Commentary and opinion


From One IBM Family To Another Part 1

From the spouse of a March 2nd 2016 casualty

This is a story of a special gift from one family to another. What the two families have in common, is a family member who works at IBM. One family member is the head of IBM Human Resources and the other is a casualty of IBM’s recent mass layoff.

The soon-to-be-ex-IBMer has worked at IBM for many years and thanks to the head of HR, his severance is one month of pay. That is not a typo. One month of pay. IBM’s longstanding policy of paying two weeks for every year of service was eliminated in January, presumably in anticipation of the upcoming mass layoff. Perhaps IBM realized that since they’ve taken away most of the employees’ benefits already, the options were limited as to what else to take. The ex-IBM employee qualified for the maximum of twenty-six weeks of pay prior to January.

The soon-to-be-ex-IBMer and thousands of others being fired, will retire with a lump sum payment of well, not much. Some will still get the monthly pension they were promised but if you weren’t forty years old when the change was announced, then you lost your pension to a cash balance payment. The pension was taken in 2000, and it was frozen in 2006, which meant IBM would make money investing the employees’ pension and the employees would not. The promise of medical for life was broken in 2000 along with the pension promise and there was a seventy percent reduction of employees’ variable pay. In 2014, IBM discontinued medical insurance for retirees & their spouses who were told when they retired that they would have it for life. IBM cut medical insurance assistance to the retiree spouses to $1300 per year which saves IBM millions and costs retirees’ widows thousands of dollars out of a pension that hasn’t had an adjustment for inflation in over twenty years. They really did it. They hit the retirees.

In 2014, IBM announced that employees would not receive their 401k match from IBM unless they were still employed on December 15 of that year. IBM would also not pay the 401k match into employees 401k investment account until December 31 so they could keep the employees money and invest it themselves.

Frankly, what choice did IBM have? They had to finance the IBM president’s $4.5 million bonus which is an increase from last year’s bonus of $3.6 million. What did Ginni Rometty do to deserve this bonus? She is making IBM history with 15 straight quarters of declining revenue and a drop in the stock price that is unprecedented.

IBM only made $13.2 billion in net income in 2015. They can’t possibly use any of that money to make good on promises to employees as it’s already slated it to go to executive pay, bonuses and stock options. IBM has existed for over one hundred years and was long known as one of the best companies to work for. In the last twenty years, it has become one of the worst. Somewhere along the way, the leaders of IBM opted out of integrity if you understand the meaning of integrity to be doing what you say you’ll do. Perhaps they realized they are Big Blue and there’s no one to stop them.

A story of corporate greed isn’t special. What makes this special is that it’s IBM. When Thomas Watson, Sr. ran IBM, he said IBM’s greatest asset was its’ employees. The employees often had below market salaries but they would have medical for life and a pension in return, in gratitude for their long, faithful service to IBM. Thus, the term “lifers”, became part of the IBM lingo, as most of the employees stayed for the life of their career knowing they’d be taken care of and rewarded for their loyalty.

Well it’s time to pay up and IBM is turning its’ back on those long-serving IBMers. Who would have known that one IBMer, IBM’s head of Human Resources, could destroy the livelihood of thousands in a single day? If you run into her, be sure to congratulate her on a job well done. She did it. She saved IBM millions of dollars. The employees, well, collateral damage in the war of corporate executive greed. Isn’t it ironic that you can work in “Human Resources” without having a sense of humanity?

IBM isn’t disclosing the number of employees let go so the number of casualties are not publicly known at this time. They certainly don’t want to alert their customers that the experienced employees that are servicing their contracts are leaving. Who could blame them? It’s business.

So, from one IBM family to another, thank you for your special gift. Don’t think twice about those ex-IBMers, they’ll be alright…for a month.


From One IBM Family to Another Part 2

Six weeks have passed since March 2nd, six weeks to go to May 31 and six weeks until my spouse goes on unemployment with the state.  Why does the state now have to support our family?  Well, because IBM won’t now that they found a way not to.

