Welcome to IBM Employee News and Links

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

Our Friends:

Watching IBM Watching IBM Facebook

Quick Links:

Get involved! Insider trading After IBM Lenovo Employee Discount

Previous highlights:

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

Highlights—October 24, 2015

  • New York Times:

    IBM Sales and Profit Dropped 14% in Third Quarter. By Steve Lohr. Excerpts: IBM on Monday reported sharply lower profits and sales in the third quarter, raising questions about the progress of its corporate transition to new businesses. ...

    “The market is changing quickly, and IBM can’t move fast enough,” said A. M. Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company. “That’s what this suggests.” ...

    Virginia M. Rometty, IBM’s chief executive, has candidly said that this year will be one of difficult transition. In a statement on Monday, Ms. Rometty said the quarter showed the wisdom of its strategy. “We again made progress in the transformation of our business to higher value,” she said. ...

    But investors and analysts are concerned that the decline at IBM’s large, lucrative businesses may accelerate faster than the new businesses grow. Until the new businesses account for more overall growth, those worries will most likely persist.

    “The math is working against them now,” said Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC. “Modest declines in the older business overshadow the new businesses.”

    Selected comments follow:

    • Unless the management stops behaving like a bunch of accountants, this will continue. Watching this from the outside, but with friends within the company, you see them try to pull all sorts of accounting tricks to hit the expected numbers (canceling leave and training for example) without fixing the underlying problems, and at a cost of demotivating the staff who are actually earning the money. Any company that makes share price a target is doomed.
    • Re: Unless the management stops behaving like a bunch of accountants. IBM has a long history of hiring intelligent people, and I'm sure some of them are staying until retirement. But in the current job market, what intelligent person would take a job at IBM, when much more friendly work environments are available?
    • Chickens coming home to roost. When the only strategy appears be workforce reductions to support share buy backs to artificially inflate the share price its no wonder that they are in trouble. Its a real shame that a company that pioneered cloud (back when they called it grid) is slowly becoming irrelevant. I'd be tempted to call them another HP but that's an insult too far.
  • The Register:

    Your one-minute guide to IBM's financial future – or just imagine a skier tumbling down a slope. By Chris Williams. Excerpts: Today, IBM is said to be the biggest technology services biz on Earth – and the only way is down. Big Blue's fortunes are continuing in a downward trend: its global revenue has fallen, profit is down, and its share price slipped five per cent in after-hours trading on Monday.
  • Boston Globe:

    IBM granted $2.5M in tax breaks for locating digital health venture. By Jon Chesto. Excerpts: Kendall Square is one of the hottest office markets in the country, with technology and biotech giants jockeying to land outposts and bring jobs there.

    Yet the Baker administration on Wednesday granted $2.5 million in tax breaks over three years to IBM Corp. to encourage the company to bring its new digital health venture, known as IBM Watson Health, to Cambridge’s high-tech hotbed.

    In return, IBM has promised to create at least 500 new jobs....

    But some have questioned why a tax break is needed to draw a company to prime real estate in a neighborhood that’s been identified as the single most expensive office market on the East Coast outside of Manhattan.

    “My basic takeaway is that it’s very likely that IBM would have chosen this same location without receiving any tax credits whatsoever,” said Adam Langley, a senior research analyst at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge. “That’s a windfall for the company that most businesses are not in a position to receive.” ...

    A spokesman for IBM declined to comment about the tax break.

  • Seeking Alpha:

    IBM Is Worse Than It Appears. By Dana Blankenhorn. Excerpts: IBM disappointed investors again this week, causing the stock's defenders to come in with another round of pieces pounding the table for the shares.

    But IBM is in worse shape than it appears, and it's not because CEO Virginia Rometty is a bad manager or a bad person. It's just in the nature of technological change. It's in the clouds.

    For enterprise companies like IBM, clouds are the "giant sucking sound" H. Ross Perot (who made his name in enterprise technology) warned you about. They are the most profound technology change since the PC, and IBM just can't get ahead of it. ...

    What has been happening to IBM is evolution in action. The size of its legacy businesses made ultimate cloud success nearly impossible to achieve. And now success is, quite literally, impossible. All it can do, it seems, is keep consuming its seed corn, keep pretending its wasting away is a great diet (Watson is Hadoop with a front-end), until either there's another major change in the technology landscape or it withers away to nothing.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • alwaysjohn: There is more than one type of "services." The PwC type of business provides "consulting" services for strategic planning, new initiatives, and major projects. There is another type of service that provides operational support of systems, applications, infrastructure, etc. It is the "outsourcing" side of the services business. When the outsourcing group does its job well they can have great influence on a customers buying decisions. Most of IT spending is on upgrades and technology refresh projects, not the consulting stuff done by PwC.

      It is true the "operational" type of services has been under tremendous price pressure forcing the majority of the work to be offshored. The key problem here is the financial neglect began 10-15 years ago. IBM has always equated revenue and profits to head count and billable hours. The more staff you can put on an outsourcing account the more money IBM can make. IBM never invested in productivity improvement and automation. Instead they started shopping for cheaper and cheaper labor. Coming with that cheaper labor was reduced skills and less experience. By 2005 the quality of IBM's outsourcing service was clearly headed for the dumpster. Customers were patient for a few years believing IBM would fix its problems, but it didn't. It only made things progressively worse.

      IBM did not meet its contract obligations. This caused many of its customers significant financial harm. They stopped being IBM customers. At the core of IBM's problems is its credibility. IBM's customers now have 10 years of first hand experience of poor support and an unwillingness to fix things.

      IBM's outsourcing side of services has been the face of IBM. Today that face is more like AMC's "Walking Dead" TV series. This is not a new thing. It should not be a surprise. IT spending are multi-year contracts and investments. It takes time for them to wind down, for replacements to be put in place. IBM's past decisions are catching up with it. Today IBM could have the best new products and services, and they would have a hard time selling them. IBM has lost a lot of credibility.

