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Highlights—August 16, 2014

  • Seeking Alpha:

    Don't Be Fooled: IBM Still Reporting Low-Quality Earnings. Excerpts: Warren Buffett doesn't seem to care, as he owns 6% of the firm. But we think it's worth pointing out that IBM's second quarter results, released July 17, continue to fit the theme of low-quality earnings that we brought to light after its fourth quarter 2013 performance. Please don't misunderstand—IBM is a fantastic company with significant competitive advantages. But that doesn't make it immune to independent, objective financial analysis. Let's have a look at the quarterly results.
  • ZD-Net:

    IBM’s Korean office shakes up workforce in difficult times. Excerpts: In January last year IBM named Shirley Yu-Tsui as new general manager in Korea. Under her tenure, the company sacked 200 employees to lower costs.

    "She was basically sent to restructure IBM Korea. There was a general feeling that there was way too much unnecessary workforce," said an IBM Korea insider.

    Early this year, the company started taking volunteers for early retirement. As of 2013, the company had 2242 employees in Korea.

    IBM Korea made 1.2 trillion won ($1.2 billion) in revenue last year, a slight drop of 1.2 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, IBM reported a ninth-straight quarter of profit decline. ...

    KB Kookmin Bank, South Korea’s largest bank and one of IBM’s most important clients here, is considering changing to a Unix based IT system from IBM’s main frame. The bank said IBM did not follow through on a promise to lower service prices, and has currently filed a complaint to the Fair Trade Commission.

    "Many consider Yu-Tsui’s incompetence as the main reason for the conflict with KB Kookmin Bank. Losing such clients will have major repercussions," said the insider. ...

    Spokespersons for IBM Korea did not pick up their phones despite numerous calls made for comments.

  • LinkedIn's IBM Official Alumni Group: The Greater IBM Connection IBM Official Alumni Group: The Greater IBM Connection:

    IBM No Longer Cares. America’s Best Companies to Work for. No one knows more about a workplace than its employees. Employee opinions reflect basic measures, such as pay, perks, benefits, and hours worked. But they are also influenced by factors such as a company’s culture, internal politics, and even...

    Selected comments follow:

    • I was just remembering the time when IBM decided to offer company cars to employees in the UK. I expect that only applies to senior executives now. It didn't last long in the UK. It was a very welcome bonus for our young family at the time.
    • John they do still do their surveys, I would say most do not tell the truth as most think it's really not anonymous as they say it is. When I started with the company everyone was like wow you work for IBM! Now most people say...wow you still work for IBM?
    • I'm not surprised that IBM either was not represented or did not make the top 75. After retiring in 2010 after 30 years, I found that IBM lacked the respect for the individual that the Watson's brought to the company. The annual opinion survey was discontinued many years before 2010 leading the employees to believe that they were no longer valued.
    • Scott...in Canada I remember doing the last survey around 2012 so at least here they were still doing them but you hit it right on the head. Morale is at an all-time low and execs really do not care about the employees or for that matter a lot of their customers. The motto now is if you don't like it, go somewhere else.
    • To begin I want to say I am still glad to call myself an IBMer. I worked for IBM for 35 years and (as can be imagined) saw many many changes. The problem with IBM has to be placed solely on its management. And not just upper management. While upper management has seemingly lost its ability to compete, innovate, and very simply—manage; middle and lower management simply lacks the necessary business acumen to help establish a strong support foundation.

      Years ago, full employment was a norm however, there were many instances where management (upper and lower) just failed to take "managerial" action to alleviate problems. Many individuals who should have been removed from payrolls were kept on the employment rolls for all sorts of outlandish reasons and those who showed up and worked hard to make a difference many times wound up on the wrong end of the stick.

      This same downsizing phenomenon exists today. It's not about how valuable you are, but rather what is the biggest impact that can be made to the bottom line. Many times this comes down to simply looking at age and salary. While there are many bright young people coming out of college eager and energetic and filled with new ideas, IBM has failed in its ability to integrate the new with the old and most times it's all for the sake of the almighty dollar.