These past 6 weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster.  There was shock for the first week, anger for another month and now it’s just plain worry…well okay, there is still plenty of anger.

IBM has been paying one week of severance for every year of service since the first layoffs took place in the 1990s.  Does that sound like an implied contract to anyone besides us?  The six months of severance my spouse should be receiving would have been a huge help for my spouse to transition to a new career.  We had planned on it knowing that as my spouse aged, he’d be a target for an IBM layoff.  Our plan was obviously blown out of the water by Diane Gherson, IBM Head of Human Resources and the other “big boys & girls” at the top.

We have learned a few things along the journey of this nightmare.  First, filing an EEOC charge for age discrimination against IBM is easy.  You don’t have to know there’s been age discrimination.  You only to have to suspect it and frankly, how could you not suspect it?  Let the EEOC get the facts from IBM and decide.  Here is the link to the EEOC website:

It really is as simple as providing some basic information and can be mailed to your nearest field office.  The claim includes a reason for why you think you’ve been discriminated against.  Your response can be as short as “I suspect age discrimination in the March 2nd layoff”.   Why do it?  The question is, why not?  It creates a path to an age discrimination lawsuit in case you decide to go that route down the road, it forces IBM to disclose the number of IBMers let go as well as their age and it raises awareness with the EEOC of what IBM is up to.  All good things, right?  If you’ve been fired already, what have you got to lose?  There is a time limit on filing with the EEOC so get it done if you want to keep your options open.  Robert Cringely wrote an article that is posted on the waching ibm facebook  page and I hope he doesn’t mind if I quote him: “The way the separation package is written one must file their EEOC complaint BEFORE they accept and sign the agreement, and leave IBM. If the complaint is filed after, the arbitration process will limit the settlement to $zero.”

Why do that when you have the possibility of having IBM paying for what they’ve done?  Think about what you’ve lost as a result of IBM’s greed.  Hit them where it matters most to them…money!!

Second, consider talking to the press now.  If you’re a victim of IBM’s mass layoff and angry about what IBM did, speak up.  What have you got to lose since you’ve already been fired?  You still have your freedom of speech until you sign the separation agreement. If you want to talk to the media contact

Another thing…is it worth signing your rights away for one month of pay?  If you really need the money, I respect that.  If you can get by without the measly sum, “THINK” twice about signing their agreement.

So, from one IBM family to another, thank you again IBM for your special gift.  It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

From One IBM Family to Another Part 3

You are not going to believe what I have to say. Honestly…it’s beyond astonishing. By now, you know that I’m the spouse of a soon-to-be-ex- IBMer. My spouse was fired (RA’d) on March 2nd, 2016 along with thousands of other IBMers. My spouse is a U.S. IBMer until May 31, 2016 and being a U.S. IBMer, he was “given” one month of severance pay. A slap in the face after decades of service? Ah, yeah.

Today, a letter from Ginni Rometty arrived in the mail congratulating my spouse on “retirement”. I swear to God that it’s true. She actually sent a letter thanking this soon-to-be-ex-IBMer who was just fired with the following message:

“I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you well on your retirement from IBM. Your dedication and contribution over the years helped establish IBM as one of the most successful and respected companies in the world.

You have been a part of shaping our history as a leader. While you may be retiring to embark on the next phase of your personal journey, you will always remain a valued and appreciated member of the IBM family.

My very best wishes for good health, happiness, and success.”
Sincerely, Ginni Rometty

This very special letter arrived with a catalogue of retirement gifts to choose from. Amongst the choices are an auto jump starter, a Cuisinart food processor and a GPS.
Is this what Ginni gets when she “retires”? I don’t think so. If Warren Buffett were to see fit to show Ginni the door, what do you think she’ll be offered? An auto jump starter? One month of severance? Yeah, right. Ginni, you can keep the “gift”. It’s not that we’re ungrateful for your generosity. Accepting your “gift” would be like selling one’s soul to the devil. We don’t accept your gift, we don’t accept your disgusting one month severance and we don’t accept that my spouse is an IBM retiree.