      Every quarter we read many analysis from Wall Street on IBM. Some cling to the hope of the transformation, others hope the dividend and share buybacks will shore up shareholder value, others see doom and gloom. The only conclusion one should be making from 14 quarters of declining revenue is IBM's customers are now speaking loudly and clearly with their spending decisions. Revenue and net income comes from the sale of products and services. It comes from customers. IBM has alienated its customers. Until you see IBM take serious actions to make things right with its customers and the people who are the face of IBM to their customers, their employees; you can expect this slide to continue.

    • Dr Rick Gold: @alwaysjohn That's exactly what I've been told by many employees and customers alike. Here's a story I was told by an ex-IBMer I met on a plane.

      This IBMer was in charge of delivering turnkey outsourcing services for a huge healthcare corp. A really bright guy, he had 50+ people on his team and was understaffed as it was. Things were dropping off his plate, and client sat was dicey.

      In one fell swoop IBM laid off virtually all CONUS workers, or about 45 of his team, without even asking him what the impact to the customer or to the contract delivery. This was a 7-year contact mind you, not a one shot project.

      Mgmt then told him a freeze was in place, and he couldn't restaff those positions for 6 months! A freeze was on to avoid lawsuits from the freshly unemployed. After many weeks of getting ripped to shreds by his customer, he quit the company in disgust. And that company is forever lost for future services.

      But hey, they "beat" greatly lowered guidance by 4 cents! How do you even deal with that kind of cluelessness? And why would you choose to "invest in it"?

    • alwaysjohn: Thanks for your kind words. Many of us are trying to save IBM. When we talk to our exec's we find many kindred spirits. Many of IBM's exec's know the company is in trouble, we're killing our future, and change is urgently leaded. When you can get them to talk candidly you will learn most of IBM's leadership is absolutely prevented from taking action by the highest levels of the company. The staff cuts, the decision not to fix problems comes directly from Ginni and her immediate team. Everything that is happening inside IBM is a mandate from the executive suite.
    • Dr Rick Gold: Cloud is already s highly commoditized business with enormous CapEx and thin margins. IBM has already given up on public cloud (where the growth is). They can only hope to compete somehow in hybrid cloud, but they lag even here and are over-priced. And hybrid cloud requires the most involvement from highly skilled workers. They've already laid off most of that talent and alienated the rest. There has never been more competition for highly skilled tech workers, and who in their right mind would say "yeah, Big Blue is where I want to work".
    • alwaysjohn: Here is the best advice I can give you. If you own IBM, sell at the next bump in the stock price. If you want to invest, look somewhere else. IBM has alienated its customers and cheated its employees. Only when they make things right with their customers and employees should you consider buying IBM stock. Fourteen consecutive declines in revenue is a clear statement from IBM's customers. They've have had enough. IBM's customers are speaking loud and clear. Listen to them.

      Forget the charts and support levels. Forget the strategic initiatives and promises. At this point only actions matter. IBM's customers have been taking action for 14 quarters. When IBM takes action to make things right, then and only then should you consider investing in IBM.

    • tloganenterprises@gmail.com: Speaking as a retired employee - I think you are watching another Sears in the making. Both were huge, very successful companies with a large satisfied customer set. Then came the financial beanies. Both concentrated more on saving money than anything - and I mean anything - innovation, employee morale, customer satisfaction, and on and on. If you want to run a company like a bank and you are not a bank - you are going to fail. It make take 30 years to go down based on the original size - but you will fail.

      General Motors, Sears, IBM, and countless others already out of business. The IBM company that the bulls refer to went out of business 15 years ago. It is time to realize this is a totally different company - one on a downhill slide. Yes there will be bright spots and quarters here and there with profit and bells and whistles - but the trend will continue downward.

      Just look at the total value of IBM compared to a host of other tech companies - and this was the company with the 50 year head start and the best employees on the planet. Remove the name recognition and simply analyze the company based on the fundamentals and you'll not see much. I cannot think of one thing worth any real value that IBM leads in.

      Watson - a solution looking for a problem. Cloud - that ship sailed before IBM even knew it existed. Technology - most of what IBM had was sold to keep the stock up for a quarter here or there.

    • alwaysjohn: Software as a Service (SaaS) based on cloud is clearly the way to go. It has great potential. (Oh BTW, look at Microsoft CEO's statements on the subject this week. Apparently Microsoft is beginning to bring in BIG money in this area.) When it comes to SaaS IBM is at a disadvantage. Take a look at IBM's software portfolio. Take a long hard look. In it you will find almost nothing any typical business would want to use. If you want to "develop" your own apps, IBM has some products. If you want to find finished, ready to use applications -- you're out of luck with IBM. This is an extremely important point. Go to IBM's website and look through their software products. See for yourself. Watson is not an application you would use to run your small to medium sized shop or business.

      When it comes to having software for a SaaS service, IBM has nothing. This is a prime example of the dangers in having a business plan to engineer the books to get to $20 EPS, and in doing so neglect the company. If the business plan was to embrace cloud, the software division should have been out buying or developing the applications that could be sold as services. They didn't, instead IBM spent over $100B buying back its stock.

    • lotus position: Tennis fans will tell you that the top tennis tournaments, the Grand Slams, are designed and hosted by IBM. You can see their logo on the Slam's site. It used to be a good experience going to those sites. Nowadays I dread going there.
  • CNBC:

    Cramer: IBM's stock could fall a LOT further. By Abigail Stevenson. Excerpts: IBM's stock was absolutely pummeled on Tuesday, with the stock plunging 5 percent after the company reported yet another disappointing quarter of shrinking revenue growth and a brutal cut to its full-year earnings forecast. Jim Cramer knows the company is trying to turn itself around, but is that even possible with such negative sentiment on Wall Street?

    "It looks like Big Blue has got the blues. From what I can see, IBM's new, faster-growing businesses, like the cloud, big data and cognitive analytics, just cannot offset the hideous declines in their older legacy divisions," the "Mad Money" host said.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • IBM is a dinosaur. Its businesses are being destroyed due to executive incompetence, having worked there as an engineer. Toxic work environment and inability to catch Microsoft, Amazon, Apple in so many areas...sell while you can it may not be around in 3-5 yrs.
    • Yep, I worked there too and had the sense to get out after watching many friends get axed in the January RA. Ginny Rometty is quite possibly the benchmark for which horrible CEOs will be measured.
  • Seeking Alpha:

    IBM's Long-Term Strategic Problem. By Tim Worstall, Forbes.com. Excerpts: It would be much too harsh a judgment to say that IBM cannot survive in any form into the medium term. But the basic model of computing that IBM operates in is disappearing. And that means that eventually, so will the firm. It doesn't have to be overnight and there's very good profits that can be made from managing the decline, but there's a good case to be made that, other perhaps than Watson, the company's had it. ...