    • I also sensed a change from IBM of the mid 2000's to early 201x's. I agree completely with Fritz that the switch to love thy shareholder has been the milestone of "don't care" for the people. All the right words for employee welfare and concern etc. but status quo on behaviour.

      Have I enjoyed working for IBM?, I certainly have. BUT it has been in spite of the management, and not because of them. I met—and worked—with some fabulously knowledgeable, AND generous people, and I would bow down to these folks at all times, as they are precious to me. they enriched my life. The other factor of IBM work environment that I love—so do the 400,000 who still remain in IBM—is the facility of the mobile worker! (and I guess the Leave of Absence feature—but I believe that to be subject to your relationship with your manager).

      So, IBM uses these unique attractions to pay average, and be generally indifferent to employees organisationally.. i.e. no one other than your manager is concerned about you, and while there are avenues to address issues with your manager, they are "burn your bridges" avenues. You can not go back, and no one will provide the alternate avenue for you—after the problem is escalated and resolved!

      Finally, Ginny, please run IBM like a technology company, not a shareholder mint. I have a huge chunk of my savings in IBM. I love share value, but not at the cost of the dissolving company (re: x-series).

    • I did have problems getting to the content. However, the headline says enough for me. 32 years into it. And no, the core principles of IBM disappeared many, many years ago. The place is run by finance and all that matters are earnings. The seasoned individuals are left to continuously train the new hires that only stay around for a while until they realize their pay and poor commission plan are not worth the intense cadence, poor tools, and short-sighted vision of the executives.
  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Application Developer career at IBM”

      Former Employee - Applications Developer in Washington, DC.

      Pros: A wonderful company with employee friendly policies. Mother of computer, it has vast opportunities in different vertical and countries. It does the business pretty much in all fields related to IT, spanning over consultancy, infrastructure, software, services and research.

      Cons: A great company with lot of bureaucracy , a lot of unnecessary process and documentation became cause of inefficiency. Poor business model encourage sales over software development. They are becoming inefficient day by day due to burden of its own legacy and inertia against change.

      Advice: Don't focus on documentation to measure employee performance. Management needs to realize people run the company not the company run people. Help subordinates to grow up.

    • “Profit over employees”

      Former Employee - Customer Support in Chicago, IL.

      Pros: IBM has good medical benefits even though the employees have to pay more out of pocket every year. Pluses were 401K, pension, flex time.

      Cons: We were required to use some useless applications because IBM had paid a lot of money for them. Forty hours of education per year were made a requirement which just added to our workload. Morale was extremely low because of an incompetent manager who was allowed to bully his employees for many years. All of the employees in our department were laid off and the work went to another country.

      Advice: Take care of loyal, hard working employees instead of laying them off and sending the work to other countries. Get rid of managers who bully their employees instead of tolerating their bad behavior.

    • “Huge corporation only focused on $. No interest in customer service or their employees”

      Current Employee - Team Lead. Pros: To gain experience to work for a company that actually cares about its employees. Cons: Layoffs monthly by the thousands. Contract out positions now enabling them to pay less and earn more profits. Offshoring jobs away from USA constantly. Advice: You have lost sight of what IBM was built on and for. Only the quarterly profits are what matters to you now. Not customer satisfaction or your employees
    • “Horrible middle management and favoritism”

      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee. Pros: Decent pay and OK benefits. Cons: Very cut throat. Employees are played against each other. Advice: Listen to your employees and respond.
    • “This is not your dad's IBM anymore.”

      Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Durham, NC.

      Pros: Unbelievably large company involved in numerous fields. A lot of people with many years of of service/employment, so if you wait it out a few years, there should be a mass retirement, opening up many senior-level positions. Depending on area, work-life balance can be excellent.

      Cons: Company is crazy to commit to EPS growth time-based targets. Focus on EPS is affecting proper business decision making. It can seem that employees are liabilities first, with a distant afterthought about employees potentially being assets. Frustrating to see mediocre employees stay with the company for so long.

      Advice: Too much of mid-to-upper level management seems focused on empire-building. For a technology company, it's surprising how non-technical lower-level management can be. Management needs to find a faster/more efficient way to let go of under-performing employees.

    • “IBM Interactive Experience - Good talent, No support”

      Current Employee - Project Manager in Atlanta, GA.

