have big data analytics to monitor every cent. You have no discretionary budget. You are not allowed to spend money on entertainment unless you are part of the boys club and they trust you to spend to close a deal but even then there are strict limits.

      Most customers in this industry are men and it is very hard for women partners to succeed. The track record is terrible and women are given no help or accommodation for the challenges of being a woman in a male dominated industry. None. They bring in women and fire them as a regular course. The very senior women are the type that got there a while ago when it was a fad to have women in senior roles and they are competitive and vicious and are some of the least supportive of other women. They tend to surround themselves with the boys club to have someone to do the work.

      I could go on and on but I think you get the picture If you are willing to risk your career and are OK with being fired or reduced to nothing in a culture that devalues humans.

      Advice to Senior Management: Where to start? The culture. Ditch the awful ranking system. So GE 80's old school. Commit to creating a culture where women who are brought in have a chance of succeeding. Set realistic targets and own up to the investment needed to win. Think customers first and don't forget to mention those rascals at times in the 6:00 am 'stern talking to' partner calls. Recognize that people are assets and can be trusted to contribute and add value without being quantitized and dehumanized. Reward and recognize teamwork. Break down the silos and competition between SWG and GBS. And that would just be a good start.

    • “Boring, average company”

      Former Employee — Product Manager in Foster City, CA. I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: Big company, lots of different kinds of opportunities; could make a career there. Cons: Very few divisions are doing innovative exciting work. Definitely not a Silicon Valley company. Advice to Senior Management: If you want the best Silicon Valley talent you'll have to seriously step up what you're offering in terms of work, environment, structure, and compensation.
    • “Bad management doesn't care about employee”

      Current Employee — Senior Consultant in Edison, NJ. Pros: I don't see any pros in this company anymore. People work in islands, no connection being labelled as "mobile". Cons: Plenty of cons. Bureaucratic management. Every feels like a boss. Behaves erratically with other vendors at client locations. No work ethics or respect towards client and or company vendor employees working at client location. Advice to Senior Management: Stop telling lies to outside world. God save the employees of this company.
    • “Sinking Ship”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Some very bright and conscientious workers who really care about the customer. Cons: IBM management. Have totally demoralized not only the employees, but the customers as well. Focused on reducing expenses instead of being in the forefront and leader it once was. Jumping into the cloud space because it was the in thing to do, but too little too late. Advice to Senior Management: They would only think they are above any advice given.
    • “Unstable environment”

      Current Employee — Advisory IT Specialist in Charlotte, NC. Pros: The flexibility and autonomy are great! Cons: The corporate environment is unstable. First line manager has no power. You could be let go anytime, not based on your performance. Advice to Senior Management: Be honest with PBC rating or else get rid of it.
    • “Good for the resume; not great for a long term career”

      Former Employee — Financial Analyst in Rochester, MN. I worked at IBM full-time (less than a year). Pros: Great name will look good for future employers. Can learn a lot of Excel skills. Coworkers are very varied and knowledgeable. Cons: Constant outsourcing is concerning. Future of company does not seem great. Way too much middle management is holding company back. High turnover. Compensation is below competition. Advice to Senior Management: Pay workers more so that there is less turnover and more stability within different divisions.
    • “Not what it used to be”

      Current Employee — Senior Software Engineer in Yorktown, NY. Pros: Great people, the best. If you're looking for an expert, the internal systems for doing so make it easy to do. Cons: Too many layers of management, too much bureaucracy, too much chasing this quarter's number to the detriment of long-term value. Advice to Senior Management: Cut the middle. There should be no more than 4-5 steps from employee to CEO. We have far too much middle and "VP" level management.
    • “Test Lead”

      Former Employee — Test Lead in Toronto, ON (Canada). Pros: Work/life balance. Training and development. High client base. Cons: Political environment. HCCM model (killer). Appraisals are a joke. Be prepared to slog and bite peoples backs for promotion. Advice to Senior Management: Please think about employees for heavens sake rather than just numbers.
    • “High hiring standards with only average pay”

      Current Employee — Procurement Professional in Milwaukee, WI. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Flexible work-life balance and ability to work from home are best things about IBM. There are lots of different jobs and work locations spread around the country, but I've found it difficult to move around. If you graduate from one of the "Blue Schools" and can get on one of the executive fast track list, you've got it made.

      Cons: IBM only hires the top students (at least the did when they hired me back in 1998), but they only pay industry average salaries. If you want to take a job at a new location you have to pay for the move yourself,unless you are an executive. There is little job growth or opportunity beyond a band 9 unless you are on some executive fast track list.

      Advice to Senior Management: Forget what college people went to and look at their job performance when deciding who to fast track. You are missing some excellent people and promoting some people who are not the best and brightest.

    • “Once great company that lost its way”

      Former Employee — Sales Specialist in New York, NY I worked at IBM full-time (more than 8 years).

      Pros: Excellent pool of employees. I worked with a great set of colleagues with strong skills who were always willing to assist Good cooperative development teams and product portfolio. Good sales resources (competitive analysises etc.)

      Cons: Very weak management team, particularly at the executive levels. Sales quota appear to random and can not be explained. If you are given certain territories you will make your quota without doing any work (literally). If you are not so blessed, you will have a very difficult time. Management does not differentiate between sales people who walk into large deals vs. ones who fight tooth and nail to win small ones. Expect to have your territory changed every year.

      Advice to Senior Management: Stop thinking and managing to quarterly (or monthly) numbers. By the end of my tenure we were expected to accelerate every deal by offering additional discounts. It helps the quarter but hurts the yearly numbers. Stop the crazy cost-cutting measures! How much does IBM really save by eliminating pads and pens?

    • “Company continues to use employees as an excuse for executive mistakes.”

      Current Employee — Systems Service Representative in Southern, LA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Enjoy working with our customers. Challenging work.

      Cons: Executive management takes benefits and jobs away due to their failures. Benefits promised have been taken away. Workers are rated lower than they should be to push them out. Work constantly moved from high cost countries to lower cost countries. No continuity for customers.

      Advice to Senior Management: Be honest with employees about business needs and results. We are all adults and do understand changing business requirements.

    • “Worst place I've ever worked”

      Current Employee — Anonymous. Pros: Compensation is good if you negotiate very well. A lot of training opportunities. Cons: The benefits are the worst I've ever had in my employment history. The company is too big, so there is a lot of bureaucracy. You accrue vacations, but it's difficult to take it and you can't roll it over. 401K matching does not happen until the end of the year, so if you leave before Dec. 31st, you lose your matching funds.
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 01/23/15:

    As a former IBM manager within Service Delivery, we were told how many 3's we needed to give out to our departments. The goal is to grade on a 'bell curve' of 10% PBC 1's, 40% PBC 2+'s, 40% PBC 2's, and 10% PBC 3's through Team Based Decision Making (TBDM). Long story short, regardless of how well you think your employees did, if the other managers kiss more a$$ than you, your manager will just push their required PBC 3's to you. With a department of 20 people I routinely had to find 2 people who were my bottom resources and give them a PBC 3, but would have to have a list of 3-5 'possibles', just in-case my manager wanted the PBC 3's to come from me.

    I always thought the idea that people were being used as PBC 3 pawns based upon numbers instead of performance was just wrong. Going by the numbers, I would say performance wasn't a factor in 75% of 3's I gave out, just IBM's way of working people they don't like out of the business.

    From talking to those that are still there the typical bell curve has been adjusted to add more PBC 3's. In the past a PBC didn't warrant a PIP (only consecutive PBC 3's). Not sure why they would break protocol, but wouldn't be the first time. -left in '14 with no regrets-

  • Comment 01/23/15:

    PBC tool closes on 27th January. If you haven't receive any news on the rating, you should be able to find out very soon. Some managers dread this difficult conversation and wait until the very last minute. All PBC 3s will be on PIP. In case you get a 3 but no mention of PIP, it's because during the time of communication your manager wasn't being made aware of it yet. -HRP-
  • Comment 01/23/15:

    I just joined the Alliance! It feels very good to know that I'm doing *something* about it. I saw the tips from someone else on how to fight back. I'll add another one — when you get your RA notice next week, on your last day (or maybe immediately), please post your out of office notice on Notes and state in a professional manner that you will be leaving, and put a message to join the alliance and a link to this website, so that we can build awareness and membership. I don't think you can get in trouble for that.

    Also do those glassdoor.com reviews, they are anonymous. If IBM wants to screw us older folks, let's let the youngsters know what they are getting into. Then IBM will have 'nuttin'. The old talent gone, no young talent coming in (that's happening anyway, but let's help it along). If 100k people really get RA'd, maybe we can get enough for a class action age discrimination lawsuit out of that. Stick-it-to-em! --HelpYourself--

  • Comment 01/23/15:

    Get your full year's worth of Healthcare Reimbursement from Acclaris. Even if you have paid for only two months, you are still entitled to the entire year of HCRA dollars. So go for those new prescription glasses, sunglasses, and even acupuncture treatments. Just look at the list of what is permitted for the HCRA and you will be surprised to see that some items that insurance will not pay for (like acupuncture) are paid for with HCRA dollars if the acupuncturist provides a detailed statement. Contact Acclaris now for more information and start submitting those reimbursement statements. Give the board the [needle] shaft! -Stick it to Them: Free Acupuncture-
  • Comment 01/23/15:

    First of all I am a dues paying member...I got the good ole "3" rating, am on the old pension plan and I hope I do get RA'd. I've had enough, I'm ready to go. So I asked my manager what is the appeal process? She told me its changed and that you make an appointment to go to the 2nd line and if it can't be worked out would go from there. Sounds fishy to me.

    So it states on IBM's website that the PBC's must be signed by 1/27 which now the rumored date of 1/28 notifying employees with an exit date of 2/28 makes sense to me and why they are pushing that hard.

    Bring it on IBM. I'm so way better than my job. My next job will be dipping ice cream cones so all I have to worry about is whether you want nuts or cherries.

    I feel very sorry for the ones left over it's going to make your jobs horrible. I also heard there are a lot of seats open to fill, very sad IBM won't place the employees slated to go soon in those open slots. -IveBeenMislead-

  • Comment 01/23/15:

    I also received a PBC 3 this week. It was a total surprise. No warning or clue it was coming. I've always been a 2+ and I'm also on the Transition to Retirement program so I don't know what this means. No details on why I received this. Disturbing. -Almost gone-
  • Comment 01/23/15:

    Just received my PBC of 3; manager confirmed that "it is because you are on the T2R plan." So while I *believe* T2Rs are safe from Chrome, it is at least true - at least in my case - that just being on T2R is reason enough for a 3. Anyone have a different experience? -OutBy16-
  • Comment 01/23/15:

    Got PBC 3 today, Brazil, GTS. The quota raised from 10% to 20%. Don't accept it! Appeal it because during the PIP, the mentor can just tell you're not progressing and you're gonna be laid off. Most of my friends are getting PBC 2; no 2+ or 1. Morale is low in Brazil GTS. Don't believe what Patt Cronin said about GTS. GDF sunk down this company. APPEAL IT! And leave the boat while it is sinking. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/23/15:

    If you are RA'd, retired, live in CT, on the prior pension plan, AND looking for work you can get unemployment right away because IBM has not contributed to the plan since 2007. Print the 60+ page plan document. -CT-
  • Comment 01/23/15:

    I too received a PBC 3 rating on Thursday (which didn't surprise me). I'm in GBS. I was told that the final decision as to who would receive a 3 wasn't made until late on Wednesday. The separation package I have been offered includes 13 weeks of severance pay and one year of medical (since I have more than 25 years with IBM). It's called a "minimized separation allowance".

    I have 30 days to accept. I won't be going the PIP nor appeal route. I was told by my FLM that the only appeal process is through my management chain; there is no arbitration board of peers anymore. Farewell, IBM! -GBSer-

  • Comment 01/23/15:

    @left in '14 with no regrets. The 10-80-10 bell curve went out the window a few years after it was implemented. It was proven to HR that it was not sustainable. For example year one, a department of ten people; year two, nine people; year three, eight people, etc. A point of irrelevancy that folks were were doing valuable work were forced into the bottom 10%. Soon after the 2+ was created, hence 10-40-40-10, still not sustainable.

    There are built-in politics again for example an employee on STSM track requires three years in a row of 2+ or 1 ratings so they are allocated the few top ones. Some departments start the process being told no 1's or 2+'s are allowed. One year our second-line manager told our first-line manager in front of us that the FLM's rating would be that of the lowest he gave. If he gave anyone a 3, his would be a 3 as a low rating would be indication of failure of FLM ability to properly manage his people. -Gone-

  • Comment 01/23/15:

    -GBSer- Back in 2009 I was offered the separation package when I was on short term disability. I was told to not to report to my work location when well if my IBM Director was present. I called out HR and appealed. I at least got 2 week pay per year worked to 26 weeks. I was and still am an Alliance member. My advice: APPEAL and MAKE NOISE. What do you have to lose what you lost already? No reason I see you can't get at least the basic, standard separation package. -sby_willie-
  • Comment 01/23/15:

    Reminder: take all your Personal Choice Holidays (PCH) NOW and before you are notified of RA! You are not reimbursed for them once you get RAed. Unused 2015 vacation is reimbursed since it is "earned vacation"...even if just amounts to 1/2 to 1 day. -ScrewIBM-
  • Comment 01/23/15:

    I'm also on T2R ---- was planning to retire at the end of this year. I also got a 3 today without warning and told I would need to be on a PIP. Totally shocked. According to the T2R documentation, we are exempt from resource actions but not performance-based termination. I think IBM is trying to figure out a way to get rid of us all early. At a minimum, IBM is acting in bad faith. Does anyone think that we could take legal action? -anonymous-

    Alliance reply: What legal action? Absent a union contract you are an "at will employee". http://www.endicottalliance.org/atwillemployment.htm

  • Comment 01/23/15:

    I left my position as a program manager on Dec 17 for a new job. Was a little worried that IBM would go back on their word of funding their match portion of the 401k for anyone still employed on Dec 15, but in the end, they honored that commitment.

    Really sad to hear of more RA's, and especially of the vehicle by which they're doing it - handing out a slew of PBC 3 ratings.

    As you're exiting IBM, remember to get contact info from anyone who can be a good reference for you. If possible, get non-IBM email addresses. And don't overlook peers as references as these can be helpful. In fact, for managers, even your direct reports are potentially valuable references for employment.

    Best of luck. Life outside of IBM has certain advantages, as I'm sure you will soon discover. -ex-GTSer-

  • Comment 01/23/15:

    Sometimes I have to wonder about people. If all the 3s and the 2s went with last RA , where did you think the next ones come from? Still have to make the quota and a first line manager is the tail of the dog. They have no say when it comes to the higher ups want more 2s and 3s. So now with the last RA in 2014 that cleared the bottom of the rankings, yet more innocent people who are happy to do their jobs and are perfectly good employees become 3s.

    There is no appeal except upper mgmt who decreed the number of 3s in November. The days of the PBC board review are gone.

    I don't understand why people wait. I have been out there applying and getting interviews and just a matter of time until I'm out. The higher number of 3s coincide with being given a PIP; less money to pay out. As far as reporting numbers to states, most of us are mobile workers now or telecommuters...you don't have an office or you work at a customers office in another state. -anonymous-

  • Comment 01/24/15:

    Don't think 26% is too high because IBM doesn't have the same funding level as last year. I suspect MANY, IF NOT MOST will be let go with NO parachute to soften the landing. IBM has simply run out of severance monies. -Zeke-
  • Comment 01/24/15:

    I was RAd in 2013 with a 2 rating after 28.5 years at IBM. Not eligible for the old retirement plan by 1.5 years, not eligible for future health account by 1.5 years, my "personal pension acct" balance today is barely 1.5 years' salary. So those of you eligible for the old retirement plan, count your blessings and be glad you didn't miss the boat like I did.

    Even with all that, I can say that it feels GREAT to be out of that toxic work environment, so good luck to all of you who are left.

    It seems pretty clear to me that IBM does not care that the businesses will fail, I think they are doing their best to get out of the hardware business and get rid of the "liabilities" — I mean employees — along the way.

    Once the stock drops even more, the execs will get lots of cheap stock options and then if they actually manage to turn things around, they can buy more cars and boats and pat themselves on the back for being *cough* job creators. -GoneIn2013-

  • Comment 01/24/15:

    To GBSer*** Your post concerns me, rated a 3 and already given a package with 13 weeks severance? This is of course would be my nightmare as I was rated a 3 also and can retire. Nothing surprises me anymore.

    If we are going to get RA'd we all hope for up to the 6 months pay. I think that would be the icing on my cupcakes. From what I understand when you are put on a performance plan you have up to 90 days to work the plan. So if we are all put on plans wouldn't that push our RA's out 90 days? If they put all 3's on plans they wouldn't make their fudged 1st qtr results.