    That's great, of course it is, but again other than Watson that's not going to be enough. Because of course the point is to produce profits, not revenue. And IBM's standard pricing policies just aren't going to work in this brave new world. For those pricing policies always have been to price at the value of the computing to the user, not anything to do with the cost to IBM. ...

    The problem is, as Wired has pointed out, that things like cloud services just aren't going to provide the sort of margins IBM requires to support its overhead and R&D programs. Because what that cloud is doing is turning processing itself into a commodity. And the economic point about commodities is that those producing them a) doesn't have any pricing power and b) thus doesn't make decent margins on them. Anyone competing with Amazon on a price basis is about to enter a whole world of hurt, obviously. And when the various cloud offerings are largely and almost trivially interchangeable, what economists call substitutes, that's not a business which a high margin firm like IBM wants to be in.

  • Wall Street Journal:

    IBM CEO Pledges to Stay the Course. Virginia Rometty says company is a big ship and turning it around is a slow process. By Don Clark. Virginia Rometty has a big ship to turn around, and it is a slow process. But there is no need to change course. The chief executive of International Business Machines Corp. reiterated that message Tuesday, the day after Big Blue released third-quarter results that sent its shares down 5.5%.

    “We’re a $90 billion company transforming,” Ms. Rometty said during an appearance at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLive 2015 global technology conference here. “We are doing that in the public eye.” ...

    Ms. Rometty, who was set to leave the conference to fly to Beijing, also said recent tensions in that country over potential intelligence-gathering activities by the U.S. government haven't deterred its efforts. She said IBM’s strategy is to build trust, and to convince Chinese customers that IBM software doesn't have “back doors” that could aid foreign spies

    But China is as much a place for IBM to recruit talent as a place to sell, she said. “Innovation doesn’t know borders, Ms. Rometty said. ”And good ideas don’t carry passports.”

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Dan Coronado: IBM is the next Motorola or Blackberry. Unable to adjust to changing times. Rometty is still stuck in the IBM glory days of the 90's.
    • D Dykes: @Dan Coronado Perhaps you meant the 70s...I was there in the 90s, as we shed about half our workers. Those days weren't very glorious... :(
    • Charles Houseworth: As a 30 year IBMer and now a retiree, I must say that Ms Rometty has completely failed as a CEO. It is way past time for her to go. My company is now a sad shadow of what it once was.
    • David Vornholt: Yeah. She will "Stay the Course" until she is fired for staying the course. If the numbers were all getting better than staying the course is good. But if staying the course just means continuing lower revenue, than even Warren will ask for her ouster. At the end of the day, all CEOs are judged the same way and staying the course is not one of them.
    • Eugen Tarnow: 5 I am looking at IBM insider transactions at https://finance.yahoo.com/q/it?s=IBM+Insider+Transactions

      If I am reading the information correctly, there has been no stock buying by insiders during the last six months, only sales. Out of 671,000 shares outstanding to insiders, 124,000 were sold.

      I attended a web meeting in which the group that includes Watson was encouraging entrepreneurs to build systems based on the Watson platform. The risk seemed to be all on the entrepreneurial side.

      I am not sure what that all means.

  • Seeking Alpha:

    IBM Continues To Crumble. By Josh Arnold. Excerpts: To say that I've been a long-time bear on tech dinosaur IBM is an understatement. I've long argued that IBM is a rudderless ship with no captain and that the failed strategies of the past are all the current management team can muster. Most recently, back in July, I pointed out that IBM still had no strategy and that its push toward the cloud is working but is still years away from being a major profit center. IBM reported Q3 earnings yesterday and once again, it wasn't pretty.

    My bearishness on IBM has been based on many things. Among them, I still feel IBM has no strategy to grow the business. I've based this on the fact that all IBM has done for the past decade or more is try to reduce the share count and engineer results instead of working on the actual business. This has left IBM in a hole it cannot get itself out of. The growth by reduced share count "strategy" hasn't worked and isn't going to work but IBM continues to try it. ...

    And it's a good thing IBM reduced its SG&A expenditures because revenue continues to plummet. This is really where the bear case begins because without revenue growth IBM will continue to fall. My bear thesis has many pieces but none of them matter as much as revenue - a dying company isn't worth much in the stock market and IBM has been just that for a long time. ...

    One thing I absolutely cannot understand is IBM's unwillingness to spend on R&D. This is a company that has been left in the dust in the last few years as it concentrated on buying back shares at high prices instead of running its business. That means IBM's laggard status is due at least in part to its lack of innovation, and R&D spending is the poster child. If anything, IBM should be loading up on R&D spending to fuel its supposed growth categories like its cloud and analytics businesses. There are very few bright spots at IBM so the fact that it's seemingly unwilling to invest in them is mind blowing to me. I don't think this bodes well for IBM's long-term future, but we shall see. ...