The depths to which IBM has sank is unfathomable. This one though, this one breaks the bank. Seriously? Congratulations on your retirement????? Are you f***g kidding me?? To the world, I say, THIS is Ginni Rometty. THIS is who is going to turn the IBM Titantic? The IBM Titantic is going down. If the big boys & girls don’t suck it dry first, the employee lawsuits that are coming will break it in two.

A special note to the other soon-to-be-ex- IBMers: If you received the same letter from Ginni, keep that letter some place safe. If Ginni’s letter is enough to inspire you to file an age discrimination charge against IBM with the EEOC, the letter may come in handy.

IBM is going to have to answer to the EEOC at some point. I have to wonder if IBM is really stupid enough to think that they can call the older soon-to-be-ex- IBMers “retirees” and take them out of the count of “RA’d” employees. Does IBM think they can get away with it? IBM, I’ll even dare you to lie to the EEOC. Go ahead. You’ll make our case easier, I expect.

So, once again, I thank IBM for the gift that keeps on giving. This time, the gift has value to us so our thanks are sincere. You may have just handed us the golden ticket to the age discrimination charge against you that you deserve. You fire someone (well over) 40 and then congratulate them on their retirement?? Astonishing, right?

The disintegration of employment at IBM

By Lee Conrad

Summer 2015

In the mid 1980’s, the number of IBM employees in the United States was 230,000. Now it is 72,000, and the future of employment growth in the US is bleak.
In a relentless, ill conceived drive to cut cost and to increase earnings per share, IBM executive management put this once great company on a path of ruin. Business units were sold off and in the case of chip manufacturing IBM even paid a company to take that segment. Job cuts and force outs have been the order of the day. Off shoring of work and the bringing in of foreign workers on guest worker visas have been a slap to the face of hard working loyal US employees who have lost their jobs to this insidious business model. Employees of companies IBM bought face a bleak future as they transition into IBM and then their work gets moved to another country.

IBM in the 21st century is a shadow of a once great company. It is now a company selling a myth of greatness.
This didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t go unnoticed by many IBM employees or the Alliance. It did go unnoticed by many in the country. The myth of IBM as a great and successful company lived on. But now that façade is cracking.
After 13 straight quarters of dismal revenue, questions are being raised about the company leadership. Unfortunately concerns weren’t raised when IBM embarked on this path and the “Roadmaps”. All is fine and good when the stock price is up and dividends are paid off. Nobody cared about the workers losing their jobs or the damage done to their families and communities.
But with the latest job cuts in July and the push to move more work out of the US, it has to be asked: what is the future for IBM US employees?
Here are some comments from IBM workers caught in the latest job cut:

JobTitle: Project Manager
Location: WAH
CustAcct: MAJOR Communications SO account
BusUnit: GTS
ProdLine: SO
Message: Got call yesterday. 20 year IBM, 2 and 2+ performance. Client contract with named PMs and penalties to IBM be-damned. Hits across account = big client sat issue coming = contract renewal may be affected. My math does NOT show how this RA will resolve 13 quarter Revenue miss. Welcome to USA ‘landed’ replacements.