      Pros: Great experience working with talented mixed teams of creative and technical experts. I have learned a lot about digital media projects, design for mobile first, and user experience based design. I have worked with a lot of talented people and learned a lot. IBM employees have access to a lot of great training opportunities to expand your skills (though you'll have to work on your own to find them through the various tools available).

      Cons: You must be a self-starter, who is able to figure things out on your own, and you must be able to advocate and promote yourself and your successes. There is little domain mentoring, and many team members report to managers outside of their domain/expertise. Managers do little to nothing to advocate for their team members. While the greater IBM does have clear paths for promotion (from a band/pay grade level perspective), career growth discussions with managers are relatively fruitless, and it is difficult to get their support in setting up a growth plan. There is little advice/mentoring in what training to pursue to grow in your area, but if you are willing to do the digging and research yourself, there are really great tools and self-paced training available. Employees are often responsible for finding their own projects to be staffed to, as staffing team members are focused more on filling open project roles than getting benched team members into roles.

      Advice: Lower utilization requirements for managers so that they can afford to invest more time in their people. Measure manager performance on the success of their employees so that managers will be motivated to promote and advocate for their teams. Provide at least one strong manager per each discipline/domain area, and align employees to report to a manager within their expertise/role. Provide a claim code for mentoring/managing activities that will count as productive utilization, to encourage junior team members to seek out senior mentors, and encourage senior employees to invest in junior team members, without feeling that they are going to be penalized by spending those hours on non-billable work.

    • “Overall a good company, but a great deal of bureaucracy.”

      Current Employee - Strategic Sales Leader in Austin, TX. Pros: Excellent reputation, customer satisfaction, and resources. Numerous opportunities for advancement and career changes into various positions. Ability to grow and advance within the organization. Cons: Red tape and numerous layers of management, but trying to eliminate obstacles. Often times an environment of insecurity due to potential layoffs.
    • “I found IBM to be both rewarding and frustrating. I grew in skills and people skills.”

      Former Employee - Senior Architect in Costa Mesa, CA. Pros: The people you work with. Very knowledgeable and great team spirit. You can always find someone who knows more than you about any subject and is usually willing to share. Cons: Politics and constant fear of lay off. Bonuses and benefits have been cut drastically for band 9 and below employees. Advice: Remember your employees are your greatest asset. They are the ones who have developed customers and new patents. Pay them better bonuses instead of just your top executives.
    • “Industry leader, great people to work with. Bad salary though.”

      Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Melbourne (Australia). Pros: Exposure to a wide range of products, customers and projects. Talented people to work with. It is one of the big names you want to have on your resume at the early stage of your career. Cons: Poor workforce management in terms of salary, promotion. More than 80% of band 6 and 7 are underpaid. Advice: Make good use of talented people. It is much cheaper to keep a good employee than recruit a new one.
    • “Overseas Outsourcing All Areas of Business”

      Former Employee - Austin in Austin, TX. Pros: No pros that I am able to provide. Cons: Never worked for a company that cared less about their employees.
    • “Regular Employee”

      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee. Pros: Benefits, competitive salary, work from home. Cons: Long hours, degrading corporate culture, questionable business plan.
    • “Good place to work, but management seems to fabricate the truth to employees.”

      Former Employee - Storage Support in Smyrna, GA. Pros: Access to new hardware technology and database. Cons: Management is not trustworthy when it comes to informing employees. Advice: Need to overhaul work/life balance.
    • “Terrible company to work for”

      Former Employee - Advisory Software Engineer in Poughkeepsie, NY. Pros: Used to be a good place to work. There was always a wide variety of jobs so you got good variety during your career. These days it is just a job with no hope of moving forward or to a different role. Cons: If you are a US employee, then your job will probably go away. The morale is terrible because everyone is just waiting to get cut. Advice: Why bother.
    • “Was a great company to work for, but commitment to the employee has changed”

      Current Employee - Business Analyst in Southbury, CT. Pros: The salary and benefits are good. The management has always valued work/life balance and respect for the individual. The workplace is very professional. Cons: Too any jobs sent abroad and too many job actions. Advice: Be responsible to your current employees. If you are committed to them they will be committed to IBM.
    • “Used to be great company to work for”

      Former Employee - IT Specialist. Pros: Salary, benefits, culture, opportunity for growth. Cons: All the pros have changed to cons; mass lay-offs of long term regular employees. Movement toward contractor only environment. Advice: Stop managing to each quarter, think long term and remember employees are stockholders too.
    • “Great employer to add to your resume as a fresh graduate, but it does come with a steep price.”