    Despite the fact that the cloud and analytics businesses continue to show promise, they are collectively nowhere near enough to make up for the rest of IBM's shrinking businesses. Reduced R&D spending is inexcusable but IBM is reducing SG&A expenses, saving a bit of money to salvage EPS in the short term. My bear thesis that IBM is a shrinking company is still very much intact, and with each successive guidance cut, my short case gathers steam. IBM may look cheap at $140, but analysts will be lowering their projections for next year in the coming weeks in response to yet another terrible quarter. IBM is not cheap yet and won't be until it figures out how to stop shrinking. This has thus far proven elusive, and until that happens, I'm going to continue to short it because it's going to keep going down.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Hector V: IBM's cash cows are going away one rapacious service contract at a time. For those longing for the company's glory days, I'd suggest popping Mad Men into the DVD player.
    • rfsully: Where's Lou Gerstner when you need him?
    • davidbsva: Short term - helped save the company. Long term - he started this mess.
    • Joanne K: Where are the Watson's when you need them. Gerstner was concerned with chopping headcount and nothing else. Also with walking away with his pockets lines very nicely for the rest of his life. The Watson were inventive and had vision unlike a lot of the leaders we have now.
    • Not my cup of tea: Anybody can make the numbers pop by firing people. This company is bloated with VP's, SVPs and hangers on that don't add anything. Sellers are driven out by abuse, lack of resources, and ridiculous payment plans. Clients endure a never ending rotation of "Hi...I'm your new whatever". Name one thing that differentiates this company? It's me too all the way.
    • ajd1103: As a former IBM sales executive, repeat former...IBM punishes it's sales reps for exceeding goals by increasing quota "bi-annually" to minimize commission payment. A good sales-person will not remain long-term at a company that does not reward sales success. IBM is therefore left with a complacent sales-team with high turnover and low moral. Senior management has forgotten that "people buy from people" and IBM's clueless policies have eliminated formation of client "relationship" development. Companies no longer think of IBM as a safe purchase decision. IBM is now suffering from years of believing that products/services sell themselves.
    • 3WallPaul: Josh I somewhat disagree with you — SGA is the life blood of IBM and IBM has cut SGA at a time when the sales process has become extremely conceptual.

      In the glory days IBM reps spent over 18 months in a training program which would rival a decent business school. This was all to sell fairly simple boxes and software to people who understood IBM was the best in the marketplace. Today reps are woefully under prepared in an age where you are attempting make a sale which involves relationships and major customer cultural change. This is at a time IBM is pulling away from direct customer coverage.

      IBM's reduction in SGA over the years has brought them to the point where there is scant relationship capital to leverage.

      For those who are going to say "but IBM has relationships with all of the fortune 500 ---" that's inaccurate old news from a time when IBM US direct coverage was greater than today's total IBM US employment.

    • hz06: Nowadays, these consulting companies, IBM, Deloitte, Accenture...when they sign a contract, they find these "contractors" from internet paying them $65/hr and send them to the clients and charge their client $465/hr; that's magic from IBM/Deloitte/Accenture side but how about from the client side?

      In one of my previous employers, seeing those clueless contractor workers sitting in the never ending meetings listening to the employees talk about the company business and process starting from scratch while they claim themselves experts and charge company $460/hr and the project (mess) delayed by years, was hilarious.

      IBM/Deloitte/Accenture need to justify their 80% management overhead. Their steeple client inventory is shrinking. that's why the earnings are going down not up.

    • Not my cup of tea: Message: So true, the company has gone from a sales culture to a butt licking one. Endless minions of 'executives' do 'cadence' aka sales forecast reviews on deals they never work, see or help out on. It's overhead checking on overhead checking on one sales guy at the bottom. They are nuts and lost. They will be dis-intermediated out of all of their so called strategic areas none of which they dominate.
    • Ctobserer50: Right on Josh! IBM has been cannibalizing itself for years — almost all its capital has gone to share buybacks and dividends, NOT to building its business. IBM has become an also-ran in the new IT — not much customer mindset and certainly far, far behind its cloud rivals. AWS will eat IBM's cloud lunch yet.

      Agreed that the amount of investment in new products and services is not impressive, especially compared to what has been spent on financial engineering.

      Here is the best take I can come up with for IBM strategy (a question many have been asking:) Run "market research" to identify "high-margin" business. Reframe the list you develop as "strategic imperatives" and hit the PR button hard. Then repeat the cycle, starting with "market research" in a year's time.

    • Chris Lau: IBM is past its peak. It was once run by bright engineers and innovators. Now it is run by MBAs determined to make money on service contracts.
    • Ctobserer50: You folks probably have heard of Cringely the IT commentator, and a classic bear on the prospects of IBM. I thought it might be interesting to dredge up something he wrote in June of 2013 ... and I note that he has been proven correct. (any condensing and italics are mine:)
      "Here’s what’s most likely coming for IBM. As each quarter rolls by it will become more obvious to Wall Street that IBM’s business is flat and/or declining. IBM may make its income and profit goals each quarter, but revenue will continue to going down. The only thing that will change this is if the dollar drops dramatically — an effect that has helped Big Blue before. But if the dollar stays about where it is, perception is an important part of any stock price and when a business is flat or declining, Wall Street does not like that.

      Regardless of how many jobs IBM cuts, then, the stock price will eventually go down. IBM can make all its income and profit goals yet the stock price will still drag down shareholder value.

      What happens then? More share buy-backs, the sale of complete business units, and then, well then I don’t know what, because I see no end to this trend with current management. Maybe that’s it: IBM management will change, new management will blame everything on old management, and they’ll try to reset the clock. But it probably still won’t work because by then both worker- and customer loyalty will be gone completely.

      Making its numbers is IBM’s only priority right now. IBM will push its customers to the breaking point and will abuse its employees to achieve this goal. IBM does not care who it hurts. The IBM that used to be the leader in social reform and good corporate citizenship no longer exists.

      Where are the customers in this? In IBM’s big plans its customers are a necessary evil. When you look at the poor quality of service IBM is providing it is very clear IBM does not value its customers. Making the 2015 plan is the only priority and IBM is willing to compromise its service to customers and abuse its workforce to get there. …

      At some point IBM will realize its 2015 plan has already failed (remember you read it here first). IBM’s stock price will drop… a lot. When the price is low enough it will force the company to change how they run the business. At that point they may actually go back to doing things right, and IBM’s value might improve again.

      Frankly, by then it will probably be too late."