JobTitle: Intel Server Admin
Location: Boulder
CustAcct: Multiple
BusUnit: GTS
Message: 21 years with the company. Good reviews. Same as all the others. Finally got my call this morning for the RA. It’s finally my turn. My main customer requires US workers, but it hasn’t stopped IBM from trying to secretly send the work to India before (until the customer found out). Not sure if they will try again, or if they will just transfer it to another US team. I know that my team is too overloaded to be able to pick it up. Last RA hurt us bad; this one will likely drive my department under. So sad to watch IBM implode like this, as it used to be such a great company to work for. Looking forward to what the future holds for me!
JobTitle: IT Architect – Consultant
Location: Charlotte
CustAcct: Multiple
BusUnit: IBM Systems – Middleware (former ISSW)
ProdLine: Software
Message: Got a call from my FLM on Friday to let me know I was RAed. 18 years with the company. Usual severance package. Glad to be making a boatload of money to be forced out. Massive layoffs will continue to compensate for the steep decline in revenues. There is just no way around it. Cloud is already a cheap commodity business but IBM is willing to bet its shirt on it. We are all witnessing the fall and death of what used to be a great company… we’ve seen other companies in the past going that way. No company lasts forever!
I received an unexpected phone call on Thursday. I have always been a 2+ and a 1 rating. Told by a very unfeeling human being jobs were being lift and shift to India and mine was one of them. I have been with IBM for 16 years with IT experience of 30 years. This is devastating and since this is an election year I encourage everyone to reach out to our lawmakers. I am so tired of Ginni talking about retraining. Has anyone been offered to be trained for one of the many job openings in WATSON? I know I haven’t. All you see are positive comments regarding her webcast. SO proud to be an IBMer, what a bright future, blah, blah, blah. Yeah right.
For more comments go here:

These types of comments, although recent, mirror what has been said on the Alliance web site for many years.
We have been waiting and working towards a time when IBM US employees would get good news. That doesn’t seem to be in the mix. The shrinking number of IBM US employees says it all.
The message is clear, be prepared. Don’t say you didn’t see it coming, because it is here.



IBM executives: Morally bankrupt.

By Lee Conrad

Spring 2015

In one week in 2015, IBM executives have shown employees and the world how morally bankrupt they have become. Many will say that there has been a slow progression towards this point in time for quite awhile.

Thousands of workers were notified that they will lose their jobs either through a resource action or through off shoring of their work. Many were targeted because of their age. Hundreds faced the demeaning falsification of the employee work evaluation process called Personal Business Commitments and had their rating lowered in order to justify a termination. Still others, having good work records and evaluations were told they were not needed, yet had work in front of them.  As if these actions weren’t dehumanizing enough, we have learned that 900 “landed resources” from India will be arriving soon to take over the jobs of terminated workers. And IBMDubuque workers were notified of their termination as the Kaiser Permanente contract is sent to India.

Meanwhile the CEO of IBM and other executives receive millions in bonuses and pay raises. This, after 11 poor quarterly financial reports, and taking IBM down to a level not seen since the early 1990’s. If anyone deserves to have their PBC’s lowered and then shown the door it isCEO Rommety and other executives.

The Roadmap 2015, an abysmal business model that chased after a goal of $20 earnings per share at any cost, has been proven a failure. Countless employees and customers suffered from this misguided plan and the negative effects are still being felt.

And the IBM Board of Directors? Apparently non-caring or asleep at the wheel.

IBM employees ARE the company and we want to see it succeed. It is time to stop firing the very ones that can fix the company.


IBM employees worldwide are saying enough of IBM’s misguided job destructive actions.



2015: Another rough year for IBM workers

By Lee Conrad

It has been another rough year for IBM workers.  Mass job cuts, workers quitting IBM’s toxic work environment and business units sold off. In 2014 alone an estimated 10,000 US IBM employees will be out of the company. In July 2015 another 5000 employees will leave the IBM Systems Technology Group to go work at Global Foundries. The US employee population continues to shrink, down to an estimated 70,000.

According to CEO Rometty, Roadmap 2015 is a failure. No Kidding. IBMers have been telling her that right along.

But the pain will continue as IBM flounders for direction.  Another $600 million has been allocated for job cuts in the 4th quarter of 2014. More loss of jobs, more disruption and more loss of customer confidence.  The madness continues and a gutless and  out of touch Board of Directors aid the destruction of IBM.


