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.
Selected reader comments follow:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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." ...
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Selected reader comments follow:
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
"It’s official now: SoftLayer’s Lance Crosby exits IBM" http://bit.ly/15JeTxE
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pros: Food experience on various products looks good on a resume.
Advice to Senior Management: Treat your employees with respect and fairly. Contribute to benefits more. Include employees in profit sharing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pros: Some residual prestige associated with the name. I honestly thought I could find more to say than this, but I can't.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pros: Co-workers. But nothing else.
Advice to Senior Management: Quit pretending. Everyone knows what you are up to.
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?)
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.
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.
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?
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.
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-
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--
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-
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-
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-
Alliance reply: What legal action? Absent a union contract you are an "at will employee". http://www.endicottalliance.org/atwillemployment.htm
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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
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.
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-
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-
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-
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-
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):
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-
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-
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?
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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.
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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
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-
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-
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.
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-
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-
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-
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.
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-
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".
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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.
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-
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-
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-
Sounds like little has changed in IBM management. -Sad for my former colleagues-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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.
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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.
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.
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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.
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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-
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