    • agreed: IBM executives favor stock buy backs because they get to keep their jobs a little bit longer. Investing in R&D might not come to fruition until several years later and they won't be around to see the fruits of their labor because they might have already been replaced by the board.
  • Seeking Alpha:

    Too Many Share Buybacks Have Hurt IBM. Excerpts: Those who have held shares of IBM Corp. for the last five years must be quite angry at the stock, maybe at themselves, but perhaps even at Warren Buffett. Although anger doesn't fix anything, the fact that the overall stock market (let's say the S&P 500) has risen by almost 70% does not help the psyche at all. IBM, by contrast, has just languished. Mr. Buffett, regrettably for him, started buying the stock early in 2011, and has been consistently doing so since, as far as I know. I couldn't find (Warren Buffett's) Berkshire Hathaway's average price for IBM shares, but it is definitely much higher than the current share price of less than $141 (as of Tuesday's close). Is the current situation exactly what Mr. Buffett expected, or even wished for? Of course not. Although I bet he (as any major investor in any company would never acknowledge) regrets his investment, there is one thing he has definitely been wrong about - and that is the aggressive promotion of IBM's stock buybacks. Mr. Buffett is not responsible for the company's aggressive stock buybacks - IBM's management is. But such aggressive buybacks are not good for any company's financial future, and what IBM has done - embraced and applauded by its largest shareholder, Berkshire Hathaway - has been the worst thing for the company, endangering its future strength.

    Let's compare two rather similar companies, IBM and Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), though they are run in quite different ways. Up until last year, IBM had a much larger market capitalization than Oracle. However, things have turned the other way around now. Oracle has a current market cap of about $157 billion, while IBM's market cap is $137 billion. That is embarrassing for IBM, of course! ...

    IBM has been generating huge amounts of cash over the past ten years, ranging from $8 to $16 billion, and all that cash is almost nowhere to be found. Where is all that cash? Most of it has been given to those who have sold their shares to the company. Practically, the company, as things stand right now, has been rewarding the sellers of the shares at the expense of loyal shareholders who have been holding their ownership stakes. Of course, people do not usually see it like this, but when the stock price goes down, things turn out this way. When the share price goes up, it turns out better for loyal shareholders. ...

    As I mentioned earlier, there is nothing wrong with buying back shares when you consider them bargain. But buying back your shares at the expense of endangering the future of the company, and hence the wealth of the remaining shareholders, is simply irresponsible. Can anybody in the world know for certain that any particular company will do very well in the coming 2-3 years? Can anybody know for sure no recession will come next year, or the following year? Nobody knows these things for sure. This is why prudent management is needed to safeguard a company against possible risks. How can you safeguard your company for possible mishaps? At least by NOT accumulating a lot of debt compared to your equity and your worst-case earnings potential. This is why I believe throwing away all your money (that's what IBM has done), and also taking on more than two years' worth of earnings (which seems to be going down for now) in debt is nothing short of crazy!

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Distributed Systems Operations Analyst”

      Former Employee — Distributed Systems Operations Analyst in Boulder, CO. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Dedicated, hard working, and professional co-workers. Cons: Inability to get user access (username and passwords) for accounts supported. Out-of-date and inaccurate documentation and SOPs. Brain drain due to resource actions. Constant outsourcing of work overseas.
    • “Go in with your eyes open”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: IBM has a lot of talent, both in a technology and within the employee base. Some great customer access and very valuable place in customer eyes. Cons: IBM is big company and it's not all great. Once you're on the inside there is a lot of unwanted and unnecessary management overlay. The company has real fat it could shed. Not all products are market leaders and sometimes IBM doesn't want to be a market leader. Advice to Management: The very senior management are driven by share holder directive and share holder value and many of the key competition does not have the same guidelines, therefore IBM shift to its key directives Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Security and Social cannot be at the same pace. You have to make a call, be agile or listen to the CFO.
    • “Kind of awful but a good learning experience”

      Current Employee — Intern in Miami Beach, FL. I have been working at IBM (less than a year).

      Pros: Good experience, very challenging environment, a lot of resources, and learning opportunities. A lot of free time.

      Cons: No one cares whether you show up or work from home. IBM does nothing to support interns and treats undergraduates like mid-level professionals, who already have a family, car, and do not need extra support. My social skills were stunted after this internship since I barely got to talk to anyone.

      Advice: this isn't Google, Apple, or Microsoft. Do not expect to do more than work. This will not be fun but it will be challenging. Be prepared to see the worst and kind-of-okay in people. Also I cried about 3 times during my summer there.

      Advice to Management: Provide more support for undergrads. Supplement the internship experience. I did not relocate across the country to just watch Netflix every weekend.

    • “Vibrant Community”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee.

      Pros: There are lots of things to like about IBM, first their legacy. They have existed for a long time and are still vibrant and leading in major technologies. For instance, Watson is a great product helping to save lives. Most of their software too are cutting edge.

      Cons: I am aware that every company has one reason or the other for personal opinion, but I strongly believe that most of these opinions can be bias. So, it depends on how determined someone is ready to succeed.

      Advice to Management: The management is really good. They exit an informal as well as formal relationship among workers and management. Throughout my stay at the company I had the opportunity of meeting almost on weekly basis with the management.

    • “10 years leading presales teams or varying sizes, portfolio and territory”

      Current Employee — Technical Sales Manager in Glossop, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: High integrity professional people. Respectful culture with high levels of trust. Broad portfolio, broad channels, and broad range of role opportunities. Cons: Significant erosion of variable pay for technical sales roles since 2008. Climate has steadily declined in line with business performance over three years. Advice to Management: High risk of attrition of most talented Sales and Technical Sales professionals. Need to re-think how targets are set and how sales/bonus plans are structured and funded.
    • “Come for the stress, stay for the anxiety”

      Current Employee — Marketing Manager. Pros: Given the current environment it is difficult to think of any positives related to working at IBM. Cons: Management that has totally lost touch with reality. A continuous cycle of employee layoffs and budget cuts followed by upper management trying to determine why sales and pipeline are off. The current 'transformation' of the company is simply a matter of upper management forcing unsustainable and disconnected change onto an organization stretched razor thin. People are working too many hours with too many demands and receiving no acknowledgement for their effort. Advice to Management: Fund and staff the organization at levels that will allow people to do their job.
    • “Unrealistic targets and a toxic culture”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Sydney (Australia).

      Pros: Work flexibility. To be honest the list is short.