    Another concern is that if the resource budget is half of what it was last year, makes me wonder if they plan on cutting our packages to 13 weeks. I guess all we can do is wait for the slaughter to see how the axe swings. If I'm put on a 90 day plan I'm looking for another job during that timeframe. Don't forget to send Alliance@IBM your documents showing how many got cut and where. -IveBeenMislead-

  • Comment 01/24/15:

    Hi All. Sad when writing these lines. Got a 3 too, but seriously it is not the rating I got. Instead I think that I just realized that "the IBM" is not the IBM any more for which I started to work, where I spent passion for the business to win deals for IBM. Although I have external certifications (PMP and OpenGroup), IBM does not care any more. Very sad to think about where this company will be in 1-2 years. Sorry for all the good colleagues I met at IBM...take care. I will leave soon. Bye. -Morpheus-
  • Comment 01/24/15:

    IBM has set up the PR campaign for layoffs, and hidden the true layoffs that will occur under the guise of employees didn' have skills, and a shifting company structure/focus. It will be difficult to find something with a sudden glut of IBMers out there if you are RAed, amplified by the negative comments about lack of skills. Make sure you document things you've done and internal certification you've gained to show you are valuable.

    I left because I saw this coming. My new position paid less, but the opportunity was great, and already moving towards higher pay and responsibility. If you are talented and plan now to document how well you performed, regardless of the quota based performance ratings you will be able to make it.

    There are employers who treat people with dignity and not as a easily replaceable unit (ever notice IBM serial numbers are the same format as a FRU?). It would be interesting if somehow figures could be compiled on how many of those going on PIP with low ratings and low PBC's are older workers. Seems like project chrome may be a way to remove silver haired workers. -Not blue anymore-

  • Comment 01/24/15:

    IBMers you have no say when IBM wants to get rid of you. As we all know respect for the individual and full employment is old history in IBM. The PBC in IBM is a huge sham. It is used to get rid of employees. The 3 in IBM on your PBC is associated with your age. IBM doesn't care about law suits before the EEOC. Without a union and being an at-will employer employees have no say who gets laid off and who stays.

    IBM is the most corrupt company in the IT industry in the way it treats its own employees. There is not a more dedicated, loyal, and intelligent work force in the world, but the last three executives and their management team have destroyed a once great work force in IBM. We are in desperate need of union to counter these corrupt and greedy practices used by executives and managers. -ANA-

  • Comment 01/24/15:

    The 26% estimate by Mr. Cringely may not be far off from the truth. I know for a fact that in my organization (within GTS Services Delivery) my team was targeted with 20% cuts across the board. Those targets were delivered to the FLMs from their SLMs many weeks ago. I have been a full member of the Alliance for a number of years now. Is $15 a month REALLY too much for you? Probably not. Pull the trigger and join the Alliance as a Full Member. Only 22 new members as of today? That's a joke, considering how many people read this valuable forum, how many US jobs are at risk, how poorly IBM has treated its employees over the years, the steady loss of benefits every year, etc, etc. Stand up and be counted! Thank you again to Lee and the rest of the team! -International Bowel Movements-
  • Comment 01/24/15:

    I shake my head sometimes when I see posters here make the statement that 'all the lower performers are already cleared out', i.e. only 'low performers' (deserved to go) have previously been RA'd and then are shocked that they themselves, superstars that they think they are, may be next up to be let go. Come down off your thrones; the inept IBM Senior Executives, to save themselves, will come and get you as well; nobody is exempt. Stop thinking you're too good to be cut. Your time is coming. A Union has no chance when its potential members think they are exempt (not me) from job loss. -Ex-IBM Apparent Low Performer-
  • Comment 01/24/15:

    PBC Ginni! RA Ginni! Yes, I think we can actually do that. Glassdoor.com has a section in their reviews where you can give the CEO a rating. This site has been mentioned in the articles about IBM, so the analysts and public are watching. When you get screwed on your PBC rating, only you and your boss know. How about we all publicly rate Ms Rometty, since really the reason we're all getting downgraded and fired is because of *her* performance. Please, please go on GlassDoor, put in a review, and give YOUR rating of Ms. Rometty.

    Her approval rating is currently 47%, which is pretty low. I'd say that's a 3! Let's drag it down as far as we can and get her butt dismissed. It takes a few days for the reviews to show up, because they vet them (so be responsible and don't rant), so maybe if you all take a few minutes to do that this weekend, she'll get her rating next week as well when we get ours.

    And please, spend the $5 per month to join the alliance. I did and I really have a good sense of peace about it, this site has helped me so much. Maybe we'll get an article about how the screwing by management has led to this unionization effort.

    The other thing - if you are RA'd, don't just put this site URL in your out of office email (which is a good idea since most managers probably don't know how to change that), put it in your good bye message to your colleagues, on any Connections sites, etc. They may filter and block on the actual URL, so I usually say something like 'good luck to you all. help yourselves by going to a site that you will find if you Google IBM and alliance'. or maybe IBM and job cuts since 'alliance' could trigger a filter. Fight the borg! -ShipGoingDown-

    Alliance reply: Thank you for joining and for your ideas. There has been a new ruling from the National Labor Relations Board and it is good: Employees with access to their employer's email system have the right to use it for union organizing and other communications about wages and working conditions, but only during "nonworking time," the National Labor Relations Board ruled. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/12/business/ruling-lets-work-email-be-used-to-organize-unions.html

  • Comment 01/24/15:

    Employees follow leaders who set an example, have high standards, and lead with integrity and trust. Can anyone tell me what an FLM in AMS actually does today? I thought the PDM model went away long ago. They contribute nothing of value toward the success of a project. Have no stake in the game in terms of project success. Checking a box claim has been submitted, PA's are done, think 40 was met contributes nothing toward long term success. The PBC system is broke and everyone knows it! Why would someone rated unjustly do anything above the minimum required or go above when the system is set up to screw the employee? #sendamessage join the alliance and stop the abuse. Stop giving IBM any time for free. -#IBM_Doesn't_value_their_emp-
  • Comment 01/24/15:

    I've heard layoffs next week as well but 26% is probably wrong; haven't seen any warn acts and when Cringley said 150 000 last time he was off by 120,000, lol. If you're in the US you should join the union; your job wont be at anymore risk then it already is. As for not having enough money for packages, don't kid yourselves. IBM still made money well into the billions. -whatever-

    Alliance reply: Be aware that if IBM terminates large numbers of 3's for "performance issues" then a WARN notification is not needed. Another sneaky way IBM gets around reporting job cuts.

  • Comment 01/25/15:

    Absent a union contract you are an "at will employee". IBM can and WILL do anything to get rid of people where they don't have to honor any longevity. If you are over 55 with 25+, IBM management will even make up terrible lies to have a 'legal' reason to get rid of you. It happened to me and I got so sick over it that I landed in the hospital. I would've walked on hot coals for this ONCE great company.

    The current levels of management are weak links and puppets for incompetence at the highest levels. It's such a shame.

    Stay strong and know that there is life after IBM. If you are a hard worker and smart, there is someone out there who will hire you!

    Stay close to the ALLIANCE, print out all your files, customer, partner and IBM friends contact info. Get your own private cell phone and move your number that people know. Get your own Gmail account. Update your resume and Linkedin account.

    Good luck. IBM will re-invent itself however a lot of lives and families will be hurt. Most importantly, SIGN UP to the ALLIANCE! -Anonymous-

  • Comment 01/25/15:

    I very much doubt Cringely's 26% figure. But IBM revenues are declining. Maybe it can turn itself around, but do you want to bet the farm on that? Without revenue growth, what future is there? Rometty is on borrowed time, and all the financial engineering has weakened IBM. The next CEO, interested in the long term viability of the company, will presumably inflict short term pain for the sake of dollars to invest in new products.

    When I left last year, the RA's in Australia were more generous than was required by law. IBM funded better job retraining than other companies. I expect that will be cut at some point.

    When I concluded in 2003 that I was unlikely to get to retirement age before being laid off, I accepted and planned for it. Paid down debt, enhanced skills.

    Sorry to be blunt, but if all your eggs are in the IBM basket, you need to do something about that. Start planning for what's next. Look at how you might be able to influence the timing of your RA so you leave with a cash injection.

    Consider joining the union - I don't think it can save your job, but it might improve your bargaining position at time of separation.

    And for goodness sake do what is necessary to make you attractive to the market. Learn a new skill. Take some free university study through MOOC sites like coursera or ex to modernise your skills. Good luck to all still there as 2015 unfolds. -Randroid-

  • Comment 01/25/15:

    To -IveBeenMislead-: I was put on a PIP at the beginning of 2013. I was told it could be either 30, 60 or 90 days. If I did not want to be put on the PIP, I could take a severance package of up to 13 weeks pay. If I chose the PIP, if at any time during the PIP period my performance dropped below a 2, I would be immediately terminated with no severance. My manager and I agreed on a 90-day PIP. I successfully completed the PIP, earning a 2 rating. That, however, did not shield me from the RA's that came in the second half of 2013. But at least I got up to 26 weeks pay with that severance package.

    To -GBSer-: "2) if unsuccessful in meeting the improvement conditions, then I would be ineligible for a separation package for 12 months" — are you sure that you would be kept around if you failed to meet the conditions of the PIP? As I stated above, I was told (in 2013) that if my performance ever dropped below a 2 during the PIP period I would be terminated immediately. -OutIn2013-

  • Comment 01/25/15:

    -Almost gone- I'm sorry to hear about you performance reduction. It does not surprise me that your manager gave you a 3 even though you are on the transition to retirement plan. While it says you will not be RA'ed while on the plan it also said you could still be let go for performance reasons. By giving people on the plan 3's it allows IBM to lay them off while still saying they met the program requirements. There is also the potential to save IBM a bunch of dough by getting rid of the TTR folks before the end of the year.

    How many times in recent history has IBM implied they would do something and turn around and not honor it? Too many to count. When you think about it the only way this could have been avoided was if IBM employees had a contract. -anonymous_retiree-

  • Comment 01/25/15:

    A union might help negotiate improvements to terms of your separation, but a union won't fix the company's broken business model. It won't translate to IBM's ability to execute or to your happiness. IBMers: invest in yourselves and plan your next moves. Own it. -InBetterPastures-
  • Comment 01/25/15:

    Based on recent comments, there's some confusion about an RA vs PIP, so let me try to clarify.

    An RA is not always based on performance, and in the past, RA victims would get a separation package with up to 6 months salary and up to one year transitional medical coverage (different from CORBA), depending on your length of service (no guarantee that won't change). People in the T2R program are immune from an RA; that is a documented feature of the program.

    A PIP is always based on performance. In the past, you were automatically put on a PIP if you received two consecutive PBC 3 ratings. This year, everyone who gets a 3 is going on a PIP, including people in the T2R program. (They are not immune). Those who go on a PIP will have two options (you may get up to 30 days to choose):

    1. Leave voluntarily with a minimal separation package (about half the RA separation package). This is not an RA — you are resigning, you are not getting terminated.
    2. Attempt to improve your performance within an agreed upon time period. If you fail, you are terminated with no separation package. This year, everyone who selects this option will fail, whether or not they actually improve their performance. Again, this is not an RA — you are getting terminated for poor performance.

    This year, IBM is using PBC 3 ratings and PIPs to get rid of people without the cost and overhead of an RA. It remains to be seen whether there will actually be a separate RA — if everyone to be cut gets a 3, there's no need for an RA. -Survivor-

  • Comment 01/25/15:

    The following was sent to the Alliance@IBM media list last week:
    Various members of the media are picking up on Robert Cringely's assertion that 100,000 IBMers will lose their jobs next week in a massive reorg at IBM. The Alliance has no information that this is true and we are urging caution on reporting this number as fact. But as you all know, anything can happen at IBM anymore and this is the time of year that IBM cuts jobs. Our job cuts reports section is filled with employee comments on being downgraded in their work evaluations (PBC) and slated for individual firings. We do believe this number will be high and it will be used to circumvent any requirement of a WARN notification.

    To follow the comments go here: http://www.endicottalliance.org/jobcutsreports.php. If job cuts do happen, be sure to follow our web site and we will keep you informed. -Lee-

  • Comment 01/25/15:

    Rather than lamenting the truth or reminiscing about the past i suspect the only thing that will change the corporate behavior is when customers believe there will be degraded or contract breaching performance. all of us should be telling the customers that we do not understand how we will be able to competently address their needs given the direction the corporation is clearly taking. -too late now-
  • Comment 01/25/15:

    Jim Cramer once said of IBM management "They have lost control of the business." This may very well be true as you see this incompetence play out quarter by quarter in spectacular fashion. Also, like corrupt banana republics, corruption and injustice are not a sustainable governance model or a sustainable business model for that matter.

    IBM is toast with the current board and management.

    Also why oh why is IBM entering race-to-the-bottom Cloud to compete for nickels and dimes with all the hipster coders out there? They will pay for nothing unless it has an Apple logo or a Starbucks logo. I thought they were exiting low margin sh*t markets?

  • Comment 01/25/15:

    To Gorya — The TR2 contract states that employees can be let go for poor performance before the 12/31/15 contract ends. Since I was always a 2+ and have not modified my work performance I did not expect a 3. TR2 people are compared to their peers in the PBC. Since we are working 60 percent of the hours we worked before I'm wondering if management considers this justification for the 3. I've been a Alliance member for years. I sure wish we had enough people to protect ourselves. -Almost gone-
  • Comment 01/26/15:

    @-Almost Gone-: I was part of the 2009 RA, and was a manager for a few years before that. IBM Management will of course use your working only 60% of the time to lower your PBC. The party line is "you are not here full-time, so you do not contribute as much as the others". I guarantee you have heard, or will hear, that phrase (may be worded slightly differently) during your PBC review. In the beancounters' eyes, shorter work-hours equate to lower contribution, never mind the T2R program was a reason for the shorter hours to begin with.

    I am an old-timer and remember Rometty's many nicknames when she ran the Consulting arm. "Peroxide Queen" was one of the more charitable ones, and the rest can't be printed here. That gives you an idea of how highly-regarded she was by those in the consulting trenches. -An Onymous-

  • Comment 01/26/15:

    I was wondering about the folks who got caught up in that mandatory education scam brought on by CAMSS. Did y'all get an automatic 3 PBC rating? Also, just wanted to say that I stand in support of all fellow IBMers who received an unfair PBC rating. It is a direct and personal insult. To me, unfairly insulting my work ethic is just as severe as insulting my personal appearance. -GinniGinniWhoCanITurnTo?-
  • Comment 01/26/15:

    In response to the question about mandatory CAMSS training affecting PBC ratings: A large portion of my team was selected for the CAMSS training/paycut last year, including me. A few years back, my 2+'s became 2's. This year, another 2. Incidentally, my FLM was so disturbed by having to give the 10% CAMSS pay cuts that my FLM found another job, turned in a two week notice and left IBM last year. -2TodayGone2morrow-
  • Comment 01/26/15:

    I find it odd that people who received a PBC 3 have not received any details about the PIP (and in some cases, haven't even been told about the PIP). Given all that has been reported here so far, here's what I think (not what I've heard) is going to happen this week:
    • The deadline for signing off on PBCs is tomorrow (1/27), except for Sales.
    • Those that haven't been given their result yet will get it by tomorrow, and if their managers have waited this long to deliver results, chances are they're getting a 3.
    • After tomorrow, details of the PIP program will be communicated to everyone who received a 3. This will include information about the choices to be made, the package details, timing, etc. This will probably not include specific goals that need to be achieved under the PIP, since that would come from your manager, and only if you decided to take your chances (which would be a mistake).
    • This communication about the PIP will be the big "layoff" that has been reported. There will be no RA. I don't believe the 26% prediction, but I expect a lot of people to be impacted.
    • Because people are being eliminated based on performance, not because their position was eliminated (typical of an RA), there's no reason IBM can't replace the "poor performers" with new hires (no doubt younger and less expensive ones), and I expect they will do so.

    If this comes to pass, despite our "at will" status, this might be bad enough to justify a class action lawsuit, depending on how many people get a 3. Is this something the Alliance gets involved with, even if it's only for those who are full members? -Survivor-

  • Comment 01/26/15:

    I was IBM employee 4 years back. When annual RA became regular thing, I decided to move on. I have much better paying job and more respectful position. If you are in Solutions Eng, Architecture with 8-10 years of experience and willing to take a plunge, please contact me: you2me1@yahoo.com with your resume and I will help you out. If you don't have your resume updated even now, good luck! -Happy X IBMer-
  • Comment 01/26/15:

    Sammy "Walnuts" Palmisano and Ginny Rometty being the least gentrified and corrupt of all past IBM CEOs (an opinion) have set up an iPhone Foxconn factory model for its employees and how they are treated — an opinion. Now, it's playing out in strange and unpredictable ways. Unless you unionize you will be abused in this day and Godless age. -Sammy Walnuts-
  • Comment 01/26/15:

    Very disturbing. Received another 3 and told that it's just bureaucratic issues. Will not be put on "probation" and offered a package. Worked in the new role for 7 months. Manager says wish they were more hands on during that time to help lead?? Meetings every week. No constructive comments during those moments. Manager hopes I don't take the package. A very unfortunate way to handle talent. -Marketing Mahem-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    I'm a T2R participant and received a PBC3. All previous years as an IBMer were 2s and 2+s. I apparently will not have to endure the PIP nonsense, but only because I had previously committed to leaving completely before the end of the current quarter.