18 Responses to Commentary and opinion

  1. T.J. says:

    IBM “Co-Locating” – Yeah Right

    I was around when IBM reduced offices and sent everyone to work from home. Now the announcement is imminent that they’re sending everyone back into offices, but this time, to only a handful of cities.

    10’s of thousands of U.S. workers who cannot move, or will not move, will be terminated. It will be a MASSIVE brain drain of the very people needed to reverse IBM’s decline.

    By every measure, Ginni Rommety has been an utter failure. Does anyone remember that it was she who engineered the acquisition of PWC for $3.5 billion which has yielded little or nothing, the remnants of which are now presiding over the crumbling of the services division?

    What could the benefits of co-locating be that would outweigh the mass exodus of knowledgeable and hard working employees?

    Where is the board of directors? Have they been asleep for the past 5 years?

    This is an ill conceived mass layoff. IBM grows earnings as revenue falls year after year. Guess how they’re doing it? Ginni has IBM in a death spiral. Is any further proof needed that Ginni has to go?

    – Sincerely, Disgusted and Defeated


    • LT says:

      This happened to me in 2014.. .I wanted to move my family to another state… I informed management and was told – BYE BYE.. You cannot relocate to another location, no strategic location is close by, so good bye.. After 30+ years, this was my Fate. I had to take early retirement and because I was no where near 55, I lost out on the health bucket of money … I wasn’t given a THING other than my EARNED vacation that I didn’t use up.. what a disgrace, disappointment and all I can say is that all those excellent memories were washed away with disgust for IBM.. the Watsons are turning over in their graves…


  2. Mary says:

    I was married to an IBM employee for 19 years at the time of our divorce he kept all of retirement with the exception of a cash balance of $123,000. What the pay, bonuses, stock grants/awards, 401K contributions. We were married from 1992 to 2012 and I never saw any stock grants/awards, no profit sharing. He was a manage and worked nights myself and our children sacrificed so much and now confused.


  3. Call me, Disgusted says:

    I just found this site! This is something else to hear what is happening with IBM… I worked for IBM for 30+ years – 99% of my PBCs I was rated a “1”. Then a manager came on board and was HIGHLY racist… I brought this to managements’ attention and nothing was done. In 2014 my family and I had to move to another state and I didn’t think anything about it – because I was working from home and thought there would not be any issue… boy, was I wrong!!! I was an assistant and the person I supported had no problem with me working from home – he didn’t care if I worked on the moon, as long as he could reach me, which was no problem! I used my PERSONAL cell phone and home phone and was on-line almost 24/7 without a complaint from me nor him. When my management, specifically 3rd line heard that I was moving, she wanted me fired ASAP. Talk about a blow! I was a “1” performer and gave my “life” to IBM! My client pleaded, along with me, asking to at least finish out the year (we moved in October). I had no choice but to take early retirement and was totally screwed out of medical because I wasn’t 55 years old… I ended up with absolutely NOTHING but a “pension” which is laughable. No medical, no separation pay, no nothing! People who were fired because of performance got more than me… AND, I couldn’t collect unemployment from my prior state!! I even contacted a lawyer (at the suggestion of someone) and they said I had no case because other people had to do the same thing when they relocated! I fought this with management and no one cared… Everyone thought this was unfair, but I had no choice but to leave. Needless to say, I too received a letter from Ginni congratulating me on my retirement! Are you (@*% kidding me Ginni! Congratulating me on retiring??? I wasn’t ready to retire, didn’t have the age to retire, didn’t get anything! I am so disappointed and disgusted! If I ever knew this would happen all those years ago, I NEVER would have given this company EVERYTHING I had… disgusting, disgusting…


  4. MCLco-opHired1988 says:

    Is this site for commiseration, or is it for potential legal action? I support, and feel for, all of my heartbroken fellow IBMers and their families. I think alliance@ibm was originally about unionizing? (I was always with you, Lee) … But I don’t know what this “watching” site is for?