      Current Employee - Applications Developer in East Lansing, MI.

      Pros: The individuals at the company are quite knowledgeable given that they have been at the company for a long amount of time. You get access to the large library of technical information in variety of fields.

      Cons: I have been with the company for a little over one year and I will tell exactly what I have went through. In title I said that it comes with a steep price, turns out I am not even making one fourth of what my client is being billed for hourly. My annual salary is 40k and IBM kind of knows that fresh graduates will fall for it, so they low ball you.

      Second I am an individual who cannot sit steady and I like to keep progressing and learning new things. IBM is not the place if you are expecting to progress/develop your career. You are treated as a disposable asset, where if one leaves another takes their place. I like to take on challenges, but after a couple months the work gets stale as there is nothing challenging about it and it's more like a daily chore where you don't get to learn much or you get placed on a project where the team lead has no idea what is going on; believe me I have been through both scenarios.

      After a year, I really think that rather then being able to progress on my career path it went backwards. You may ask why stay if I hate it? Well I am not here for long, only until the end of Dec 2014 and then I am out. :)

      Advice: Overall I would say the management is flexible but again it does come with the stone etched 90's corporate environment. In my 1+ year at IBM, I have yet to see them include any of the smarter planet concept in the day to day life and move out of that stone etched 90's corporate mindset.

    • “Great people to work with, but people are only commodities and expendable”

      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee.

      Pros: The people I got to work with were, for the most case, top notch and great to work with. The technologies we worked with were interesting and working for a company like IBM provides you with lots of perks due to their enormous bargaining power.

      Cons: In the last few years, the management has looked to slash costs and in that strategy, they are losing much of the knowledge base as they look to trim those that have the higher salaries and instead hire fresh grads. For that reason, much of the morale, particularly in software group, has gone downhill.

      Advice: Start focusing again on getting your employees motivated and they will then work harder and provide the fresh ideas.

    • “Used to be the best company to work for IMO...15 years ago.”

      Current Employee - Senior IT Architect in Toronto, ON (Canada). Pros: Have access to the bigger IBM ... lots of interesting work. Cons: Too many management ... not enough senior technical people. Lost a lot of good senior technical staff. Advice: People are your resources. Retain the good technical staff. Salary adjustment constantly less then inflation is killing your people. We all have family to feed, too. Workload leads to stress; underpay leads to frustration; net result is people left for other company even when we like what we are doing.
    • “Great decade of management consulting experience”

      Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Cleveland, OH. Pros: Able to work with quality employees, both intelligent and personable. Cons: IBM seems to have lost interest in the "product" quality; their human resources doing the service work. Advice: Treat your employees with greater respect and investment in their careers.
    • “There's opportunity to learn a lot but its likely not a career move unless you want to be a soccer parent”

      Current Employee - Senior Managing Consultant.

      Pros: There's a brilliant group of strategy folks from the PWC era that have tried to cultivate the same culture that led them to success but the firm does little to cultivate internal talent below the associate partner level, particularly millennials to retain the next generation of strategic talent.

      Cons: Poor incentives, poor usage of resources, very little reward is given to going above and beyond on proposals or client engagements.

      Advice: Review process year end is terrible. Can't understand how folks who had millions associated with potential revenue and glowing reviews from partners outside their practice can get rated as average or sub par just because utilization came under target. At some point there needs to be a qualitative cost benefit particularly if the individual has been asked and is contributing to building up the new business pipeline.