    I strongly suspect that the vast majority of T2R participants were (conveniently) graded 3s. I also suspect that many will be gone, package-less, by end of April. From the T2R Q&A document: Q5. Once I am approved or start my new schedule, will my participation in the 2014 Transition to Retirement Program continue until my retirement date of no later than December 31, 2015? A5. Yes, as long as you remain an IBM employee with satisfactory performance. -Leaving_Soon-

  • Comment 01/27/15:

    As an IBM employee for a decade now what I find it insane is that every time the CEO and the senior executive leadership team fails to make shareholder expectations they pretend to be doing something by restructuring...aka laying off employee's and changing division names in IBM. What is even more insane is why the key shareholders put up with this nonsense.

    Obviously like any leadership team if they do not produce results, for sure after 11 straight quarters in a row. You would think they would ask the CEO Ginny Rometty and her senior leadership to step down. Obviously what they are doing isn't working and they need fresh leadership. Instead great employees and visionaries that make IBM great are being fired and the guts of the company are being ripped apart...what a mess. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 01/27/15:

    Does not look good. 80 cut down in Finland. The issue is that most of top talent has fled already. We are loosing competition to ex-colleagues. Work consists of fixing cost optimized projects. After heroic rescue, being moved to bench waiting for next. Got my PBC 3 due to low utilization. This allows to deny all salary increase requests. I have a nagging feeling there might be some moral conflict hidden in here. -Worker-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    People there will always be the wealthy and powerful (IBM BOD and management) and the abused (workers). This is a microcosm of society as a whole. Whether its plantation master/slave or hipsters on trust funds pushing middle class families out of the city neighbourhoods, class struggles are part of an inequitable Godless society.

    Here, you do have an option to afford you equitable working conditions: unionize. But to be effective, all IBM employees in all countries it operates must unionize and act as one block. This is your key to equity and justice. Knowing IBM management, they will probably enslave blue men on Mars and setup a Foxconn factory in Mars and setup a Taft-Harley Mars act to prevent such things there :) -Taft and Hartley-

  • Comment 01/27/15:

    Also next time you are cheerily watching Fox news decry unions and people who actually do real work for a living unlike IBM management, think twice. Unless you are earning 1/4 of a million dollars annually and have many millions in net worth you should not decry unions or workers rights. You may end up needing it. Besides treating your fellow human being with equity and dignity is divine and will benefit you in the long run and the opposite will leave you and your subsequent generations cursed by blood-money. This will be the fate of IBM management. -Foo Bar-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    Agreeing with T2R2013... if you leave IBM as a result of the current workforce manipulations, you should file for unemployment. I have found that even in cases where a hearing is required (i.e. the person is not obviously entitled to unemployment insurance payments), the UI board are very inclined to side with the employee. Even if you are retirement age, if you are being forced out, you can make a case for UI.

    Note...for the UI people, an employer "breaks the contract" with the employee even when that contract is implicit. For example, you were hired to do X tasks, but in an effort to force you out, your manager is compelling you to do Y tasks. You can make a case for UI, saying that IBM has changed the terms of your employment, thereby essentially forcing you to resign/retire.

    If you are part of this 2015 mess, do not worry about the exact rules in your state. Just make the very best case you can and file for UI; you have *nothing* to lose! And remember, UI boards are biased in favor of the employees. Good luck, everyone. -16YearsAndCounting-

  • Comment 01/27/15:

    In my area a lot of co-workers are coming down with what they call the Big Blue Flu. I think we will all take some sick days on the 28th and 29th. Are you feeling sick? Should you take a few sick days off too? -anon-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the utter humiliation of getting a 3: PIP. I got one unjustly a few years ago and I fought back — even though I don't have balls (which is probably one of the reasons I got the 3; it was thought I would go quietly). And I got it raised — so no PIP. Everyone who thinks they got a 3 unfairly should FIGHT IT.

    Also, join the union! It's pathetic that we are looking at only 20-some new members when all this is going on. To the person who said they generally don't think much of organized labor, why the hell not? They are the people who got us the 8-hour workday and the 40-hour workweek. Of course our work weeks in IBM are much longer than 40 hours. Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with not having a union?

    To me a 3-PIP is much worse than an RA. A 3-PIP says you, yes you, are the reason IBM is in such bad shape. It's not the bazillions of managers between you and Ginni; no, their management and 'leadership' has been impeccable. You know, it's one thing to tell someone else to do the work; it's another thing to actually do it. So let's do all we can to put the blame where it belongs. Unless you deserve it, fight that 3, and JOIN THE UNION. -Fight Back!-

    Alliance reply: Thank you for your comment. The Alliance needs boots on the ground in every IBM location/division. We need workers willing to be organizers. Want a better place to work at? Want a voice in IBM? Help us organize.

  • Comment 01/27/15:

    IBM changed the rules on the appeals process. No longer are PBC issues eligible for review through Open door or Panel Review. Managers were told but NOT the workers! We need a union! -anon-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    IBM management and executives don't care if you call in sick, are pissed off about your PBC rating of 3, or anything else about you as a person. When are IBMers going to realize that this has been going on by the last three executives who hate the IBM employee. These three executives see the IBM employee as a drag on the quarterly profits and their bonuses and perks. Without a union, this kind of treatment to IBM employees will continue as long as there is no union. -Union Now-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    Global Admin managers got the word today they were being RAd. Tomorrow assistants will get notified. -Anon-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    I just received an urgent, one-on-one meeting request from my manager for tomorrow (01/28). I received a PBC downgrade from 2+ to 2 last week, despite better results than the previous year, so I guess I knew this was coming. -GreatWhiteNorth-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    Thanks to the Alliance and the employees who contribute here. I've been a supporter (non-voting) for some time, but just added my name to the list of voting UNION members. I've been looking for an opportunity outside of IBM for a while, but haven't been able to devote much time to it because of the MASSIVE amount of unpaid overtime that IBM requires. I received a PBC 2+ this year, but I know it still doesn't shield me from what's coming. My monthly 1-on-1 with my manager was supposed to be today...he rescheduled it for tomorrow. The writing's on the wall. Signed, -PBC-BS-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    I will be leaving IBM in the near future. I am saddened by how IBM has faltered but it is not worthwhile for me to continue working for this company. IBM primarily uses negative reinforcement to motivate its employees: lack of raises, lack of training/education, no variable pay, a disingenuous employee evaluation system (PBC) with a punitive ranking system, a forced labor policy (i.e. utilization rate), pay cuts, furloughs, continuous cost cutting and frequent layoffs.

    As a result IBM has created a culture where first and foremost every employee has to look out for themselves. I receive a number of emails from management and they are often addressed to Team. I wonder why I receive them since I don’t feel a part of any team. Too many of my colleagues have either left or have been forced out for me to feel otherwise.

    If you are the sole proprietor of a business, do you think that you can motivate your employees for maximum performance by encouraging them to make more money for you? Of course not. But that is effectively what an enterprise is saying when it states that its purpose is to maximize profit for its investors” David Lanstaff, CEO of TASC -joe-

  • Comment 01/27/15:

    Someone on the board please listen. IBM management has engendered so much ill will as to cause dysfunction and hate and paralysis amongst the employees. If you do not change management now, you will lose control of the business. Watson nor Dickson nor analytics nor cloud is going to change the fortunes of this company. I vote for Frank Blake who cleaned up Nardelli's mess at Home Depot by actually respecting the needs of the employees. Please heed this advice now! Please? -Advice-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    Last week I got a "solid 2" PBC rating. Today I too was invited to a 15-minute meeting tomorrow with my second-level manager. (Evidently, some first-levels in my area are also being laid off, which is rare if not unprecedented.) Obviously I am sad but also a bit relieved to be escaping. -33-year IBMer in San Jose-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    Constructive dismissal is what I was thinking. They put you in a spot, set you up for failure and even if you worked hard and turns things around but still not good enough for them. Best case scenario is a package of some sort (not expecting anything great), worst case scenario PIP. Will find out my fate tomorrow in the "meeting". -Soon to be out the door eh-
  • Comment 01/27/15:

    I quit IBM after 14 years on 1/5/2014. I could not take the way IBM treated their customers or employees anymore. I have had a 2+ rating every year. 70 to 80 hrs a week giving them my life. I do not love my new job like I did my IBM position and miss my coworkers. But IBM is a horrible place to work. Their loss with me. The DPE on my account was RA'd today and rumors of two more on this already under-staffed account. I feel horrible for the ones left. IBM is in a very dark place right now. Severance or not. Get out and experience being appreciated again. -SEB-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    This comment is for any customer that may be reading this forum. If you are happy with an IBMer that is supporting your account, make that person an offer to join your company now, even if they are not RA'd. After the job cuts, IBM won't be able to support your account, and really doesn't want to be in that business anymore, only camms. Monitor your SLA's, alert your legal department, and be ready to cancel your contract for breach. Hiring the IBMer now will make the termination seamless. Think about it. -Bluebird-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    I wish the best to all IBM employees. It's sad the annual culling of the herd has become such a ritual. I grew up in an IBM where a union was a complete waste of time. IBM was a family and it was awesome to be a part of it. Now, I feel anger at what the management team has done to it. I love IBM, but I hate the changes that have occurred since the RJR team showed up in 93.

    A nationwide walkout would certainly get their attention. You all need a union now. It's the only way to stop this insanity. You are an asset, not an expense to be cut at a whim. I'm retired and quite happy to be done with all of the pressure, uncertainty, sleepless nights these days bring. May all of you find peace. -IBMToLenovoAndOut-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Sorry to see all the pain on this board. I saw this coming and left months ago, and I'm so glad I did. I just wish people here could all leave, find peace, and enjoy life. Finding another job is a more constructive use of time than fighting IBM management. THINK my friends. -xibmr-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Dear IBM friends, IBM unexpectedly laid me off a few years ago just because I was 52 years old and had the pension plan. All those 2+ PBC did not make up for getting old. After giving my best 30 professional years to IBM and then being betrayed by IBM, I was devastated but now I am glad that they did me such a big favor.

    I found a good job with an almost equal pay, and with the pension from Big Blue I am pulling in 30% more than what Big Blue paid me.

    The net is being RA'd by Big Blue is not at all that bad. This company is going down the tube anyway. If you are near retirement, then enjoy your retirement. If you still want to work, find a better place to use your skills and dedication. Big Blue does not deserve to have your talent and hard work. Good luck, -RA'ed and Happy-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    I can confirm first hand that significant cuts are being made in Melbourne, Australia at multiple levels from Project Executives, DPE, Managers, SDMs, SMEs across multiple accounts. It seems to be predominantly affecting permanent staff, but contractors seem to be affected too. There seems to be no pattern to the selection criteria, as seemly indispensable people in key / critical positions are being removed.

    What is becoming abundantly clear is the organisation is effective scuttling itself. I doubt we could deliver shiite now. The current leadership in my opinion is a cancer in need of immediate removal. Without prompt intervention IBM will fail spectacularly. Sorry no name provided as IBM has proven itself time and again to be very vindictive when it comes to criticism. -Anon-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    IBM Australia was hit hard today, I know of many who got RA'd, my manager says that everyone has to be notified by the end of the week. They also said this is all there will be for now but I doubt that, nearly all my team's work is getting sent to India, we have almost nothing to do in March. I expect these redundancies to continue for weeks and maybe months.

    The quality of work from our Indian colleagues is abysmal, not a single job assigned to them hasn't been heavily re-worked by an Australian counterpart, if all our work went entirely to them it would collapse. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    I am genuinely sorry for anyone who ends up RAed or otherwise forced out. IBM is a very difficult place to work. I do not need to rehash the reasons, plenty are noted here. I left because it was impossible to see a future in the company. I couldn't do much for the people I managed. No matter how well we did or how hard we worked, to our management, we always came up short in some way. I worked with some great people and though I like where I've landed, I still wish I could be with my old co workers. -FormerIBMer-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    I had been eligible for the TTR but chose not to partake. Management gave hint that I would not be accepted into it, being considered a skill resource. I did not want to give IBM heads up as to my intent to leave. Nor being put in position to do skills transfer. After receiving a 2 with words of platitude which equated to no salary increase or GDP. I bided my time and at a customer presentation when it was stated that I would be performing "........." for the customer. I SameTime'd my manager saying I would not be able to. Why? At that point I gave two week's notice. After 30 years the door closed behind me and I have not looked back. -Gone-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Sorry to hear about the carnage today. I was part of the 2008 Network Services sell-off to AT&T. At the time, I thought it was bad news, but things have been very good at AT&T. I still keep up with IBM news as they are just one of my customers now. Good luck to all and remember there is life after IBM. -*HappyAtTheDeathStar*-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Just received call and package over phone, Last day is Feb 27th, normal package. It's good to be done with this Gestapo style company. -BrightFuture-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    My group of 13 was unaffected this morning. But there have been voluntary departures recently that put us under head-count. Our SDM made an announcement about the resource action and made reference to items in the news about it, and its code name of "Project Chrome". That says a lot right there, "Project Chrome" —as if it were a military operation targeting ISIS terrorists in need of extermination. The thing is, some of the terminated employees will be saying it's the best thing that ever happened to them a year from now. Probably not most of them, but certainly some of them. -Anom-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Thank God never an IBMer but worked with some decades ago who find the current mess lamentable. Only familiar with the carnage in Rochester MN and strongly feel local leaders and state officials cower in the face of IBM by not challenging their lack of transparency, gaga order on severance and HR abuse. Performance evaluation sham is just that. I firmly believe Mayo Clinic empire will absorb IBM and many opportunities will develop. EPIC is a rapidly growing firm I think headquartered in Madison WI. World wide walkout is a great idea. It is nothing other than money grubbing, obscene profit mongers destroying a once great company. Time to fight back. -The Colonel-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Job cuts in progress at Poughkeepsie. Got called in first thing this morning. Received a PBC 3 after being a career 2 and 2+ employee. Got 26 weeks severance and transitional medical, etc. Sign out day will be Feb 27th. I'm aware of 2 other people in my function who also got laid off today. Doesn't look to be a good day in Poughkeepsie. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Well, I got pinged on SameTime by my manager to talk. He gave me the news that I've been RA'ed. I too was one of those people that got the "3" and had never received one in the past. My manager told me that he had been notified yesterday that he had been RA'ed too.

    As a side note, I worked at IBM from 1996-2007 and was a manager over a delivery team when I got RA'ed in 2007. I worked for several years at another IT company, but it got bought and I along with my entire team were laid off when they closed my division down. I came back to IBM as a contractor in 2011 and then a regular in late 2013. -MySecondTime-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Just got the official RA notice. No PIP. My undeserved PBC rating of 3 does not matter anymore. Last day is Feb 27. Severance will be based on pre-training salary. (A good thing. 10% more). Credit for years at a prior company "expired" (A bad thing). 8 years of IBM service In SO project management. Good luck everyone. I'm on to greener pastures and will not look back. -DeepThroat-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Lance Crosby is out. That is no vote of confidence for IBM's cloud ambitions. -Former IBM-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Just talked to a co-worker from the UK I used to work with on one of my accounts. 350 out of 2000 people got RA'd. This is SO (Strategic Outsourcing) only which in the states is division 07. Said he didn't know about the other divs as he is in SO. UK has laws that IBM must disclose numbers unlike the States. -IveBeenMislead-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    RA'ed today. 20 years, got PBC 3 which we all know a farce. I am costly to IBM at band level 9 compared to new hires. I am part of Corporate Marketing. Glad to receive this package. Oh, I am 60 so time to enjoy life! My FLM said I get the max of 26 weeks. For those who have consistently been among the lowest contributors, aka PBC 3, you will get only the max of 13 weeks. Good luck to those RA'ed today and to those remaining with this company. -Gone after 20 years-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Got the call first thing this morning. PBC rating 2, been a 2 for past 4 years, 2+ for about 8 year and 1's before that. 17 years with IBM, was on training program, and even received a few bonus's last year. Severance package is standard with pay at normal rate not reduced. Age almost 58 so a few years before I can retire.