    I have a long IBM history, 1988 – 2016. (I quit 2 months ago as a 2+. Saw what was coming. This was NOT retirement… I didn’t qualify.)

    It’s exhausting to detail the sad trajectory of the company and the downward spiral of its treatment of devoted employees like you and me. All of us have stories about the latest deplorable treatment by this multi-billion $, multi-national (conveniently off-shored), formerly upstanding company.

    I don’t blog, I don’t tweet, I don’t Facebook, I don’t text. I’ll share my details only for a purpose. Is there one?


  5. Annonymous says:

    Not sure where to start. Within Software sales division, IBM hired some 30 odd Hadoop Hunter Sales Engineer positions only to give them notices within 6 months. For the CEO/SVPs it seems like these are just “budget games”. A VP comes up with the Hadoop Hunter idea and without any due diligence gets some $6-7MM sanctioned by the CEO. Then he hires Hadoop Sales Engineers only to lay them off in 5 months realizing that the product isn’t selling.

    So our Mr. VP still has his job and so do all the Hadoop Hunter managers. The same senior management is perhaps now seeking another $10MM from the CEO for the new so-called Open Source positions only to see them fail again in 6 months time. These executives take fun in playing with our lives. Personally I am okay but I know an engineer has a baby on the way, another person is delivering kids to college and so on but for those executives and managers, these are just Budget Games or SYA Games. What a shame!! Not a single manager in the hadoop hunter team got a notice, however all new technical folks who never got a chance to prove themselves are being laid off.

    Way to go IBM. With 16 straight quarters of no revenue growth, unless you gather courage to fire these managers, VPs, I don’t see you going anywhere. I feel bad for my harsh words but this is the reality.

    With 16 straight quarters of no revenue growth, unless you gather courage to fire these managers, VPs, I don’t see you going anywhere. IBM has the potential to be a world class company again but someone needs to make some tough decisions.

    Investors better start shorting your IBM portfolios.


  6. Ginni Must Go says:

    Besides age discrimination, why not also go for discrimination based on nationality? Jobs are going overseas, not to higher skilled labor, but cheaper labor.


  7. PreferToBeAnonymousPleaseUnderstand says:

    Reading this makes me cry. I’m in mourning, I have been for years now, but I think this has put me over the top.

    In 1990, Thomas Watson Jr. (JR, for short) co-wrote a book named “Father, Son, and Company” a number of years ago. In his book, he tells of the legacy his father, Thomas J. Watson (TJW) created for IBM, and the challenges of being TJW’s son and living up to that legacy. JR in some ways surpassed what TJW accomplished (JR brought IBM into the computer age at a time when there wasn’t a commercial computer age to come into. All the while, he, with honor, continued his father’s legacy, and the challenges associated with maintaining the well being of IBM’s most valuable assets, the IBM employee. Those most valuable assets were not necessarily the highest paid people in the computer industry, but they WERE treated as though they were … (and they WERE).

    Benefits for employees and their families were unsurpassed … and those benefits made it possible for the employee to work even harder for IBM … because the employee was safe in knowing the family would be taken care of … that day, the next day, and the remaining days … for a lifetime. Oh, and I almost forgot, those benefits … that safety net, the unwritten “contract” … that came without employee’s being required to pay medical insurance deductions. THAT was virtually unheard of … but what comfort it provided.

    Longevity was a quality valued by both the company and the individual. The company gained from that longevity … the skills that an employee possessed on any given week were improved by the work completed that week … and that in turn led into the next work week, and so on. Longevity mattered, a lot.