      Cons: Lack of leadership, unrealistic business targets, poor staff morale, ordered to do tasks that add no value and deliver no business outcome; however this keeps their bosses happy. Offices have been redone and are impossible to work in — too much noise, not enough space (they want you to work from home).

      Advice to Management: Focus on your people as an asset. remove the layers of people that run spreadsheets and do not have a client facing role. Ask what your clients are really expecting from you. Be honest with yourself and show some integrity when communicating with the team about CHQ issued targets. You need to recreate a culture for the team and establish a real identity for people to be part of.

    • “Company does not value it's employees, or customers”

      Former Employee — Senior IT Project Manager in Phoenix, AZ. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Some good 1st line managers, good benefits, good pay (for existing employees, maybe not for new hires), many work from home opportunities. Cons: No regard for employees as people, no regard for customers, cost cutting has gone beyond cutting the fat to cutting the bone, exempt workers expected to work lots of overtime for no pay, continually challenges workers to do more with less, continually laying off (especially older) US employees and replacing with "global resources" (lower cost overseas employees).
    • “Director”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Nice calm place to work at. Cons: Some jobs are rush and require longer hours.
    • “Partner”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: The experienced people who are out doing the work are pretty good. Cons: Management is in horrible shape top to bottom. Terrible place to work today. Forget respect for the individual. Doesn't exist. Advice to Management: Stop with smoke and mirrors to artificially inflate financials. Changes at the top need to be made to turn company around.
    • “Salary”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK). Pros: Worked across Europe and Africa therefore spent a lot of time on the phone. A lot of writing a less face to face meeting toward the end. Co-workers were very good coming from different culture background. Cons: Career/development managers generally couldn't care less unless you were billable at a high rate. Advice to Management: Improve on employee relations.
    • “Avoid”

      Former Employee — Sales Manager in Santa Clara, CA. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years.) Pros: It's easy to work few hours without anyone noticing, if you consider that a pro. Cons: Full of mediocre people, much too much process, not much opportunity to learn versus a leaner, smaller environment. Terrible health coverage. IBM consistently makes decisions that marginalize employees and reduce benefits. Advice to Management: You're much too overburdened with process and middle management. The matrix doesn't work, it just disconnects people from the end goals. Rethink the organization.
    • “Very political environment but good start to my career”

      Current Employee — Project Manager in Melbourne (Australia). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: Graduate program was a great start to my career (learnt a lot in short amount of time) Many opportunities to expand your skill-set if you put yourself out there. Wide range of experienced colleagues (especially technical). Flexible work environments.

      Cons: Very political culture. Slow to change — company promotes first mover advantage but seems to be behind the curve in offerings. Internal red tape will drive you crazy — expected for a large firm but needs to be more agile. Slow career progression. The only means of getting a pay rise is usually to change teams (until at a management band level).

      Advice to Management: After working 4 years in IBM I have learnt invaluable skills and will always be grateful for this. At a certain point I was being road blocked for career progression despite telling my manager and various executives multiple times that I was ready for the next step in my career (not a promotion, just moving into another space). When no action was taken I am now looking for other job opportunities.

    • “Software Engineer”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in Beijing (China). I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Famous company. Work-life balance is good. Cons: Compensation and benefits are poor. Not a good place for technical people. Too much process in work.
    • “Reasonably good place to work

      ” Former Employee — Senior Managing Consultant in London, England (UK). I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: Reasonable in most dimensions of employment, however, no "wow" factor in any either. With some luck, you can land a long juicy role, go onto an account and stick with it!

      Cons: Versatility is not rewarded. If you don't have the luck or networks to stick to a long term role or into an account you will find it hard to keep your utilisation. Ah yes, huge focus on utilisation — no matter how good you are, you live and die by that. So if partnership haven't done a good job at selling, you'll suffer for it.

      Advice to Management: Improve reward structure and recognise talent and innovation rather than conformity. Actually try to be clear about what you're selling (externally and internally)!

    • “IBM”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Herndon, VA. I have been working at IBM (less than a year). Pros: Colleagues, ability to telecommute, brand/name recognition, compensation is fair. Cons: Constant downsizing and layoffs, too many management layers, many innovative and inspirational leaders are leaving.
    • “Project Manager”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in Cary, NC. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Great company to work for. Respect of the individual. Creativity was highly encouraged. Excellent mix of assignments. Incredible people. Fun, positive work environment. Great pay and benefits. Cons: Sold some incredible technology, product lines, and skilled professionals that left some voids that need to be backfilled with new strategic initiatives and alliances. I have no doubt they will bounce back and get the stock value back to the $190-200 per share range. Advice to Management: Fully confident in the management team.
    • “Like a loveless marriage”

      Current Employee — Senior IT Specialist in Sydney (Australia). I have been working at IBM (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Work from home/telecommute options in many roles. Working with great people. Get to work with some interesting new technology.

      Cons: Management recently instructed all team members to work 60 hour weeks for the next three months plus cancellation of all annual leave plans. Pay increases are less than cost of living increase despite achieving a very high PBC rating. Continual loss of productive team members through ongoing RA. Those left behind forced to stretch to the point of exhaustion. Conference calls start as early as 5:00 am and/or as late as midnight most days. Demands to do education, certification and giveback in own time.

      Advice to Management: Front-line staff are not feeling respected or valued. Our team is being asked to work 22.5 hours per week of unpaid overtime to dig IBM out of a hole over 3 months. Burning staff out to cover cost reductions is not a sustainable way to achieve excellence. Positive customer experience is hard to achieve when staff is constantly tired and stressed. Remember to thank those that work hard, and cough up some coin for a Christmas lunch this year — your staff deserves it. Our teams are naturally motivated to deliver excellence but the desire to do so decreases when staff feels like they are trapped in a loveless marriage with a partner that demands the world and gives nothing back.

    • “IBM US”

      Current Employee — Server Side Operations in East Stroudsburg, PA. D I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Complex environment offers opportunity to learn new technologies. Associate with skilled and dedicated co-workers. Cons: Company continues to cut US work force and outsource labor overseas. Advice to Management: Stop the layoffs at the expense of US employees
    • “Delivery Centre Brno”

      Former Employee — IT Specialist in Brno (Czech Republic). I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: They are paying in time.