    Will wait till tomorrow to read through the package, but I think I'm at least glad it's finally over and can stop wondering what's going to come. I pray for those that are now trying to figure out how to support their families, and also for those that will still have to face this each year, and for those new people that will never know the old IBM that stressed ethics and were proud of the work we did. -It's Finally Over-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    "will have a strong case for unfair dismissal." (if you get a surprise PBC 3) You are an "at will" employee. Unfair dismissal? Says who? IBM solely determines dismissal fair or unfair without a union. Without a union contract at will employees have NOTHING. With a union they have SOMETHING. -NeedaUnion-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    So after around 20 years I get my very first 3 PBC rating. And behind curtain number two is the boot imprint on my rear. Even though I was given BS reasons for the 3 (which I did protest, too) in the end it simply did not matter. They have an agenda and will stick to it by any means necessary. On my team of 4 people I'm the 25% to get cut. It's a lose-lose situation for us all. Those who get canned are out of work, those left behind have to pick up the slack for which they don't have the cycles. Good luck all, its been a trip. -Doneisdone-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Meeting was short (about 5 mins); package was given. Burden lifted off my shoulder. Not a walk-out or PIP. Will read the fine prints later. -Be Free eh-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    14-year IBMer resourced today. Last day Feb 27. Age 58. C&N/Legal group. Outstanding performer downgraded to strong performer (i.e. 2) for last PBC. Directly closed over $100M in contracts past quarter. Standard package. Lump sum payment equivalent to one week of pay for each fully completed six months of service based on most recent date of hire, with a minimum of two weeks and up to a maximum of 26 weeks. 6 months transition for medical. -Ex-C&N-IBMer-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Even though a 2 PBC rating received, I got the RA package today. Cost cutting and efficiency. Manager was a total tool, read from script, and when I asked how long she had known about this, she stated that is confidential. After 34 years, what a way to be shown the door. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Cringely was correct. The firings are in progress now. What was once the epitome of American business has become the poster child for all that is wrong with American business. Thanks Bob and Alliance—for telling this sad story, for relentlessly speaking truth to power, for not backing down, and for supporting workers. BTW, IBM’s future is cloudy indeed – Lance Crosby was forced out this week as well. -Ghost of TJW-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    RA'd today after 18 1/2 years. Last day Feb 27th. Recently blind-sided by a 3 rating on PBC. Total fabrication full of inaccurate and false reasons stated. Work from home in NY State. Division: GTS. Role: Architect. Have not seen it yet but apparently the standard package—1 week per year max 26 weeks. What I don't get is why rate me a 3 and then lay me off? No mention of PIP. I wonder if it is to ensure I won't be hired if I find another position within IBM? Was targeted, I am sure. because in June I would have been qualified for the FHA Insurance benefit. I will survive. -Sacraficial Lamb-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    The cuts have started in the US and are quickly spreading. I received my call this morning. I received a 3 rating for the first time in my entire career. It was completely unfounded with no documentation to substantiate. 18 years with the company and they totally betray and demoralize before they let you go. -Ace-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    -Anonymous- Don't be fooled by what your FLM told you. HR has no say in who gets RA'ed. The FLM works with his peer managers to come up with a list based on an amount of headcount that must go given to them by their management team. The only role HR plays in this is they provide the number each organization has to trim to the upper management. -longtimebeemer-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    After 18 yrs with the company, 2+ PBC ratings, and 15 of those years working in the security arena, I got my glowing PBC rating of 3 (with no warning that I was even doing anything amiss) last week and an RA notice today. Sounds like many in the North America storage group is getting the same. Hard to take, especially when you've grown to actually care about what happens to this company, and folks surrounding you, trying to get the mission accomplished. Boulder is getting the axe, division 7 is behind it. Surprised that it even hit security, since auditors have been having a field day with them, but so it goes... -anonymous-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    PBC 2 (Always 2+ before). Location: RTP, NC. Unit: Strategic Outsourcing. Job Responsibility: IT Architect. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Like many others, I just received notice that I'm part of the RA. What is a little different is that I recently received a 2 performance rating (after decades of 2+ and a few 1's). The reason for my separation is "work elimination", so it's not just those that found themselves with PBCs of 3 that are being eliminated. -Soon to be Former IBMER-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    RA'ed today after 32 yrs of service — first time receiving a 3. Div 07; Location: Michigan; Job: Project Office Manager for SO accounts -Moving on-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Alliance, why not organize/advertise a dial-in conference call for folks so you can present your platform? There are many employees, affected today or not that will be scanning this website for the next couple of days. You need to reach out to them on-mass. Just a suggestion -DG- Alliance reply: Suggestion noted. In the meantime read this: http://www.endicottalliance.org/organizingforthelonghaul.htm
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Dear Alliance Org: Just want to let you know that your information was so on point. After 15+ years with IBM and being a 1 and 2+ performer I received a surprised PBC 3 rating for 2014. As Cringley and Alliance alluded to, my manager pinged me exactly at 12:15 today, asked me to call, and told me about the package. My Last day is Feb 28th and I get 13 weeks instead of 26 because of PBC 3.
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Sad to see how things happen at IBM these days. Certainly not the firm I joined in 1982. On the upside folks, especially for those recently RAed, there are a tremendous number of great jobs out there in our industry. Go out and get one of them! Good luck. -Leftin2000-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Just was told after almost 30 years; last day is Feb 27th. I am in Div 6c, RTP. PBC was a 2 for 2014 and that was after getting a band bump in second half of 2014. -In RTP-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Sad day...but it is clear that IBM has both figured out how to distract from the staff reduction (i.e. RA's and PIP related dismissals) in the media. What is striking is the reports and comments all show long term, older workers. Harvard Business Review just ran an article that said providing a layoff free environment improves morale, productivity and the company's performance. Obviously it didn't get read in Armonk. -Not blue anymore-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    What is your PBC rating? 3. Age: 56. Your business unit or division: Div 07 - SO - GTS - Pat Ninnie Allen's Group. Your job responsibilities: Contract Management Services. Can't wait to pound pavement at 56—NOT. -I'veBeenMislead-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Let's build a smarter planet? I haven't heard this too much these days. IBM, you are doing all you can to lose the planet now since you just lost your employees with another global RA. Every IBM employee knows someone who got RAed. It's no way to try to build anything and I mean anything! -anonymous-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Div 23, 15 years, PBC 2..RA'd today. New York. -Tom-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Massive cuts in Dubuque. Whole teams being released (moving to India). Some being given 30 days. -Jim C-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    I am a band 8 in GTS with 17 years with IBM. Just got my first 3 and the RA call. 10 out of 24 on my team are RAd. The documentation says I will get 2 weeks per year unless I was consistently low performer which I am assuming means more than one 3 rating. -Mary-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Yes, I am one of those people who will say that my RA was the best thing to happen in my career. Last year I made nearly three times what I made in my final year at IBM. I have access to new technologies and can try new things. I am not confined to what IBM believes is what I need to work on in my pigeon-holed role. It stings, but this has been happening for 6 years now. Walk out and take control of your career. -knewitwascoming-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    15 years with IBM, Public Sector, on the RA list today, WA. Work being moved to India delivery -caster-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    GBS, almost 57 years old, 32 years an employee, Band 9, 2+ rating, received RA call this morning for 2/27. Actually had an offer 3 weeks ago but short term and I thought I was safe. Now it could be longer term but I hear almost impossible to overturn the RA even with a job available. -Sad-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Massive layoff in Littleton, MA. Division, IGS. Laid off after 13 years, first most recent PBC rating 3; once again that is only because IBM saves money by paying only three months severance instead of full 26 weeks, 6 months. Such a shame. Huge savings for IBM. -Sands-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Age 57, 2 months shy of 14 years. PBC 2 for 2 years, 2+ for 6 years and 1 for 5. Multiple award trips. SO — T&T Project Manager. Feb 28 last day. -Unknown-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Got Chromed today, not shocked. Usual package: 1 week/6 months at IBM unless your last two PBC ratings were both 3 or worse. So all you folks who got your first 3 ever should be fine in terms of getting the regular package. Not much else to say, except I am happy to have worked with some damn fine people, and for a historically important and innovative company. Now it's time to find a currently important and innovative one. -RatherNotSay-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    After 13 1/2 years got RA'd today, age 38. Received a '3' after years of 1, 2+, 2. Not really a reason given as my 1st line manager didn't bother to call in for the meeting; done with my 2nd line manager who I hardly knew. Band 7, Div 7H, SWG Information Management (Analytics) or whatever name they are calling it now. Location KS. Full 26 weeks with 6 months medical.

    This is how my 2nd line manager started the conversation when she walked in. Shook my hand and said 'Congratulations, you get to leave this f'ing place and go work someplace that appreciates you and treats employees with respect'. Later she said I am still 'hire able' within IBM and can look for another job until Feb. 27 but 'who the 'f' would want to keep working here' she said. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    I can confirm that not all those downgraded a step from 1 or from 2+ are being cut. However, since Ginni announced a GDP program for this year, there was clearly another goal at play behind the downgrades: to be sure the pool of those getting GDP is as small as possible, after Ginni previously called GDP "unsustainable". She found a way to make herself "look good" by bringing back GDP while with the other hand, via PBC downgrades, simultaneously reducing both the cost of GDP payouts AND creating excuses to lay people off en masse.

    IBM now solely "motivates" its employees through a culture of absolute fear, while other companies motivate through perks. They might spare those at the lower levels who do the jobs of entire teams and mingle creatively with STSMs while never complaining about their comparatively pitiful salaries and complete lack of upward mobility. They spare those who succumb to their use of fear as a motivator. Your only chance to survive is openly accepting fear as a motivator while doing the work of higher level people for much less pay. A sad state of affairs. -CloudyWithAChanceOfRAs-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    25-30 solid performing Canadian resources let go today. Last day Feb 27. Replaced with new hire Mexicans. Doing AR collections for IBM US. Hired 40 new Mexicans to add to I believe 280 or so there now. No comparison to the Canadians ability to do the job. Last year 130 US based AR collectors removed. Executives wonder why we are not making AR Targets. You can't replace that knowledge base with new people from a different culture. -IWONDER-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    This is unfortunate, but everyone knows that already. As for the age discrimination discussion, check out Castelluccio v IBM; that was one successful approach. This PBC approach is vintage 'Ginny'. She did this 8-10 years ago when she ran Services to manage the skew and reduce the variable pay amounts. Now she's managing the skew to easier justify the resource action (not sure which legal approach they are using; I assume it's either skill reduction or job elimination).

    It's hard to fight the PBC skew; HR rewrote the rules (thanks to Ginny's stunt when she ran services) such that 1's and 3's are no longer x% of the population. So basically this is a legally defensible approach, even though the managers would prefer the more honest 'you don't suck, the company does, and we can't afford all these employees now', instead of this manufactured justification (but the lawyers and labor councils of the world will forever prevent this type of discussion). BTW, life is much better outside IBM; this may be a silver lining for many of you with marketable skills...be well! -former IBM exec-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    I was RA'd back in 2010. It took a little bit, but I'm now with a company that is a 180 degree difference. I have fun, my coworkers have fun, we enjoy our jobs and our company. The pay scale is higher with better benies. There is definitely life after IBM. Take a bit to mentally recover from the feelings of being treated like cattle, and know that better things await. -FormerIBMer But Happy Now-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Up to 200 RA'd at Dubuque GDF from local news report. I too am/was a T2R. Received a PBC of 3 with previous 5 years a solid 2. UNIX SA. SO Delivery. 5 1/4 years with IBM. 65 years old. Can now enjoy retirement. -Buster Brown @ Dubuque GDF-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Mtg with manager today and received confirmation I am on the list. Our situation is a little different. My entire departments function was moved out of US in the name of Globalization and cost savings. We assumed we would be on a list at some point. Several folks did procure new jobs, but unfortunately one of them was hit as well. At least 5 in my dept.... Band 9, GTS div 07 with 20 yrs. Am I Surprised? No. Angry? No.

    Disappointed that the genius Big Blue executives with their million dollar salaries and bonuses have failed, quarter after quarter, year after year, to come up with a strategy that works? ABSOLUTELY! Do I believe that they will turn the company around with cuts and their CAMSS strategy? Not a chance in hell with this current management team. As usual, they are In react mode and selling their smoke and mirrors. -SoonToBeX

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Got RA'ed today. 31 years at IBM. 19 months away from being eligible for FHA. At first I was shocked. I figured it would probably happen this way some day; I just didn't expect it to be today. I've been dealing with this BS since the first "surplusing" back in the early '90s. Back then they would say it's not that you don't have valuable skills, it's that we have a "surplus" of skills and we have to let some go. Whatever, whatever. You want to run this company into the ground...have at it.

    How my first-line manager sleeps at night having to deliver the message to hard working, loyal employees is beyond me. My conscience would NEVER allow me to do that. He's long in the tooth too though and probably just doing what he needs to do to get by. It would be nice to hear he doesn't agree with it though rather than toting the company line. Sometimes I think you just have to be your own person regardless of the company mantra. No worries though, I'll be alright...life goes on. -Grey_Hair-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Let's be clear, there are at least two (and probably more...) methods of staff reductions being used by IBM. There are the typical RAs that are being reported, but there are also the PBC 3/PIP/Terminations in motion also, as discussed here in recent days. In RTP, I have talked with several people this week who were given unexpected PBC 3 ratings and were told that they have 30 days to improve their performance, with consequences if not successful. Most but not all of my discussions were with younger employees in the 500 complex. It's what been speculated here over the last week I know, but it is indeed happening. -RTP anon-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    What is your PBC rating? 3. What site or location? Canada. Your business unit or division? GBS. Your job responsibilities? Project Manager. Worked for IBM for just under 4 years. Just got the call this afternoon that Feb 27th is my last day. I feel like I just got out of prison. On to better things for me. -CanGirl-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    RA'd after 14 years today. Shining and enthusiastically positive PA's from all my projects this year. I attended a meeting this morning that said our area was expecting triple digit growth this year. Received a PBC of 2. Manager said he had no explanation. I was just gone and there was nothing he could do. Then he hung up to call other people to give them the news. -Terminated-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    I was RA'd in 09. Rated a "1" performer and just blindsided by it all. Felt like my true love just divorced me. Yes I bled Blue. What I want to say to all of you is the insult, humiliation, personal wounding has nothing to do with YOU! If you received a 3 PBC rating, which of course was undeserved, that just stabs at the heart. You invested your person into doing the best you could do. You took pride in doing a great job. You felt good completing a complex project that worked. I think the personal insult is the worse.

    As a company IBM could not care less...bad for them. Very, very bad. Nothing that is that damp, moldy, black, seepy...ugggggg at the core will be around long. Sad for those that loved it. It's gone. You will have to find out on your own, but yes, there is life after IBM. I am now OK, and you will be also. Anything that treats you this terribly does not deserve a booger from your nose. -Terri-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    15 min meeting with 2nd level mgr schedule for Friday. PBC rating: 2. Site: Bay Area. Division: SWG. Job responsibilities: R&D -Anon-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    200 let go in Dubuque, Iowa....my wife is a financial advisor and she wanted to let all of you know that you are able to withdrawal from your 401k plan penalty free if you are at least 55 or will turn 55 anytime this year. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p560.pdf.
    The 10% tax will not apply if distributions before age 59 1/2 are made in any of the following circumstances. Made to a beneficiary (or to the estate of the employee) on or after the death of the employee. Made due to the employee having a qualifying disability. Made as part of a series of substantially equal periodic payments beginning after separation from service and made at least annually for the life or life expectancy of the employee or the joint lives or life expectancies of the employee and his or her designated beneficiary. (The payments under this exception, except in the case of death or disability, must continue for at least 5 years or until the employee reaches age 59 1/2, whichever is the longer period.) Made to an employee after separation from service if the separation occurred during or after the calendar year in which the employee reached age 55.
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    I was laid off in after 2 1/2 years. I was given a 3 because my performance was graded against some "400" people and found wanting. Of course no metrics or any concrete evidence was presented, just generalizations. In my case I am pretty sure it was my relationship with my FLM. Unfortunately for him and his direct reports he may well be the worst manager I have ever worked under in my entire working life of over 30 years. It's my fault for not getting out from under his direction last year. -Charles-
  • Comment 01/28/15:

    Great to see the thermometer going up. Fight back! Some people still haven't gotten their PBC so I think this is stretching out until the end of the week. Has anyone in Systems & Middleware been RA'd? There is a rumor that everyone that is not CAMSS has been herded into this one business unit so that IBM can sell it off to EMC or someone like that. Remember last year when Ginni said "If you aren't working on CAMSS, you're working on the wrong thing?" She said exactly that.