    Highest level management set the direction for the company (including the treatment of employees … that most valuable asset) while mid level management took that direction and led employee’s to the goals; mid level management ensured that lower level management didn’t lose sight of the values the company wanted to impart to the employees. A system where EVERYONE was a winner … and that includes the stakeholders more commonly known as shareholders. Profits grew, dividends were paid to the owners (those shareholders), stock prices in the market steadily grew, and everyone won … I don’t remember much greed at the time, the most outstanding and memorable feeling, for me was that I felt as though I was working for MY father, in his company, setting a direction for me, his son, for the future of my family.

    It was amazing to see how people worked; I’d already been a programmer for about 8 years before my dream job came to pass … I was hired by IBM. I walked around my neighborhood bursting with pride. People asked me where I worked, I told them, and they held me in some sort of esteem, which *I* most assuredly didn’t deserve – all I did was write code and maintain that of others, but which was part of the cachet of being an IBMer. IBMer … that’s what we were … IBMers. Funny, but I never heard of anything called Forders, or Univacers, or really … any ‘ers. Only IBM had ‘ers.

    Open Door. Suggestion program. 100% club . Family Day – entire amusement parks (Kings Dominion in VA, in my case) were given over to IBM exclusively for a day, and employees and their families were given vouchers to use for snacks and meals while at the park. Picnics.

    “Golden Handshakes”. Your manager would come around to your office early on a Friday afternoon, put out his or her hand (oh yeah … manager’s were “her’s” … somewhat rare for the time, but growing) and shake hands with you … accompanied by a “have a nice weekend” … code for go home now, you’ve done more than expected . That would happen because the employee had already put in a string of 24 hour long days and this simple recognition was why they did it without complaint.

    Send in the Flying Wingtips … squads of experts flown who-knows-where to solve problems … big problems … big problems affecting bigger companies. Didn’t matter what it took … IBMers did it.

    Futures … promises … (yes, there WAS always a caveat that “this”, or “that” was entirely at management discretion) of retirement pensions, of medical coverage for the lifetime of the employee AND their spouse, later 401(K) plans … again … the employee was the most valuable asset the company had. And even with the caveat, there didn’t seem to be any reason to doubt, or suspect that those long term safety nets wouldn’t be there … they had been there since about forever … through whatever thick or thin IBM and those assets had to work through.

    The “Basic Beliefs” – a set of precepts put into place by TJW and the foundation for how he, an JR later, saw for running the business. The anti-trust lawsuit era of the late ’60s through the early ’90’s. A book full of “Executive Briefs” (or maybe Briefings, I can’t remember) from a 30 year period … right from the highest management team down to the 1st lines. If you can find a copy of that, read it … it’s an amazing series of “edicts” on how to treat the company and ALL its assets. If you can find a copy, I’d like to see it again, just for old times sake.

    I could go on, and on, and on. Then the early 1990’s … including 1990 itself, when JR wrote the book. The book talked a lot about those assets, the people assets, and the way both JR and TJW valued them.

    Then the mid 1990’s. Things went south. Revenue sunk, profits sunk, I even heard that at one point it was doubtful that IBM was going to make payroll the next week … I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I heard it and until I do find out that it is, or isn’t, I guess I’ll believe it. The company was in trouble, and was very close to breaking apart into many smaller IBM’s … because, I guess, someone thought the sum of the parts would be greater than the sum of the whole. Thankfully, most of that didn’t come to pass.

    1993 … a major change for IBM … the first CEO / COB to come from outside the ranks of the company. A year or so later … medical insurance deductions started to come out of the employee’s pockets … not a real burden for most employees … but it was just the start. Another year or so … the first resource actions … they weren’t called that then (employees had not yet been reduced to mere resources, as opposed to valued assets) … so many other take aways, I can’t remember. Other than the aforementioned book, I’m doing all of this from memory.

    Father, Son, and Co. 1990 … before the ascension of the first non-IBMer to the corner office in Armonk … and the beginning of the slow, steady (with some up’s for sure) decline of one of the world’s great institutions.

    I’m in mourning now … for the father in that book, for the son in that book, and for the co. of that book.