      Cons: In Brno delivery center is only one key aspect which somehow matters - costs. Because centers around the world (India, Poland, Romania, ...) are actually competitors, this fact brings huge focus on salary and budget savings. Consequences are expected and easily to guess. People are generally underpaid and demotivated, constantly looking for new job and there is really huge employee turnover - this leads to constant massive hiring and dozens of opened positions.

      Is almost impossible to get external education (I had one in 4 years) and salary raises are very symbolic or completely missing - depends on your manager luck.

      Company is not so successful in last years, so also annual bonuses somehow disappeared and overall atmosphere is far from satisfaction.

      There are no meal vouchers or any valuable benefits at all. First line managers are speaking trumpets of higher management, without single right or competence to change anything. Is normal, that manager have dozens of people to "manage", usually between 25-35. So now you can imagine, how he can help you with personal grow or achieving your career goals.

      I'm still trying to find something positive on those years, which I spend in delivery center, but except few great colleagues and opportunity to learn lot of new things, I don't see anything else. Ahh well, now I know, that local tram is called "salina".

      Advice to Management: Happy employees equals happy customers. And you don't have happy employees and you are so disconnected from reality in lower deck.

    • “Staff Software Engineer”

      Former Employee — Staff Software Engineer in Ottawa, ON (Canada). I worked at IBM (more than 5 years). Pros: Flexible schedule. Nice environment. Interesting projects. Cons: Average pay. Long meetings. Enforced security for everything, mandatory certification on business guidelines. Some outdated technologies. Advice to Management: Don't allow administrators to manage developers; development groups must have a hands-on development managers.
    • “Work life balance purely depends on the project you are on. Partners know less than us common folk 99% of the time”

      Current Employee — Senior Consultant in London, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: Every projects finishes and then there is always the opportunity to move onto another one. So if you don't like what you are doing there's always a chance to get out and mix it up.

      Cons: Depends on project what hours you are doing and what exactly you are doing. I was on a very bad project with mostly ad hoc tasks and no organization whatsoever = late nights and very poor work-life balance and not worth the remuneration. Instead of people to do the work they had a bloated management team who just managed stakeholders and passed the work down to the few.

      Now I'm in a project which is well established, client had a great relationship with IBM and the world is very well balanced. Team is smaller and leaner so you get more responsibility and you are not just another Excel monkey catching out pointless numbers to make the point of some partner who wants to satisfy the client before he/she flits off to another sales opportunity on another project. Unfortunately it's too little too late for me so I'm actively looking elsewhere.

      Advice to Management: Don't promise the world to those who work for you and forget immediately once they have helped save your chestnuts. Also learn to use excel. Astonishing how many partners are inept at Excel.

    • “A Culture of Fear and Distrust...'Choke the Wild Duck'”

      Current Employee — Senior Systems Engineer in Seattle, WA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros: As an external executive hire I was paid (market rates) which was 40% more than the veteran IBMers that were there for 20-30 years. I made more than my first-line manager, which was a big surprise to me.

      Cons: IBM claims that they want to make significant changes to the way they are doing business and say we need to "Treasure the Wild Duck" but in fact they "Choke the Wild Duck" and put them at the top of the lay off list. Ideas and Opinions are not welcome, and, in fact there is a huge culture of lies, distrust, back stabbing, dishonesty, and fear across the whole of IBM.

      The PBC process has made it easy for the VPs to get rid of any and everyone that does not march to the beat of their drum. As a result, it is not a place for creativity, new ideas, loyal employees, collaboration, or a sense of well being. Many people are suffering from post traumatic stress due to the horrible work environment and I know that some have even have heart attacks due to the stress.

      Advice to Management: Get rid of your executives...all of them...because they do not know how to lead and motivate people. The culture of fear and distrust will continue to drive the company in the grave.

  • New York Times:

    Retirees’ Futures Hinge on Candidates’ Plans for Social Security. By Tara Siegel Bernard. Excerpts: Like Ms. Moore, millions of retirees rely heavily on modest checks from Social Security. The average monthly benefit is $1,337, and about 64 percent of beneficiaries older than 65 receive at least half of their income from the program, according to the Social Security Administration. For nearly half of unmarried beneficiaries, it accounts for a whopping 90 percent of income.

    With the race for the 2016 presidential nominations well underway, candidates have begun floating proposals to shore up the program’s finances. For years, most of the plans that have been offered to ensure that the self-financing program can support itself have relied largely on cutting benefits.

    But now Democrats like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and the former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley are trying to reverse the usual conversation, calling for an expansion of the program by requiring higher-income workers to pay more in payroll taxes, the dedicated tax stream that pays for the benefits.

    In contrast, most Republicans, adamantly opposed to any tax increases, continue to offer proposals that focus on cutting benefits, in ways that critics say could harm the most vulnerable retirees, while doing little to overcome the system’s financial imbalance. ...

    But not everyone is living longer. Average life expectancies have grown in the last century, but better-paid, better-educated people tend to live longer than people who earn less. And the gap between them has grown over time, a recent report has shown. In fact, life expectancy has declined slightly for lower earners. ...

    “Anyone who is making the argument that we should raise the retirement age because of an increase in the life expectancy — that argument, I think, is fundamentally misguided and misleading,” Mr. Orszag said. “The average is masking quite different patterns depending where you are on the income distribution.”

  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • Congressional Democrats Draw Line in the Sand over Social Security, Medicare Cuts
    • Paul Ryan, Longtime Medicare Opponent, Likely To Be Next House Speaker
    • CBPP: Lack of Social Security COLA Will Cause $5 Billion Loss in Revenue
    • Social Security a 2016 Campaign Issue
    • California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) Convention Draws Hundreds
    • Bill Dodds, Friend to Scores of Alliance Members, Passes Away

    Download a PDF version.

  • Investment News:

    Fidelity charged by Massachusetts with dishonest and unethical behavior. Company accused of allowing unregistered advisers to make trades through its broker-dealer platform. By Bruce Kelly. Excerpt: Fidelity Brokerage Services was charged in an administrative complaint Monday with dishonest and unethical behavior by the commonwealth of Massachusetts for allowing unregistered investment advisers to make trades through the Fidelity broker-dealer platform, thereby generating fees for both the firm and the unregistered advisers.