    Systems & Middleware contains the rest of the hardware, and all the legacy stuff that is not CAMSS. It will probably be sold off, thereby making the 100k number much more realistic (between that, the RA's, voluntary separations, and PBC 3 dismissals in 30 days after the PIPs are up, and RA's in subsequent quarters). They will sell it and pump the money foolishly into the low margin cloud business. Just watch. -PBC means Pile of Bull Crap-

  • Comment 01/28/15:

    I was RA back in July of 2013 of course I was at the retirement age. I like how they put it to me, my number came up. I was very upset at the time, but they did me the biggest favor by doing it. All you folks that are getting RAed it will work out for the best. If your retirement age they are doing you a favor, get you a hobby and you will think just like me in about a year. -William-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Got laid off today after 14 years of service. At least 9 more in my location. That's after getting 2 rating on PBC review on Friday. Where is this company going? -Natalie-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Has there ever been a company on the face of the earth that has been dying for so long at such a slow and painful rate. Take it behind the barn and be done with it...please. -Richard-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Never thought I would join a union. Joined the Alliance as a voting member today. 33 years as SSR in southern USA and tired of hearing BS from FLM about "there's nothing I can do but I had to hand out x nr of 3's". Too many ways IBM has taken, taken, and taken from us. Time to organize and fight back. I'm not looking for a hand out, just a honest pay for the work I do. Join the Alliance now before it's too late. -Still_here-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I joined IBM in 2011 into the summit program, within S&D. I left 2 years later, right after I survived the RAs that went down in 1Q of 2013. The leadership (and I use the term very loosely) are short sighted, reactive in everything that they do, and seem to be in it to solely prop up the stock price. The managers (I also use the term very loosely) that I was exposed to were glorified pipeline managers...no guidance, no coaching, never showing any care or interest in their reports...all they cared about was what's closing so they can report up good forecasts to their managers.

    I wish everyone the best. But if you are able, please do yourselves a favor and do so as soon as you can. BTW, I won't name my new employer...we're consistently named the best company to work for...and it is night and day. But then again, nothing can be worse than the toxicity that permeated at IBM. -Got out just in time-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    To those RA'ed today in The State of New York who are eligible to collect a pension from IBM:

    In March of 2009, when I was RA'ed, I collected NY State unemployment insurance while at the same time receiving my IBM pension without having my pension negatively offset unemployment insurance. This was due to the fact that IBM froze pensions on 1/1/2008. In 2009, The NY Dept of Labor did not care if you received severance pay from IBM. That said, NY has since changed their labor laws. You must now wait six months after leaving IBM to collect UI if you received six months severance pay.

    I do not know if the labor laws in the state of New York have changed since 2009 with regard to collecting UI and an IBM pension at the same time. It's possible that they have changed, so I'd recommend that you contact the NY State Dept of Labor in Albany and ask if there has been a recent change in the labor laws with regard to pensions being used to offset UI. In any case, there definitely were IBM'ers laid off after 3/31/2009 who were receiving their pensions and at the same time collecting UI benefits without any negative impact to their UI benefits. I was one of them! I hope you can do it too! Best of Luck to you! -RA'ed in 2009-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    13 years with IBM, 5 PBC 1s, rest 2+, except for this year I got a 2. Got my IBM expert level IT architect certification in 2013; got RA'd. The decision has been made for me, as Lebron said "am taking my talents elsewhere"; this could be a good thing! Start something new. -jiggatech-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Got RA'ed myself in 2011 after 13 years. Just wanted to show my support to all those receiving the package today. From personal experience I know how that lump in the stomach feels like, the feeling of betrayal overwhelming you, going through the steps of grief, etc. But after the dust settles you will realize it is a good thing, there are lots of other companies out there, and they are pretty much all better companies than IBM. In a way it is tragic-comical; IBM is laying off all of these people who then go elsewhere; many likely in positions that control what kind of technology to acquire. Not sure about you guys, but I would never buy IBM again. -Klavs-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Almost 55 years old, 15 years with IBM, good results on the silly scale (2, 2+)...buh bye IBM. -Boulder IBMer-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    PBC 2 after only 1's and 2+'s. 16 years with IBM. Age early 50's. Project Manager. RA'd today — standard package GBS Canada. At least 10 in my group let go (group of 40) Told I didn't have enough CAMSS skills — uh, did the training, but sure whatever. Glad to be gone and feel for those left behind — there weren't enough to do the work as it is. Stay strong and carry on. -CutsInCanada-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I joined IBM almost 4 years ago and while I know infrastructure management is hectic and wild, I have never been more surprised that a company with such experience runs strategic outsourcing as a bunch of disjointed spreadmarts of scrambling minions. I worked in a small overworked shop prior to IBM and working here is like I handed out 50 spreadsheets of varying types to everyone and said this is your business process. Do this along with your job, and don't fail! -Highly Disappointed-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    RA'ed today. Basic package like others have posted. Total of 8 years. Last day the 27th. Good PBC rating. Not shocked at all. Never been comfortable working for IBM. Always Need To Keep the Resume Updated Working here. -rtp-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Over 25 years of service. Always got 1 or 2+ ratings — last rating was 2+. Worked diligently every single day. Generated millions in revenue last year and every previous year. Packaged off today. Why did I work so hard for so many years? -SacrificedTooMuch-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Terrible to see how IBM management is wrecking people's lives whilst they keep rambling about growth markets (didn't happen), Cloud (others are ahead), analytics (statistics is an ancient science). What are the shareholders thinking when their and others' stakes are being mishandled? But I understand Ginni can play golf in Augusta. That's the attitude, reminiscent of Marie Antoinette "let them eat cake..." -Carl-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Just curious. The people that were RA'd this week: first I am sorry that a company you gave your all to did not reciprocate, but I have a question. Did you know about this site before you became nervous and anxious about your job status? I ask since this is a major vessel for organization, but I fear only folks feeling at risk might "find" this site. I am guilty of feeling at risk and searching for answers a few years back and just stumbled upon site site. How do we reach the masses before it is too late? -EX-IBMER-

    Alliance reply: We HAVE reached the masses for nearly 16 years (13 years on-line). Many refuse to get involved because they believe that this won't happen to them. We've heard several people claim that they never heard of Alliance@IBM—but our web statistics tell us otherwise. The number of visits to this web site over the past 13 years is well over 12 million. That's world wide. For an "International" company's employees to be so isolated that they can't see what else is going on internationally, in the company they work for, speaks volumes about IBM management's ability to put FUD in every employees' lap at date of hire. It is really a sad testimony. But we refuse to stop. Join Alliance@IBM and support our effort to organize and unite IBMers in the USA and around the Globe.

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    It is heart wrenching to hear all the messages from fellow IBMers. I didn't get caught in the RA but share the frustrations voiced by many. In my humble opinion, first and foremost sales management should be the ones RA'ed and I am not talking about first-line managers. FLM in sales is one of the hardest jobs anywhere but certainly at IBM due to incompetencies in sales management (SM). SM at IBM is very adept at negotiating best deals for their division or brand in the ELAs but not much in selling or caring for the customer.

    Worst however very few understand how to sell cloud. IBM's most innovative and promising solutions are headed by longtime IBM'ers instead of new blood which understands how to move faster than competition and heightened expectations of customer experience. The individuals who control the allocations in the ELA are the kings/queens and sales spends time selling to them instead of to the customers or understanding what they are selling.

    Unless new blood is circulated in the sales machine, no amount of innovation is going to right IBM as it stands today. I hope I am wrong for the remaining 400K employees who still call this iconic brand their second home. - IBM/Sales/SWG/MA-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Not sure about the US but in the UK regardless of whether you are part of a union or not you can take an employer to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. I know this is correct because during my time in IBM I know of 2 people who won cases because they were dismissed but no evidence or indication of performance was given. Therefore if you're in the UK and get a PBC 3 but you were not made aware during the year and know that no evidence exists in a mid year or any one - 2 -ones you can do it.

    What you need to do is ensure you document evidence i.e. email that you're asking "why" and want detailed reasons. Take printouts of your mid-year review or one-2-one notes if any. You must appeal and let IBM go through the appeal process first before taking action. If you sign an RA just be aware you waive any rights to sue them.

    Alliance reply: It doesn't work that way here in the US. IBMers in the US have no recourse; such as "an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal." A union contract, collectively bargained is the legal instrument used, when an employee at a unionized company disputes what they believe is an "unfair dismissal".

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    For those who have survived the PBC 3 or RA's, do not count your blessing yet. If you had any common sense, you would see that there is a fresh set of PIP participants and RA inductees already lined up. Just look in the mirror. The only thing that has changed since I was RA'd (a 2+) in 2007 was now they are getting even more dirty with lying — misleading reduced hour retirement plan or the PBC 3. How many grandfathered pension employees have been targeted in the last decade, just short of their well earned pension? You need to cowboy up and get organized at what remains of IBM or leave in mass -exIBMer-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Just wanted to give my best wishes to all of you. I've known too many over the years who were suddenly only a 3 after a career of 1 or 2+ ratings. When I first started at IBM I was excited by the prospect, and after witnessing my first RA, I realized just how bad it really is to work there, and I'm so glad that today I DON'T work for IBM, but rather a company that values me and my work and treats me like a human and part of a family, rather than a percentage point to be cut and shuffled on a whim, or a cost to be handled. SO My best wishes to all of you, especially the ones who are losing their jobs this month and next. -Jeff-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Officially retired January 3, 2015. My last two roles in IBM: World Wide Marketing Manager in IBM Systems & Technology Group and North America Marketing Manager working with ISV's, Distributor's and Business Partners. I am very sorry for any IBMer that has lost their job. I was offered a package last April for a bridge to retirement and took the package with 6 months pay and 1 year medical/dental.

    I can tell you that life goes on after IBM. I am now running an investment company with 100% responsibility for ROI. I am a man of faith and have found that God places opportunities in our pathway. I believe each of us can be successful and happy, believe in it, it will make your life more successful. I wish the best for all of my IBM friends wherever you are in the world. I traveled the world with IBM and made friends wherever I went, I miss the people. -Bob-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Concerted efforts were made by the management to reduce the PBC ratings of the employees. Talking to a number of my colleagues, who were ready to discuss their ratings, each one had his/her rating reduced! It is like a conspiracy hatched, to deny people whatever is due to them. Wonder how many hours Ginny and her cronies spent, to come out with this stupid plan.

    You talk to your manager that you have not received a raise in 3 or 4 years, one gets the standard reply, that he/she too has not received one! One other tactic/practice that IBM has been following is to constantly change managers, under the slogan of a "re-org". I have lost track of the number of managers, I have worked under!

    The stock will now go up and one can see how quickly these executives cash-in on their options. Sam Palmisano walked away with a whopping 170 million dollars, when Ginny took over from him. That would have fed a lot of families for a number of years. They would have used that money to survive, pay college tuition and for health care.

    Sad that everybody at Wall Street is only interested in seeing their stocks go up, while thousands of families suffer. Over the years, I have seen unbelievable loyalty towards IBM, from its workers. The Management though, treats them like dirt. -Worried_at_IBM-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    After first 3 rating last week which I refused to accept, RA'ed yesterday with off payroll date of 6/30. Manager had to fight for that to complete projects in motion and training. Not his fault. It is annoying that someone who never met me, never spoke to me and knows nothing about my actual work judged me. But c'est la vie. Thanks for the good times IBM. Now it's an OPPORTUNITY FOR UPGRADE!! -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    34 years of Service / 56 yrs old STG / Client Enablement & Systems Assurance / Pok. Last ten PBC years had six 1's and four 2+'s working 60 up to 100 hours per week during most years since 1981. In the T2R program initially expected to retire end of year. Got my first 3 PBC ever a week ago which I volunteered for because I thought they could not lay me off due to the T2R and the old two years of 3's rule before getting a PIP. Like many IBM departments the 3's left years ago; we really don't have any 3's in our dept. Yesterday I found the PIP rule has changed and I was put on PIP (with 3 months severance if I fail the PIP review) and now looking forward to retiring/pension a bit earlier.

    For the most part it was a great three decades, it's only in the last few years I have experienced what many of you have been seeing for many years now.

    I find that the CEO of SoftLayer leaving this week very disturbing. I was involved in another fantastic company that IBM bought a few years ago and it was very noticeable that things went quickly downhill when the CEO of that company left with many of the brains with him. I keep wondering when Warren Buffet will wake up and use his clout as the largest IBM stockholder to clean up the mess at the top of IBM. -Looking forward to living a full life again-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Got RA'd after five years with IBM, ten years with acquired company. I transferred to another division, and this is "encouraged" by IBM. However, I was rated poorly because I didn't have the experience. OK, so why did you hire me into your division?

    IBM, you will not improve your performance if you disrespect and degrade your most important resource, your people. Successful companies recognize that the company succeeds when the individual succeeds. IBM says the right thing (treasure wild ducks, find efficiencies) but lip service won't get it done. Can you say 200 underperforming quarters and then IBM goes the way of the modem? -US in Canada-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Group: IBM GTS — SO. Band: 8. Age: 39. Number of years@ IBM: 12. Number of additional people RA'd as well: 3. Got a 2 PBC after many years of getting 1's and 2+'s; never any 3's. IBM is now more than ever an empty shell of almost zero technical talent but a bunch of CEO's and managers holding on to their own jobs at the sacrifice of honest talented and loyal employees and telling sales guys to come up with new jargon "cloud" and "analytics" to buy into. If you're a potential customer run the other way. There is life after IBM. -Free@Last-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    25 years service, 61 years young, received notice of severance 1/28, working through 2/27. Rated a 3 performer on PBC after always being 2 and above. Div: 07, SO Exec project manager. Just re-signed a 5-year deal with my head count included, but not me. Beware if you were rated a 3 as they may not give you the full 26 week package. Get it in writing that you will receive the full package. -ibmhatespeople-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I work for a tech publication called MC Press Online. I'd like to speak with someone at Alliance (phone/email) regarding the current situation for a piece I'm writing to be submitted tomorrow morning. Sorry for the short notice. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    With IBM for 16 years and always a strong 2 including my last PBC. For what it's worth I was RA'd yesterday with no warning. I was set to become the L4 Tech lead for another account but I guess it doesn't matter now. At 63 I'm not looking forward to trying to find a job. I'll receive 26 weeks but then my pay goes to the max for unemployment which is less than a 3rd of what my pay was. Not looking forward to loosing everything. Welcome to the Autumn years of your life. -A Strong 2: BS-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    It's sad to see what IBM has become. When I started at IBM in 1982 this was the last company in the world I thought would end up this way. I quit IBM last year. I loved my job as a programmer, but could no longer tolerate the new culture of "work very hard if you want to keep your job". That is not a productive environment for highly skilled, talented people.

    Unless you are at the end of your career, please do not plan to live your life at IBM. You only live this life once, and do not live a life of constant worry at IBM. Other companies really do appreciate their employees. Virginia Rometty makes John Akers look like a genius. Worst CEO in the history of IBM. During one of the greatest bull markets of all time, IBM is the worst performing company in the DOW two years in a row. Very sad. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I am a certified IT specialist will be out soon, and I will be glad that the bad dream will be over. I had no salary increase in the past three years with "very good performance". The money we made for IBM was filled into Ginni Rometty's and these executive persons' pockets. (My salary was only less than 1/4 of my client billing rate). I am sorry for those people still staying. The additional work load will be added. "We will set some calls up so XXX can do some knowledge transfer to the team. With such a small team we will have to back each other up" -bad_dream_will_be_over_soon-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    For all of you that are giving your condolences on this site to the people that were RA'd. My question are you joining the Alliance IBM? Remember you will probably be on the next round of RAs unless you create a union. The membership drive should be going through the roof! I was RA'd in 2013 and it's sad to see this is still happening and will continue to happen until we have a union. Especially with the idiots we have as managers and HR personnel. -Gone in 2013-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    To those RA'd this week, my sympathies. Like many of you, I was a consistent top performer for 10 years and totally blindsided when I got my RA package. What a sickening sense of betrayal and futility after having sacrificed so much for Big Blue! There's a misconception that I'd like to clear up...first-line managers (most) take no pleasure in dishing out RAs. They have no input in the decision and in fact, aren't even forewarned when their people are on the list for consideration. How do I know? I was a FLM.

    Truth is, FLMs are just admin fire drill coordinators with little authority. They deal with the same garbage as you. My job, as I saw it, was to shield my team from as much of it as I could, in the interest of morale. Admittedly, I did peruse this site and wanted to participate, but was not eligible. For those not yet RA'd, I encourage you to join (just not from your IBM issued laptop). Best wishes, all. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I worked in the Lenexa, KS lab for a year and 8 months. I received an unexpected 3 on Tuesday and then had a meeting Wednesday informing me that I am part of the resource action. I thought I was safe because I was working on dashDB (in the Cloud space). At least 2 others (possibly 3) at my site were also laid off yesterday. One was a new-hire like myself. -KS IBMer-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    28 Years with IBM. 53 Years Old. New York GTS. 2 Rating.

    This used to be such a good company to work for. I used to be proud to say that I worked for IBM. Not anymore. It's an embarrassment.