    If you haven’t read this book, may I suggest you do … at the very least, I hope it would help restore some of the pride I KNOW you felt for so, so many years.

    And mostly for the fates that have befallen the best people I ever worked with … the most dedicated, the smartest, the funniest, the talented people who built IBM following the guidance of father, son, and co. None of those people I worked with, directly or indirectly, should be held to this degree of responsibility for following the courses set in the corner offices.

    And to the writer of the longer article at the top of this thread, I feel every ounce of your pain.


    • jelabarre says:

      Actually, it’s likely IBM would have been BETTER off had they broken up into smaller companies in the 1990’s. Gerstner was thinking of a dynamic company that could serve the broad spectrum of their customers’ needs, but instead it’s little more than a collection of petty fiefdoms that will happily stab the next division in the back if it would merely get them through the next quarter.


  8. Laura says:

    I was RA’d 4/30/2015 and was happy as hell to get the 6 months severance. I knew I was getting RA’d and couldn’t sigh relief until I saw for it myself in my package that I was getting 6 months severance. Everyone would have to be ignorant to have not heard the rumors out there that IBM may cut the severance. It was an employee risk to stick around and get RA’d and we were all taking our chances on whether we would get the 6 months or not. That rumor was floating out there for a long time. I was given 90 days to find another job and I did find another job before my 90 days expired with another company. I was able to retire, bank the 6 months pay and start a new career making more money than I did at IBM. What a fairy tale. Network with your ex-IBM’ers that’s where I found my job after IBM. I was really worried about ageism in the open market and boy was I wrong. I couldn’t believe how many older employees were in my department. Companies want experienced workers to get the job done, Not every company is an IBM and thank god for that. Hang in there, by the way if you can’t find employment right away go into IT consulting, its fantastic money and you could possibly land full time employment out of a consulting job. Look up the IT consulting companies in your area. Good luck but you will move on (except for some PTSD for a bit) but your life will be happier.


  9. Wim Slijkerman says:

    The formeer HR vice presidents name was Mr. MacDonald. And I always sayd when the HR vice presidents name is MacDonald you should nog expect a 3 course meal.


  10. Ginni Must Go says:

    I hope there is some overdue justice handed out to the board and Ginni. It is criminal that they are still in place as they turn out good people for cheap inexperienced foreigners.

    Acquisition and sell, turning IBM into something akin to Frankenstein, dead parts sewn together alive but not alive.

    The only thing Ginni and he board bedmates will understand is a revolt by those left and those being let go by way of a nice law suit. The shell game is over, it’s time to jail the scammers.


  11. Rey Carolina says:

    I am so glad I left this company in 1997 and worked for several other high-tech companies who are orders of magnitudes much better than IBM in terms of pay, bonuses, stock grants/awards, 401K contributions, perks, benefits, and lastly… work environment. There is life after IBM, so why take the abuse from this no good company?


  12. joe Quool says:

    You left out the part about the mass move of GTS employees to a new division, 2F. Now 2F employees are no longer entitled to GDP, but instead will given quarterly bonuses up to $500.00 , from a pool of money. 2F employees now get 1% automatic contribution from IBM to the TDSP, and only up to 2% match.


    • Can't disclose until I am out says:

      not only that, now 1/3 of us have been laid off with one month salary.. my whole US team was laid off, me with 37+ years… thanks a lot IBM… for destroying so many lives.. and oh by the way.. the mgr read off a script , no feeling what so ever… could care less that lives were destroyed, they are liars as well..


  13. Joyce Loegel says:

    Among those affected by recent personnel changes were contractors who worked for IBM through third parties. Many of those contractor had worked for IBM for many years – in at least one case 27 years. These contract terminations occurred in mid November. Because they were contractors, there was NO severance payment.


    • Cindy says:

      Additionally, contractors are not counted when they are terminated but they are a significant percentage of IBM’s professional workforce and their departure negatively impacts IBMers and IBM clients.


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