    At least 13 unregistered Massachusetts investment advisers used Fidelity's platform, according to a statement from secretary of the commonwealth William Galvin.

    For those advisers, “Fidelity served as a haven from regulatory oversight as it ignored blatant unregistered investment advisory activity,” according to a statement from Mr. Galvin's office.

  • New York Times:

    As a Boss, Carly Fiorina Was a Contradictory Figure at Hewlett-Packard. By Michael Barbaro. Excerpt: At Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina studiously avoided the employee cafeteria, eating lunch in her glass office despite pleas from aides to mingle with rank-and-file workers. But in what turned out to be her last week as chief executive, she attended the funeral of an H.P. employee’s wife, lingering at a reception afterward to console his son.

    She swore allegiance to the values of the company’s humble, Ford Taurus-driving founders, reciting their words at meetings. But she traveled in a chauffeured car — and when introducing herself in the employee newsletter, she highlighted her 52-foot yacht.

    She showered workers with affirmation, once inviting an executive to meet the board of directors and placing a fake crown on his head. But she oversaw the layoffs of 30,000 employees in waves of downsizing that seemed gratuitously impersonal at times; some were fired over the phone.

  • New York Times:

    Health Care Co-op Closings Narrow Consumers’ Choices. By Reed Abelson and Abby Goodnough. Excerpts: The grim announcements keep coming, picking up pace in recent weeks. About a third, or eight, alternative health insurers created under President Obama’s health care law to spur competition that might have made coverage less expensive for consumers are shutting down. The three largest are among that number. Only 14 of the so-called cooperatives are still standing, some precariously.

    The toll of failed co-op insurers, which were intended to challenge dominant companies that wield considerable power to dictate prices, has left about 500,000 customers scrambling to find health insurance for next year. A ninth co-op, which served Iowa and Nebraska, closed in February.

    At a time when the industry is experiencing a wave of consolidation, with giants like Anthem and Aetna planning to buy their smaller rivals, the vanishing co-ops will leave some consumers with fewer choices — and potentially higher prices. ...

    Created as a concession to Democrats who wanted the health care law to include a government-run plan as an alternative to private insurers, the co-ops faced significant hurdles from the start. The Republican-controlled Congress slashed their initial funding to $2.4 billion from $6 billion and, more recently, restricted the administration’s ability to help insurers with unexpectedly large costs in the first few years of the new exchanges.

    Former Senator Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat who proposed the co-ops, said they were “sabotaged.”

    “Those who wanted to kill them — largely Republicans and competing insurance companies — just step by step took actions to subvert them and to assure they would have an extraordinarily difficult time surviving,” he said.

  • New York Times:

    Drug Goes From $13.50 a Tablet to $750, Overnight. By Andrew Pollack. Excerpts: Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.

    The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Turing’s price increase is not an isolated example. While most of the attention on pharmaceutical prices has been on new drugs for diseases like cancer, hepatitis C and high cholesterol, there is also growing concern about huge price increases on older drugs, some of them generic, that have long been mainstays of treatment. ...

    This is not the first time the 32-year-old Mr. Shkreli, who has a reputation for both brilliance and brashness, has been the center of controversy. He started MSMB Capital, a hedge fund company, in his 20s and drew attention for urging the Food and Drug Administration not to approve certain drugs made by companies whose stock he was shorting.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site

http://www.endicottalliance.org/thedisintegrationofemploymentinIBM.htm To all Alliance supporters, send and share the above link to the article "The disintegration of employment in IBM" far and wide. Put it on your FaceBook page; send it to newspapers; send it with comments to your political reps and send it to your co-workers. Help break the secrecy of IBM job cuts. Put some pressure on IBM. -Alliance-

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 10/18/15:

    Job Title: Senior Consultant; Location: Wellington, New Zealand; Customer Account: Contact Energy; Business Unit: GBS; Product Line: Cloud. Message: RA's have been happening all year in waves for our GTS resources in New Zealand and Australia. Their roles have been slowly moving GD…specifically to MY, China, and India. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 10/20/15:

    Job Title: Partner; Location: New York; Business Unit: GBS. Message: There are internal rumors of a significant job cut in GBS. I can not confirm it is truly 20% of Partner/AP but it is on a large scale. I have been advised of several critical deals cancelled when customers learned of their account partner being laid off (RA). I was given two weeks notice with two weeks severance, which equates to one week per year of employment with IBM. A shameful way to improve margin and a great harm to the company's performance in the long term. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 10/20/15:

    How can the IBM CEO still be a CEO when she has not made any profit in any year's quarter since she has been CEO and yet RA's continue in IBM? -ANA-
  • Comment 10/20/15:

    Job Title: Senior IT Architect; Location: Remote; Customer Account: Internal; Business Unit: GBS. Message: IBM released 3Q15 results after market close Wednesday. As usual under G Rommetti, results were terrible. However, on a bright note going forward, IBM still has plenty of domestic workers/that can laid off/fired in order to reduce overhead. -Mark1-
  • Comment 10/20/15:

    To -ANA-: The sad part of this debacle is that Ginni actually thinks she is doing a great job. I blame the BoD for letting this continue. They keep feeding her bonuses for her lousy performance. When I retired in 2014 the stock was $192. Now it is $140. I wish I had sold all I own when I retired. Ginni keeps ruining the company. The only thing she is good at is RAs. I bet she laughs about them all the way to the bank. -ihateibm-
  • Comment 10/21/15:

    Something is being discussed in Fishkill. The parking lot next to building 300 where all the execs park was completely full late into the evening. It wouldn't surprise me to find the few of us left after the GF "sale" are being RAed, NY jobs pledge or no. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 10/23/15:

    Did anyone else see this in the 2015 3Q earnings call transcript? "The reported decline in expense this quarter is again driven by currency, and the divestiture of System x. We also had a higher level of workforce rebalancing, and a lower amount of performance based compensation." -drummercat-
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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