    Although very painful and will most likely be difficult to find another job, it is somewhat relieving not to have the axe hanging over your head anymore. I feel sorry for the remaining folks who will be looking over their shoulder every day. -Add Me To The List-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I've been with IBM for almost 3 years now and have been a solid contributor up until recently with my new manager. I am now a low contributor and just signed off on my 60-day PIP agreement on yesterday. I was so sure I was going to be a part of this round of of RAs going on now but since I haven't heard anything from my peers I guess our area has little or no impact at this time. This is sad, but I was actually looking forward to taking my PBC 3, unappreciated efforts, severance package and running as far away as possible from this God-forsaken company. Good luck to all that have been affected and thanks Alliance for giving us all a place to vent freely and anonymously! -NotProudtoBeAnIBMer-

    Alliance reply: Venting is truly anonymous, if you prefer. But Alliance dues paying members pay for the existence of this web site, and the campaign to unionize IBM US. If you would like to donate to the cause, please click on the "Donate" button link on the right side of the page. Better yet, if you're still with IBM, Join Alliance@IBM as a full dues paying member @ $15.00 per month. Thank you for your support.

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I received Involuntary Separation from IBM UK after 20 years of loyal service. Last day is 5th February. Informed I was "at risk" by standard email, then confirmed next day over phone by FLM. Since received a PBC rating of 2 after a string of 2+s. After several years of minimal salary increases and bonuses I should be relieved, but at moment my ego is bruised. I admit I should have left years ago but didn't due to a combination of complacency and misplaced loyalty. 57 is not a good age to start job hunting with a termination on your record. -Disappointed from UK-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I left in '98 for greener pa$ture$ and oft wondered if it was the right thing to do. Every 18-24 months I get confirmation it was. When I hired on in '87 the motto was 'respect for the individual'. I have been told by my ex-colleagues it is now 'enhance shareholder value' and the old motto is nowhere to be found. Today they treat people like trucks are treated in other businesses. Use them up, send them off.

    Now, most of my IBM friends talk to me via personal email or LinkedIn and not us.ibm.com. And it wasn't their idea. Sad. I still get mail from IBM, also every 2 years telling my how my vested pension(s) are now worth less. And the worse part is, I still bleed blue with my current employer to keep the raised floor faithful as I believe in the product and the people to glued it together.

    It's a shockingly true fact that todays US corporate management has done more damage to the USA than any terrorist org has ever done. For the first time in my life I belong to a union here (8 years so far). You all need to. -Ex POK IBMer and staying that way-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Broadridge account decimated. All Unix, Wintel, and SAN resources put on notice that last day is 6/30 and it's time to train offshore replacements. -BeenAroundTheBlock-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Received 'RA' notice yesterday. FLM just read from a script...lasted all of 5 minutes. I was told last October that I was being replaced by an IBM India Landed Resource because the account could not afford a Band 8 US resource in that position any longer...account was not making enough money for the bean counters.

    I found several positions and was not allowed to leave to accept new position until the landed resource arrived. He allegedly ran into visa issues which delayed his arrival until Feb. 2nd, and I was given a roll-off date of Feb. 6th. I told my PM and FLM that, knowing IBM's history of blood-letting in February, why are you serving my head up on the chopping block? Only response was I couldn't leave until the India landed resource actually arrived in the US...it didn't matter that the guy had been working remotely on this account since December!

    Just had my 12th anniversary with this once-great company. Never received anything except 2 and 2+ on every PBC, including a 2 for 2014. IBM doesn't care about their employees anymore...they haven't in years. The only thing that matters is EPS. IBM has lost its way. It's time for Ginni "Chainsaw Al Dunlap Clone" Rometty to go! Division 6C — AD&I S&L Contracts. -GinniOnlyCaresAboutEPS-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Part of the 1/28 RA. I was diagnosed with cancer last year, worked through it. I am a survivor, doing well. At 52, having been ill, I am not surprised but still disappointed. I worked 12 hours heads down last Tuesday to ensure clients schedule stayed on track. I have 19 years of service with IBM. -mmmmm-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    RA'ed yesterday. I'm 56 years old. I was a band 8 with a consistent PBC 2 as an information developer in SWG in San Jose, CA. At least I was mentally prepared, since IBM executives long ago abandoned any pretense of respect or caring about morale. IBM was like family, and I just got disowned. Good night and good luck, my brothers and sisters. Time to go write my resume. -33-year IBMer in San Jose-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    From the Alliance: If you lose your job due to the off-shoring of your work go here: http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/ -Alliance-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I may be the only one on this forum that received a 3 on their PBC that actually deserved it. The last five years of my career at IBM research was filled with changing visions and goals from management, thus completely disrupting one's ability to acquire new skills required to make an impact in the changing industry. Several years ago I decided to focus more on my growth needs by finishing multiple graduate and under graduate degrees in IT fields unrelated to what I was doing in research. On 01/16/2015 I took an early retirement so that I could pursue other interest with my newly acquired skills. Best of luck to all my former IBMers. -Jerry-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    RA'd on the 28th, 16 years of service, age 46. Received a PBC rating of 2+, never had a PBC rating below 2+. I have until 6/30/2015. EUS, only employee at the site location, will be replaced by a temp contractor or a supplemental. -none-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    54 years old, 22 years of experience rated 2 last five years, just had my PBC rating with my manager, 15 minutes, rated a 3, no reason given by manager. RAed. Too bad we as IBMers thought IBM had our best interest. No longer exists. Lou, Sam, and Ginny have ruined a once great company. Need a union. Stay away from this BS if you are a young college student. IBM SUCKS. -ANA-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I have not been RA'd yet, but would not be surprised if I get the call. Received a 2 PBC, and know several in my org (SWG) were RA'd. All were hard working, high quality resources. I've been with IBM almost 20 years and watched the company go slowly downhill. Quality used to matter, now all that seems to matter is the bottom line. I also used to be a proud IBMer, and even have a copy of the old IBM VHS 'Our Heritage' video. Now I'm just disappointed and am no longer proud to say that I work for IBM. Now looking to see what options I have. Recommend you all do the same. -disappointed long term IBMer-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Got a pass this time around. The old STG got rolled into IBM Systems and even though none of us work on cloud, they have brainwashed us into thinking we actually do. I am sick of this bull every quarter. I spent the morning speaking with prospective employers. Fear does not make for a happy employee it only puts extra wrinkles on my face. I want to take control of my own destiny. -John J.-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Here's a "good one": I'm a retired IBM'er working for a company that has a contract with IBM. I'm inside an IBM building every day and I see and speak with many IBM'ers that I formerly worked with while I was an active employee.

    I know of someone who was let go yesterday. They have been a loyal and dedicated employee for many years. They are the Team Leader of their department. This person told me they're glad they're leaving as it's "a big relief". They told me they're eagerly looking forward to retirement.

    Then there's a guy I know who has been in IBM for nearly 40 years. I see him every day too. Everybody that knows him says he's "useless", and that he hasn't lifted a finger in years. How can his manager not know what everyone else seems to know? Surely he's a 3 performer, yet he has survived every layoff since 1993. WHY???? My friend that was RA'd wants to leave, and believe me, IBM needs my friend badly. Yet the guy who has a reputation for being "useless" has no plans to leave. IBM never ceases to amaze me. -Ex-Beemer-

  • Comment 01/29/15: Over 20 years ago, I decided to resign from IBM (at age 30) because I was:
    • tired of working 60-70 hours a week
    • working on very out-dated internal systems (some of which were STILL in use in 2004)
    • concerned that much of the perceived benefits in the now "grandfathered" IBM Retirement Plan were vulnerable if the company were to target older employees for retrenchment, just prior to retirement.

    Sounds like little has changed in IBM management. -Sad for my former colleagues-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I too was informed Tuesday. I've only been with IBM about 4 years. All my ratings have been 2 and 2+, and brought IBM more than $1.2B of new revenues. More than half of my group got laid off including my manager, his manager and his manager. We have no information on how many, what gender, what age; none of the info that I thought was legally mandated when a massive layoff conducted.

    My manager did reveal that the Project code was indeed "Project Chrome". This should lend some validity to the Mr. Cringely's article. I don't believe that it will 26% by Feb 2015, but I do believe that there is a possibility of 26% by end of 2015.

    I've been told that I can apply for other jobs at IBM but it would probably be a waste of time given that the objective of the layoff is to reduce head count; yet IBM is hiring and have more than 15,000 jobs advertised — the magic question is where are those jobs located. I've been told that if I do not agree to terms of separation that is forth coming that IBM will forfeit any severance pay or benefit — in other words, if I talk to a lawyer or fight it in anyway, I will be punished.

    One common theme to this layoff, echoed in most of the blogs posted on your site, is that most people being RAed are 50 or over. Many were put on the 10% pay reduction for 6 months to get training on CAMSS, yet they were laid off before given the change to complete training — pay however has not been reinstated for the month of February.

    Every one that I know that got axed is over 50. Is age discrimination a factor? Is IBM getting rid of older more seasoned professionals and replacing them with cheaper younger less experience people using CAMSS as an excuse? For those of you that I've not been fortunate enough to see the training material for CAMSS, let me summarize it for you. It's like the rest of IBM: great talk and a bunch of vapor ware. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    RA'd with almost 10 years of service, solid 2+ ratings in the past. For the first time I missed a target thinking that leadership had a reason for holding me back. Unfortunately, they did. I got PBC 3. It was rigged — I was blocked in from taking new full time assignments outside my division and given a combination of meaningless work to kill the time — perhaps burn out from the travel and quit.

    I spent some of my best years with IBM. I still can't believe they could be so ruthless to set people this way. Best wishes to those who were RA'd and further along in their career. We are all hard working people. I know we sacrificed plenty, especially those with young kids — like myself. I'm looking forward moving on to better things. IBM has become a toxic place to work — no longer focused on building honest practice areas. -somuchfor139values-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Just to recap and update what I posted earlier: Got my first PBC 3, but it was from my previous manager, because I transferred to a new group in October. Current manager disagrees with the rating and wants me to stay; worked with HR to give me a couple of options to stay on if I wanted to. No RAs in my business unit, just the PIP (IBM Cloud, SWG AIM before the reorg).

    In previous PIPs, you chose between taking a minimized separation package and leaving rather than going on the PIP, or doing the PIP and leaving with nothing if you failed. This time, you just go on the PIP, and you get the package if you fail (which is likely). Seems like they're providing incentive for people to fail intentionally, I don't understand why they would do that, since it costs IBM more money in the end. In any case, I made a deal with my manager to get the minimized package up front and leave (retire) without doing the PIP. For the record, I've been at IBM for 31+ years (started at an acquisition), and I'm 57.

    I had already decided to retire this year before all of this happened, so things worked out for me, even if I didn't get the full severance package I was hoping for. I feel very badly for those who were impacted by all of this and were not ready to leave. As many here have said, there is life after IBM — my wife was RA'ed by IBM six years ago, and she's much happier now than she would have been otherwise. Most of you will look back someday and realize IBM did you a huge favor by forcing you out. Good luck everyone! -Survivor-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    I was RAtired in 2014 at 63 and 14 years with the company. I am heartbroken to read all of the comments from the recent RA. I was resourced by a VP who I had never met and who had no clue what I did and despite getting many emails from people all over the globe that it was a mistake she refused to change her mind. It was left very late for me to train anyone and they actually had the nerve to ask if they could call me after I had left with questions. I was fortunate to be able to retire and after working 12-15 hour days for this blood-sucking company I say good riddance. To the 2015 RAs I wish you the very best and to those left please join the Alliance. The job you save may be your own. -RAtired to n 2014-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    Just made a donation to Alliance. I hope can help the cause. Left IBM 11/2014 for much greener pastures. I tried my best to tell many of my peers and friends at IBM a terrible $hit storm was approaching back in June. Sadly it's come to fruition.

    I couldn't agree anymore or strongly with the numerous posts alluding to age discrimination. I am in my mid 50's; also a solid performer throughout may career in technical software pre-sales. Those SOBs were lining up anyone over 50 six to seven months ago.

    I truly hope all of you out there that got RA'd get back on your feet. Nothing else I can say will make it any better for you other than find me on LinkedIn. I am not that hard to find...contact with me and I can help you connect with people that can appreciate your talents. In the end I beat those prick$ at their own game. I hope you do as well. -tim-

  • Comment 01/29/15:

    @CutsInCanada, seriously, most of the time those mandatory training are not even related to our job. But someone high up must be thinking we have spare cycles to support those initiative. And Think40 is a way that you can't complain you never receive any (useful?) training. You are not the only one I heard being let go because of"skill issue". Feel sorry for those who left behind to suffer. The good thing is we are on the lifeboat, and they are still on Titanic. -Be Free eh-
  • Comment 01/29/15:

    RA'd and the last day is 2/27 PBC Rating: 2. Business Unit: GBS. Years of Service: 33. Job Responsibilities: IT Architect. -Life Goes On-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    As an ex-IBM employee who was RA'ed in July 13 with 32 years...there is a better life out there after IBM. I sleep better, I worry less, and I enjoy what I do far more than I ever did at IBM. The rest of the working world understands that if you made it this far in IBM you are very skilled, and have much to offer. Even if IBM does not respect you, there are many other companies that are looking for skilled, dedicated workers, and if you made it this far, you are it! Keep your head up! -Happy to be gone!-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Got first PBC 3 after 25 years with IBM. Was told I am being put on a PIP and have 30 days to improve performance. I have to admit I am not that bad off and was going to retire this year anyway. I think I will be getting a reduced severance package. That is okay since I would have gotten nothing if I left on my own and if it costs IBM additional money for me to leave, so much the better.

    My condolences to everyone, both those staying as well as those going. This company has degenerated into one of the sleaziest I am aware of. By the way, even though IBM reviews on glassdoor.com are mediocre, why are they even that good? 53% of IBMers say they would recommend IBM to a friend? I sure wouldn't. In fact, I don't remember the last time I met an IBMer who liked being at IBM.

    PBC Rating: 3 and put on PIP (soon to be gone). Business Unit: GBS. Age: 63. Years of Service: 25. Job Responsibilities: IT Architect. -Mark1-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    IBM cuts 202 positions in Dubuque. More than 200 workers at IBM's Dubuque facility will lose their jobs next month. -DUBUQUES IBM CLOSING?-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    In 2011 the Dubuque site was up to 1300+ employees. We now are down to 700+ when you take the 200+ away that have been reported for Feb 27th. But what about the other lay offs? The ones that were told there last day is in March? Or the ones that will be laid off in May and the others that have to leave in June? So how do you measure something they have spread out like this? The site was five floors with about 250 seats per floor. Now they are down to about two floors. how many will be left by mid year? -Feeling Blue-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Found out today that a good friend and newly appointed 2nd line has been RA'd (became 2nd line in early 2014). He has over 35 years with IBM and is an outstanding person; one that truly cares. I can only guess that those traits are what they look for when choosing a 2nd line for an RA these days...don't want people giving the workers hopes of being respected.

    Luckily my friend falls under the old retirement program (for now anyway). In my friend's SO org, they lost a total of 14 people out of the 85 regs that were listed as of Jan 1. Things are not good in SO world; would hate to be a customer. I know I hate being an employee. Unfortunately I live in an area with few jobs that I fit into.

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    -Survivor-, "In previous PIPs, you chose between taking a minimized separation package and leaving rather than going on the PIP, or doing the PIP and leaving with nothing if you failed. This time, you just go on the PIP, and you get the package if you fail (which is likely)."

    How reliable is your source of information? If (once) one fails the PIP will there be a full or minimized package? I haven't been officially put on PIP yet. Some talks about expected improvement, but nothing formally documented or signed. But it never hurts to be prepared. Anyone who goes through the PIP process, please share your experience. -TellMeAboutPIP-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Have worked for many large companies and have never seen such turmoil. Until there will be a people rights movement, these uneducated HR people, because I have met some, will play and play with the employees. And if there will be no employees, what will happen? Who will they rate a 3? The customers? That is an ugly ugly set up! Just like the 10%! Why aren't you writing about the statements made in the 10% ordeal? -Beyond-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    In 2011 after 7 years with IBM GBS earning either a 1 or 2+ rating over that span I was RA'd when our client decided to insource. On the very day the client announced the insource we got the call. Of over 120 people on the account only one was interviewed for another IBM position. In the end all 120 of us were let go. It was difficult to be treated like cattle but in the end I ended up with a better job and was able to finish out my career with my head up high. Good luck to all of you going forward. -Long Gone-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Since the re-org performance for Wall Street, there are literally hundreds of people sitting around with nothing to do. No mandate. No job description. This is the 3rd week. Some of us don't even know who our new managers are. PBC 3s and PIPs have been issued. So are the new managers going to take the time to write PIPs, administer, adjudicate, produce all kinds of paper trails in 30 days? Seems like a huge waste of time.

    It would be just cheaper to give all the 3s a full package. Maybe this is more theatre for Wall Street. Management is releasing onto the streets very disgruntled employees who will not recommend IBM in the future. Why would anyone that follows the news ever work with IBM? Why would any business partner? They have lost complete control of the business. -SC-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Regarding RA'ed folks looking for another position within IBM, the deck is stacked against you. For the 2013 RAs, hiring managers were basically told that anybody on the RA list was not eligible to fill openings. That, plus it normally takes over a month from the time a person interviews for a job to getting the approval to give them an offer to take the position. (Every manager from the SLM to the business unit director, plus HR, would need to approve it — at least that was true in 2013.) Means chances are slim to none that those that are RA'ed will find another job within IBM.

    The rational that was relayed to my FLM was that the bean counters have already calculated how much they want to trim from expenses and those that are on the RA list get the company to that goal. It is counter-productive (from the bean counters and HR's perspective) to reassign an employee that is on the RA list since that would reduce the savings of the expense cuts.

    While there may have been a few that succeeded in finding a position after being RA'ed, did not hear of anybody doing so over the past few years, even those that were RA'ed and PBC 2 performers. Maybe some were well connected and were successful, but then again, if they were that well connected they were probably protected by moving them to another position before the ax fell. -OutIn2013-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Amazing how amongst all these lay offs (don't call them RA's! Call them for what they are, lay offs) IBM still has glowing reviews on Glassdoor.com. ~1/2 of them actually approve of the CEO and would recommend the company as a place to work! It would be nice if all the IBMers here could post up and leave an honest review for potential new hires.

    I was dropped in September, and have gone on to greener grass. No regrets! If you don't plan on leaving, ORGANIZE, JOIN the UNION, and at the least leave some honest reviews of IBM! http://www.glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-IBM-EI_IE354.11,14.htm -Ex-IBM-Contractor-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Many unhappy people in Australia. Beyond the RA the PBC 3's are resulting in people just resigning. But something stranger appears to be happening. There are many low-banded roles on GOM; bands that never existed in Australia. Now this is only a thought but there is something in Australia called 457 Visa. Companies use this to get cheap overseas labor but they first have to say that there is no one suitable who has applied. Now few Australians would be applying for Band 4 & 5 roles. If only there were a way to track abolished roles and roles vacated by PBCs and see if they are replaced by these low banded roles. -StrangeThing In Australia-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Not part of an RA, MHV seems more lightly hit than some (at least after the sell-offs); definitely some actions here, though. I heard from an area manager that they had been under enormous pressure to give more PBC 3s this time around, and that further those went some to Transition to Retirement people because (1) they felt some lower performers had used the program to avoid being laid off over their last year or two, and (2) the people are gone anyway shortly. Yes, I do realize that is probably also a rationalization by managers under a lot of pressure to hit numbers AND not move schedules or drop content. -anonymous-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Those still wondering what a union contract can do should read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/12/business/verizon-is-told-it-must-reinstate-2300-workers-let-go-last-year.html -Dave G-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    They are rating 3's so that they don't have to pay growth-driven profit bonuses, even for those who are being let go, but especially for those who are staying. Last RA, folks reported getting checks for those things after they left, so I'm sure the execs realized that, and this is to close that loop. It's another shady, evil move by Rometty, who had the nerve to stand there and say they are paying it this year with "no strings".

    Please, please those of you who are leaving or aren't leaving, those of us over 50 who are being screwed out of our jobs because of their greed and incompetence, go to glassdoor.com and submit a review of IBM and there is a question there to rate the CEO, Ginni Rometty, and submit your 'PBC' rating of her. This will let the young talent they want to fill those job openings know that this is a very bad place to work, and get them back for dumping us in the dumpster instead of retraining *us*, their loyal employees, for those open positions.

    And join the Alliance here. I did; don't just bend over and take it, fight back! Every avalanche starts with a few small stones. We are gaining momentum here; keep the drive alive and mention this site in your goodbye emails to your coworkers and in your out of office message when you leave.

    Our out of touch CEO has the nerve a few weeks ago to stand there in front of a room full of people, knowing she's going to fire them in a few weeks, and brag about how her neighbor can afford to drop $750,000 on IBM stock on a whim. Now Wall Street is so giddy that you are losing your jobs they are boosting the stock back up. Right, let them eat cake.

    Get on glassdoor.com and say what you think of her, and maybe we can help show her the door too. Take your knowledge of IBM's flaws and shortcomings to the competitors to help assist this dying elephant out of its misery. -HelpYourself-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Ginni Marie and her band of marauders: bless your "1 3 9" hearts. It wasn't a total shock to get the news. Just disappointing. I hope the company that I was once very proud of to work for can survive the Sherman's March of looting and pillaging that is occurring at the upper levels. When it gets to the point where the PWC parasite is actually siphoning marrow from the bones, then I will know for sure that I will need to get flowers and leave them at the grave side. Good bye. Just remember, You can't take it with you. -Magnolia-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Dubuque comes to the UK. Notice use of the term "Next Generation" of workers IBM Services Centre: Leicester will help the tech firm extend its delivery of technology services to UK-based IBM clients.

    IBM is creating up to 300 new IT jobs in Leicester, England, with the launch of a services centre in the city. The new IT roles will be created over the next three years for the‘next generation’ of workers, enabling IBM to extend its delivery of technology services to UK-based IBM clients. -Anon-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    IBM is a large employer in Massachusetts. It is time to kick this one up to Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator with presidential aspirations who vows to fight for workers rights. The Forbes article made this a national story; the time to act is now. IBM management continues to test the boundaries of employment laws. Last year it was not showing the age/positions of those affected with RA. Now the contrived process to rate you a PBC 3 with no prior indications of unsatisfactory performance, put you on a plan and kick you out the door. Clearly aimed at older employees and discriminatory. I will join the Alliance today. How do we get the data of those affected to write build the case to senator? Can't stop until Ginni is RAd. -Time to Fight-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Don't sweat the 3's. Even if you plan to build a career at IBM, which may or may not survive and at which I have seen one promotion in five years, the PBC number is meaningless. It's a manipulation tool. Don't fall for it. I got one when I started. It was bogus and made no difference afterward. I know they sting and you should fight them if they are discriminatory or it will make you feel better. Otherwise, inside IBM everybody knows they are BS. Outside IBM, they are a bad dream you will soon forget. Nobody cares. Get some good references. They count inside and out. The PBC score doesn't. -anon-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    I was not affected personally in this round of RAs, but many of my colleagues were. In my pool, we lost 4 people. None of which had received a PBC lower than 2, and many which had been with IBM for 15+ years. In my office, I'd estimate that we lost 1/3 of our workforce, some pools losing everyone, including managers. I'd say we cleared over 100 total in just our office. It's a sad day to work for IBM. -anon-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Canada RA'd and the last day is 2/27. PBC Rating: 2/ Business Unit: GTS SO. Years of Service: 24/ Job Responsibilities: IT Architect. -Feel for my client- -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    To all ex-IBMers and soon to be ex-IBMers including those just RAed: now that you have left or will be leaving IBM, please know that the Alliance is still fighting for YOU: yes, YOU, since you still have probably an IBM sponsored 401k, maybe an IBM pension, and maybe an IBM FHA. All this still needs to be further protected from the greedy and unjust hands of IBM Management. Just because you left IBM doesn't mean they are totally out of your real view mirror until retirement.

    Then your pension doesn't nearly have the same protections as a pension has under present ERISA law. You can even lose your pension balance with it's de-risking. Losing your FHA at any time is a real thing. (All those just RAed that are less than 55 years old with less than 15 years of service know or will soon find out). And look what IBM did to your

    401k PLUS plan with the change of only matching funds if employed on 12/15 of each year end.

    The Alliance knows these issues and they are key items that could be addressed as a union. Think 2X. And either join the Alliance or just contribute a $1 or so for the cause we all still deal with, even in some small way, as former IBMers. -GoneButNotForgotten-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Columbia, MO location has been gutted with entire departments being released. managers, subject matter experts, team leads, high-performers/low-performers, etc. I hope someone from the city of Columbia, MO reads this. IBM, who only pays $1.00 a year on their lease with the promise of 600 local jobs — 800 total, refuses to disclose any of this information to the city/state. Enough is enough! The center is designed to support 800+ employees, yet if there are even 300 in here today I would be surprised. After February 27th, it will be a complete ghost town...would the last one out please turn off the lights. -Blindsided in Missouri-

    Alliance reply: We have forwarded this to Columbia media (minus your email) and will follow up with Missouri political leaders. Lots of public money wasted.

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    This completely looks and smells like age discrimination. The lawyers at IBM were very concerned about this layoff from both the customer and employees' perspective. A class action suit for discrimination would be appropriate and just! -Discriminated for sure-

    Alliance reply: The challenge is to prove it. IBM no longer issues RA packages with stats on age, etc. IBM has made some legal "chess moves" since age discrimination was an issue at IBM many years ago. Chances of finding an attorney that will take the case today is small.

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    PBC Rating: 2 (previously 1's, 2+'s). Location: Boise, Idaho. Business Unit: GTS. Age: Almost 62. Job Responsibilities: Chief Architect, IT Architect Certified Master Architect. -Outhedoor-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    As part of last year's age and sex discrimination (I was 64), I found the best thing to do was to start planning. Use your full year HCRA, use your optionals, take advantage of the subsidized COBRA, use your education allowance, apply for your state's unemployment (not hard at all), record any needed ibm email addresses for future communications, try to find another IBM manager to close you out (like an old friend), etc. If you have to transition your job to another person, remember it is not their fault. It is YOUR MANAGER'S fault. -ihateibm-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    11 years IBM US. 5 years prior IBM Canada. Age 54. PBC 2 — entire career was a mix of 1, 2+ and 2. Div 07 — SO IT Architect.

    I was a bit surprised since the same management gurus that decided I was no longer needed gave me an MVA raise in December. Cringely's numbers may not be right, but his comments on the effects on our more traditional clients (not cloud) are spot on. I was the one person on our team who did client-facing work on traditional clients. There was enough demand I never worked on our cloud solutions. Our team is having fits trying to figure out how to fill in and complete my work. I actually feel sorrier for them than I do for me.

    I know management gets bashed a lot here, but my FLM has reached out to his contacts outside IBM, and got me four requests for resumes and interviews within 24 hours. I know he hates this, and is constantly getting any request to help his team out turned down by higher management and finance. He is actively looking to get out. -andanotheronebitesthedust-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    "How reliable is your source of information? If (Once) one fails the PIP, will there be a full or minimized package? I haven't been officially put on PIP yet. Some talks about expected improvement, but nothing formally documented or signed. But it never hurts to be prepared. Anyone who goes through the PIP process, please share your experience. -TellMeAboutPIP-"

    The previous poster was correct. When you get a "3" rating, you are offered a minimum separation package. If you decline, you are put on a 30- or 60-day PIP. If you fail to meet all of the conditions outlined in the PIP, you are terminated on the end date with nothing except any unpaid vacation time. If you had a pension, you'll be given a few options—same for 401(k). -Chuck-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    To -TellMeAboutPIP-: The information I provided about the PIP came first-hand from my manager. Different business units may be handling things differently, but you will definitely not get the full severance package for a PIP — the full package has never been used for anything other than an RA.

    If you're on a PIP, your manager is required to write up the specific goals you're expected to meet, and (s)he should tell be able to tell you what happens if you don't meet those goals. Regarding the ability to actually succeed at meeting those goals, I guess we won't really know that until people have gone through the process, regardless of what I was told. -Survivor-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    RA'd 2013, PBC 2, 24 years. Worked on the Watson team three years ago and asked Watson if I would get laid off (just jokingly). Watson came back and said in more words "...look at the glide path". Watson was right and the answer struck me as obvious at the time. No one really survives the RA. -GoneAndGlad-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Received my RA earlier this week; last day scheduled for 2/27. Alternatively to many others who've posted, I was a member of the university recruitment efforts known as the Consultant by Degree (CbD) program — a 2 year engagement. I received exceptional PAs in 2014 and an overall PBC rating of 2+. I was on a full-time billable engagement, was specifically requested by the client for the next phase, and was promotion eligible for the end of January. In lieu of all promising achievements, I received notification of a RA. -Abhorred CbDer-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    To -Blindsided in Mo- Endicott, New York IBM was blindsided also. After a new CEO came from Keebler and became CEO of IBM, he blindsided the employees of Endicott, New York, home of IBM. IBM over their history in Endicott was given tremendous tax breaks. IBM Endicott once approximately employed 13,000 IBM employees. Now if there are 300-400 full-time IBM employees it would be a miracle. IBM and Lou Gerstner gutted the city of Endicott,NY. -ANA-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    What I find so hard to understand and accept is how IBM Finance and HR can live with themselves and look themselves in the mirror knowing that they are helping IBM Senior Management destroy families and lives. Why does the Board allow bad performance by Senior Management for so many quarters without doing anything about ita? Why hit low-level employees who are just following the strategies set in place by senior management (strategies which are not working)? -gone for good!-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    PBC 3 and placed on 30 day PIP. NO PACKAGE OFFERED to me! Now what? Over 40 years old. More than 20 years w/ IBM. First 3 with no previous indication of poor performance. PIP is unachievable but no package option. Physically ill now. Is anyone else in the same boat as me? -Kicked In The Stomach-
  • Comment 01/30/15:

    I am not an IBM'er but feel your pain. The IBM lawyers, HR and management have been honing their skills over the years with each successive job slashing. Warren Buffett, who pretends he's one of the "common people" has shilled for IBM over many years. A person I know back in the day who is a union member indicated we IT people were "suckers" to sit back and watch the offshoring and "right-sizing."

    Now, unfortunately the damage has been done. I empathize with all who have been touched by this massacre and unfortunately other companies have and will continue to take their cue from what used to be a "world class" company which is now on it's way to being "third rate." -concernedcustomer-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    Echoing a similar comment from an earlier post "happy to be gone", I too was RA'd in July of 2013 just two days shy of 16 years. Gave my life for those 16 years. "1" PBC for five of my last 9 years — all the rest PBC 2+. I used to lie awake at night worried out of my mind about PBC, skills building, etc. Once the call came, which by the way my first-lime manager didn't have the guts to make, I felt a sense of relief. Never looked back and can only tell you that YES, IBM skills are highly valued.

    While not every employer respects IBM, they do respect the people and skills. I will give IBM an A+ for professional skills building. It was those skills that are now highly valued by my new employer, which values employees, provides work-life-balance, and treats me like a true human being. Wow — what a concept. Jump if you can — and never look back. I promise you'll sleep much better at night. Who wants to go down with a sinking ship. -Happy to Be Gone II-

  • Comment 01/30/15:

    I left IBM in the early 1990s (bridge to retirement) and retired in the late 1990s. I could see the hand writing on the wall even then and it was not good. I joined IBM in the 1960s upon college graduation and during the 1970s I remarked to coworkers that one reason that IBM treated us nicely is because they did NOT want a union. (Was I a prophet or what; obviously with the internet and greedy corporate management IBM no longer cares about employees at ALL).

    I recently joined this union (associate member or whatever they call it, not expensive) as even as a retiree I could have much to lose with this current corporate management. They will take away our retirement, if possible, just to enhance the bottom line, greedy scum.

    I do NOT understand why current employees are NOT signing up by the thousand, not the tiny amount that have joined recently. Do you really think the current crop of IBM management has your best interests at heart. Fat chance. GREED, GREED, GREED and filling their own pockets is all they know. Are you that chicken or that cheap that you won't contribute to the cause. If I as a retiree can do this you certainly should be able to join and contribute.

    For crying out loud, stand up for yourself. You have NO power as an individual, only as a member of a large group. Employees in other countries know this, why are people in this country so stupid as to believe that companies like IBM have the best interests of employees in their sights. They do not, only $ signs and greed, period. If you do not try to protect yourself you deserve what you get. Plain and simple. -TOMV1990S RETIREE-

  • Comment 01/31/15: 32.5 years. IBM US. Age 59. PBC 2 — entire career was a mix of 2+ and 2. Div CHQ IT Architect I was quite surprised when I received the call from my manager. I didn't expect to be RA'd. But I'll survive. I don't know how Ginni and her gaggle of upper management goslings sleep comfortably at night. Anyone with morals would not screw families the way they are. This company is loosing ground quickly. -anon-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    For Canadian IBMers, there was an interesting article in the Globe and Mail by an employment lawyer. He mentioned that providing a lower severance package for supposed performance issues is almost never permitted. All employees released should receive the same payouts. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/career-advice/the-ins-and-outs-of-job-severance/article4098859/

    Another widely held believe is that poor performance is cause for dismissal without severance. This is incorrect. It would only be true where an employee has been proven incompetent, which has happened in court so infrequently that I tell my clients it’s close to impossible to prove. Similarly, the amount of severance awarded is not based on performance, so both stars and incompetents should receive the same payouts if fired. -CanadianSeverance-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    SWG, Silicon Valley Laboratory, lost 40+ technical writers (including managers). Additionally, approximately 70% of the user experience (UX) department were let go. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    Someone recently shared with me a letter that a CEO of another company had sent to all employees, announcing a restructuring that was going to result in hundreds of job losses. The letter was very apologetic and compassionate, and the CEO promised to make the transition as painless as possible, pledging to support the affected employees as best as he could, and encouraging management and co-workers to do the same. The letter specified the exact dates when affected employees would be notified.

    This was clearly a CEO and company that cares about their employees, the complete opposite of what IBM has become over the years. Did IBM tell employees about the current RA ahead of time? No, but they did tell the media, when they refuted the Forbes article with Cringely's prediction of 100,000+ layoffs, saying that "only" several thousand people would be impacted. I'm so happy that I'm leaving. If you plan to stay at IBM for a while (or try to anyway), do yourself and your co-workers a favor and join the union. -Survivor-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    To all of those that say "IBMs lawyers are the best and most expensive" they are not. You need to band together. We have done this in the UK and IBM got handed its backside on a plate in the high court. The transcript is here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2014/980.html

    Now, one of the chief architects and a man described by a High Court judge here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2014/980.html#para308 is now firmly in charge of what is happening.

    When a judge in the UK says "I found his evidence unreliable" what this means is he was very economical with the truth. That man had, repeat had, to leave the UK. If you see all the names that were behind the pension grab (and IBM UK has to remedy this, results due in February) they have all pretty much had to leave.

    Anyway, the point is this: do not believe the BS about IBM having the best lawyers — they don't. They are getting egg on their face in the UK and have lost each and every court case, settling on the steps in most cases but they want you to believe that they are all powerful. And, IBM only gets the cheapest, relatively speaking, lawyers now. All the good ones go elsewhere. So do not give up heart, find a way to organize through the union and take them on. -UK IBMer, union, and proud of it-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    UK IBM, PBC 3. I have had zero discussions during the year regarding performance; no mid-year review. Low utilisation is the reason but there were no jobs available for me for a significant period. Thinking about whether to appeal the rating or is low utilisation my fault? Anyone else PBC 3 for low utilisation, particularly in UK? -Dave-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    8+ years of service, PBC 2 or above each year, last day 27/2. Worked my soul and life off in return for cold, heartless, descriminative management. Word of advice to IBM, people are the most important asset in any successful organisation! -NZ layoff-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    I'm currently looking for a lawyer that handles both age discrimination and class action. If I find one, I'll pass the name on. It would be a valuable service if CWA did find a lawyer to handle this obvious age discrimination. I do think that dues paying membership would skyrocket. I also believe the remaining IBMers would united and join CWA because of such representation.

    The web site is nice, but what does it really offer besides a medium for sharing our pains. IBM executives don't pay any attention to CWA, it's just too small for them to be too concern.

    A class action lawsuit led by CWA with the support of everyone that is commenting would send the appropriate message. We do need to be united but we need to do it with a strong team of experienced lawyers with gusto to take on Goliath. IBM won't make it easy since they can afford great legal, but the numbers don't lie — just look at the number of people reporting that I'm over 50 and strong IBM contributors.

    IBM is hurting financially (reason for layoffs); they can't compete and are losing existing clients. The media could be our ally. A highly publicised age discrimination class action lawsuit would not be good press from IBM and it would further decline their ability to generate new clients. They keep everything secret because they know they are guilty of discrimination and other HR violations. I know I wouldn't do business with a company that do not respect and value its #1 resource (people). -Anonymous-

    Alliance reply: The Alliance has age discrimination lawyers we have worked with for years. Contact us at IBMunionalliance@gmail.com. Also, members have a lawyer referral service through Union Plus. (You have to be a full member for this). Lastly CWA has lawyers but only work on cases related to specific labor violations under the National Labor Relations Act.

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    Years with IBM - 5 PBC Rating - 2 RAed - 1/28/15 Age - mid 30s

    Reason given for RA — outdated technology (SAP technologies are outdated?. Even if they are, training is easy than getting a new blood).

    Had a workplace modifications in place for getting to work remotely due to epilepsy. Not physically disabled except getting occasional seizures. Any issue never addressed or care to be listened. All other year PBCs 2+. Had couple of excellence awards as well. Feeling very humiliated.

    But glad this bad dream is over. Had to struggle a lot even to get a remote work. Family used to be on the road all the time to get me dropped at work places. Ours is a classic case to what could happen if you are under an impotent and bad manager. -anan-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    So, are you upset that our CEO gets a $3.6 million bonus, 6.7% pay raise, $13.3 million in stock grants, and a vote of confidence instead of getting fired for taking the company down, and all of your jobs, your livelihood, the money you will need to put your kids through school, buy them nice things, maybe be able to retire someday after working your tail off?

    Did you see the Forbes survey that rated IBM 91 out of 100 cloud companies to work for? Did you see what data they used to measure that? Yup, it was the glassdoor.com employee reviews and RATING OF THE CEO. So that data is used for a lot of things. Please go there, you do have to create an ID with your personal email, but it's anonymous. If enough people do it, we can drive IBM and that 'CEO' of ours to the bottom of the list, of every list, and alert the people they want to hire to take our jobs that it's a horrible place to work. Please go to glassdoor.com and rate her and IBM at the bottom, and come on, sign up here for a few bucks a month and help yourself and everyone else out.

    The alliance and this site are the *only* advocates that you have, and they have brought us all together. Their press releases to tip off the media, and providing this discussion list, are invaluable resources. Give a little, help a lot. -LowMorale-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    I've seen several people think that because IBM didn't publish age information that this makes it more difficult to win a law suit. I think that if someone brought a case, demographic information on those affect would be subject to "discovery" and that IBM would have to turn this information over to the plaintiff. Not an IBM'er, but you have my sympathy. -Outsider-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    Ranking System — IBM ranking system is based on your contributions relative to your peers. The peers for our CEO and VPs are the corresponding executives in the 29 other companies that make up the Dow Jones. IBM ranked dead last, 30 out of 30, and was the worst performing stock in the Dow in both 2013 and 2014. This poor performance is an uncommon occurrence. The last time a company achieved this level of ineptness was in 1995 and 1996. Based on this poor performance I had assumed that our CEO and a number of the VPs would have been rated 3 for the last two years and would have been part of the current layoff. -Joe-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    I was part of the 2012 RA. Second generation IBMer. Had just received an award and PBC 1. Gave up part of my holiday vacation two months prior for a project for my second line...who knew I was on the list. I was very angry and bitter when I retired with old plan, 30+ years of service at age 55. Now with a major competitor at a higher salary plus drawing the pension. Had a bonus and review at year end with words that made my soul happy. They love my experience and work ethic and are thrilled to have me. CEO I admire and respect. There is life after the RA. Can't say enough about networking. Hang in there...It gets better. -I've Been Moved-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    Anyone in the UK who got a PBC 3 but had no indication before they were under performing and end up on a PIP then dismissed can take IBM to employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. If you can show the process was unfair you win. -Stitchip-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    If you receive a PBC 3 then you can ask for the appeal; you can reject the rating and you need to write in the PBC: "pending appeal for PBC rating. I have to start the refusal process." Then, you will start the process of appeal with first meeting with your first-line manager and then another meeting with your second-line manager; they are obliged to follow the process.

    You have 60 days to start the process of appeal. The appeal will take 30 days. It means you have 3 months in any case and they have to work a lot on the reasons of the PBC rating and this will increase a lot their workload. Please reject the PBC rating and don't sign any PIP; you can reject to sign it till the appeal is closed. Then you can reach a 3th line level of management. They have to collect all the evidences of low performance or whatever is the reason of PBC 3. -Anonim-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    Worked for IBM STG Group for 20 yrs, always received 1 and 2+. Last year after the sale of X Series, MD Group and after seeing 11 straight quarters of loss in hardware (4Q down 39%) realized that sooner or later IBM is getting out of hardware business. This is hardly a profitable stream to sustain 4.3 billion hardware business.

    If you look at the IBM 4Q results hardware is the worst performer and has been for few years. OpenPower alliance may help IBM drive some revenue but the profit margin is very low. And do you think Intel is just going to give away their market share? Don't think so. High end P series portfolio will be squeezed and profit margin low. The only revenue IBM will get is from Z series which has 2 yr product cycle. Hence from a business point of view why would IBM be in hardware business? To sell services? Don't think so.

    Companies are realizing the IBM overall structure in terms of services and hardware is not good. IBM is a financial engineering company, not innovative. It is so sad that IBM executives have destroyed the vision of Watson.

    So after thinking through this I decided to leave IBM on my own terms. I have a family to support and have to make sure that I can retire. I am sick of working quarter to quarter and creating charts to please upper management. Please if you have escaped this RA (specially if you are in hardware) start looking for a job; may take 8-9 months, but well worth it. You cannot trust IBM management; they will do as they are told. All of a sudden you may get a PBC rating of 2 or 3 and RA'd next time. Get out as fast as you can—sad-for -IBM-Glad-to-be-out-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    For those of you who plan to stay at IBM for as long as you can, here's some advice (aside from joining the union): First, contribute as much as you can to your 401(k). If retirement is a long way off for you, you may have no idea how important this is — it will change your life later. I'm retiring at 57, which would have been impossible if I hadn't contributed; I wasn't planning to retire now, and if I wasn't working for IBM, I wouldn't have, but it's good to have options.

    Second, make sure you're developing marketable skills in case you need (or want) to look for another job, whether inside or outside of IBM, especially if you're a software engineer. There are some technologies at IBM that are only interesting to IBM and its customers, which might not be useful outside of the company. Try searching for an external job matching your current skills — if all the hits are IBM jobs or other jobs related IBM products, you need to expand your skills. -Survivor-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    Reading these stories, my heart goes out to all of the hard-working, dedicated people who have devoted much if not all of their working lives to IBM, only to be repaid by being unceremoniously booted out the door. Mercifully, I have been spared in the current round of job cuts, but in my 5 years with IBM, I've lived through this one too many times. In 2009, I was part of a strategic acquisition that resulted in many colleagues being let go. In 2013, my entire team was RA’d, and I was the last one standing. I am over 50, so it’s just a matter of time until the executioner’s ax finds me.

    I realize that businesses exist to make money and that sometimes difficult decisions must be made. But this seems to be a semi-annual event at IBM. Clearly, this company is rotten at the core, and the current leadership must go. If Ginni and her cronies were subject to the PBC process, what do you think their rating would be?

    I've never really believed in unions—I was a member of one once, and all it did was protect the slackers and mediocre workers from getting fired, while the high performers didn’t benefit at all—but the news that Ginni is receiving an enormous bonus and raise after driving this company into its current sorry state was the last straw.

    I’ve just signed up as a full, voting member. One thing is certain–taking no action at all will only guarantee more of the same…but if we unite, we might be able to make a difference. The thermometer is rising, which is encouraging. I urge everyone who’s angry, hurt, disillusioned and worried about the future to sign up today. -DisgustedinChiTown-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    I heard from a trusted source that there were 250 cut from the Boulder Site, various divisions. -BLD - Anon.-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    Remember after the 3q announcement Ginni said if you hang in there with us through this you will be rewarded later. Well it's clear that the execs all just get new roles and the non execs get shuffled off. If you are under 30 and working at IBM get your 401k set up; a few good reviews and go find a company that treats people better. I am happy to get out end of February but feel for those who got surprise 3s. -dunbelievin-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    This is outrageous. The same week thousands are being, essentially fired, the IBM Board of Directors awards Ms Rometty substantial salary and bonus incentives. Either the BOD is insensitive as to the timing or they are sending everyone a message that they approve of her leadership. In any case, both may be correct. If this act alone doesn't call for membership and vote for a union, nothing will. -Thefielder-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    -skidmarx-: Sorry to hear. Informal PIP means you are being managed out of your job since you are retirement eligible in IBM's eyes without severance through RA offered. Your PIP will have subjective "to do's" and you will be hawked like a school child by your IBM Dilbert manager on "how you are doing" and "what you have to do". You will be belittled to say the least. Even if you accomplish all the to-do's and additional ones, you will be forced into retirement. IBM pulls your strings but you'll be dropped after the PIP period is over, unless you are EXTREMELY (and I mean Exceptionally) LUCKY.

    Think of it this way: if you pass the PIP, then your manager essentially screwed up your PBC rating and appraisal. And where will that put your IBM manager? Yep, on the hot seat themselves. And how often does this happen when IBM HR has to slap them? -MIS'ed-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    Just glad to have it over with. I've been chased by RA's for the entirety of my e IT career since being swivel seated in 2001. It's not like they booted me out the door without severance — for that I'm thankful. This latest action, as they all are, was a directive from corporate finance, executed by HR, and nothing else. This RA had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with your PBC rating. Don't be offended by getting a 3 rating. We all did. IBM is in a clear fight for it's life — and now they enter in the cloud space late, competing with mega weights Amazon, Google and Microsoft, who have a huge head start. It's a good time to be leaving IBM as they will be treading treacherous waters ahead. -GONE Baby-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    As I read this site, I was struck by the fact that most if not all of the postings are negative to say the least. But then I wouldn't expect anything less because most posts are from IBM employees that have just been laid off, not to mention this is a union organizing website.

    But the reality is, what's said here is the truth. If you were to walk into any IBM building anywhere, the comments you would hear made by all of those still employed by IBM would exactly echo what's posted here. All IBM managers know it's true too. They all know IBM sucks as an employer, but they have their own butts to protect. I'd expect nothing less from them other than to be as politically correct as possible.

    If your stomach has not yet been turned due to Ginni's raise and bonus then there's something wrong with you. Unless you're Ginni that is. I wonder if she'll insult everyone's intelligence by accepting it. -Anon-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    Just call her Machete Rometty. She's RA'd so many good workers to try to meet meaningless financial goals while not minding the business of IBM. She and her C-suite cronies are the lowest of scum. The IBM Board of Directors is no better. I've been at IBM 8+ years. I got sucked into this "machine from hell" due to an outsourcing of my former employer's IT department. The only reason I'm still here is waiting to take the T2R if they offer it this year. If they don't, I will just resign and start my retirement adventures. Good luck to all the ones who were RA'd. May each of you find a better job and get some peace in your life. There's no peace at IBM - just a boatload of stress that is constant and unrelenting. -hanging on for now-
  • Comment 01/31/15:

    After over 30 years I had enough. Recently retired on my own. PBC 2. Did not wait to see if I was on RA list or wait for the chance of a severance package. Picked out my IBM retirement gift from Michael C. Fina for 30 years of service (gift worth about $150 — what a joke), called IBM ESC to start my small Prior Plan pension for 30 years (another joke),signed up for my nearly $700/mo. IBM Retiree medical plan (luckily have some FHA to pay for it,,,otherwise SOL).

    My close friends thought I would be "living large" having worked for IBM for so long...they were shocked to know the truth. Finally packed up and shipped laptop back to IBM. In hindsight, I could have done a lot better for my life...almost not worth it. Just mailed a check to Alliance@IBM for membership as retiree. -IBM_Pauper-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    So let me get this straight, International Business Machines Corp. said Chief Executive Virginia Rometty will receive a $3.6 million bonus for her performance in 2014, despite annual declines in profit and revenue at the computing giant while this greedy CEO continues to approve RAs to IBMers.

    This company has lost all moral perspective, and hates its employees. I hope there is a mass walk out of all IBMers and let the executives and managers run this company. The last three CEOs and executives and manager have done a great job running this once great company right into the ground. Rometty needs to read the history of IBM and the founder TJ Watson. If he knew that a CEO had not made a profit in any quarter since she had been CEO and received a 3.6 million dollar for one year, he would d be rolling over in his grave. IBM will no longer exists if this crap continues. IBM needs a union. Unbelievable -IBM is Unbelievable-

  • Comment 01/31/15:

    If you've been RA'ed, I urge you to contact the Governor of NY, Andrew Cuomo to let him know. https://www.governor.ny.gov/contact. IBM gets major tax breaks to keep IBM jobs in NY (IBM home state) and there is an agreement in place until 2016. Now that those jobs are being eliminated by IBM, seems to be violating that agreement AND Ginni is now able to afford her hefty new pay raise? Hmmm. Even if you don't live in NY, let him know anyway and expose the ongoing corruption in IBM. -RAed in NY-
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alerts. This week's articles include:
    • Congress to Create a Commission to “Fix” Social Security
    • King v. Burwell Could Undo Health Care Coverage, Cost Taxpayers $340 Billion
    • U.S. Supreme Court Ruling is a Setback for Retirees
    • Alliance Takes Part in House Democratic Caucus Retreat
    • Virginia Alliance Holds its Convention
    • There are Five People Born in the 1800’s who are Still Alive
    • Medicare Turns 50: LBJ’s “War on Poverty” Rescued Millions

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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