    • “Working 30+ years”

      Former Employee - IT Architect in Boulder, CO. Pros: The pay was good. Most of the employees were good to work with too. If you can, get a remote job and work from home. Cons: The bureaucratic BS is unbelievable. Very oppressive to the workers. Managers are not there to help you. They are only there to push the policies (for upper management) down to the workers.
    • “Unethical top management”

      Former Employee - Business Operations Lead in Calcutta (India). Pros: Diversity of experience (but lacks opportunities for growth). Cons: Nepotism and favouritism at the location lead level.
    • “Great learning opportunities, great people, but lots of bureaucracy and politics (expected for a company this big).”

      Current Employee - Consultant in Toronto, ON (Canada). Pros: Lots of great learning opportunities; good projects, roles, responsibilities; great people; everyone is very sharp, lots of very-experienced practitioners; friendly culture and chummy collegial atmosphere; - very flexible work-life balance; can work remotely and at your own schedule. Cons: Very difficult to get promoted; lots of bureaucratic processes required; large amount of politics at the high levels, which rubs off the wrong way on all the rest of the employees; no pay raises or bonuses; company is going through difficult times. Advice: Worry less about department labels and organizational charts and more about employee retention and morale. Pay your top employees more if you want to keep them!
    • “Good”

      Current Employee - Managing Consultant in New York, NY. Pros: Travel. Exposure to technologies. Calm life style. Even if you can talk you can survive here. Cons: Performance is based on the billing hours and not on the quality of work. Advice: Stop focusing on billing and instead focus on building quality products.
    • “Going down-hill very Quickly”

      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee. Pros: Good benefits. I wouldn't be surprised if they cut back on these in the future. They have already changed the matching policy to match at the end of the year, but it is up to 6%. Cons: Lazy code writing. Their products do not work well together. They are in a rush to get products to market, even if they are not ready. Not a transparent company. Constant reorganization. Very little job security. Their managers have zero idea what their employees do. There is no clear business plan and nothing gets to the bottom level. Morale is crazy low. Almost everyone works from home and it makes collaboration difficult. They over charge customers and are disconnect from their needs. Advice: Too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Only concerned with headcount even if the resources are ineffective.
    • “IBM is a good company but is losing its people centric focus”

      Current Employee - Advisory IT Architect in Costa Mesa, CA. Pros: Good people, products, and services. Very good benefits. Competitive salaries. Challenging opportunities. Cons: Too much pressure to produce. High management overhead. Many changes in focus directions. Has lost its worker centric focus and people are more replaceable than before. Advice: Don't continue down the path of making it look like the "numbers" are good at the expense of the workforce that supports the company.
    • “Engineer Microelectronics”

      Current Employee - Process Engineer in East Fishkill, NY. Pros: Great work life balance. They treat you like a person. Cons: Little to no raises. You can count on them canceling one of the two standard raises. When you do get one, 1-2% is common. Few promotions. Seniority plays as big of a role in promotions and moving to management (a wait list of people). Advice: Try to say something positive for once.
    • “Big, with lots of opportunity for employees. Cool projects that could be great, if IBM could get out of it's own way...”

      Current Employee - Product Manager. Pros: Fantastic vision. Vision that is engaging, world changing and you want to be a part of that vision. There really is a lot of hope, promise and opportunity. Globally. Great ability to work remotely. Incredible access to information, technology and training...if you have the time to look for it. Fair salaries Great people. Really great people. Cons: Everywhere seems to be short staffed. The work we could be producing could be really great if only we had the people dedicated (meaning not being shuffled onto other projects) to do it. Limited (really limited) budget for project team travel. Not the best health care benefits.
    • “Great company but very process have, has some drones.”

      Current Employee - Software Engineer in Bethlehem, PA.

      Pros: This is one of the largest technology companies in the world. If you put your mind to it, you can easily advance anywhere and fit a vast number of positions. The company has many resources and seems to pay well. Many very intelligent people (tech side at least), and you have a wealth of knowledge and potential at your hands. Not to mentioned the message this company's name sends on a resume for then future.

      Cons: Some employees, especially sales oriented are very process heavy, seem like drones, mindlessly following the norm. As an Engineer, my work with other technical side people has been great, but the sales side seems solely interest in closing, making money, and moving on to the next. (I know this is what sales is, but some I've noticed will throw their own co-workers under the bus whenever convenient.

      Advice: Drop some of the bureaucratic management and re-structure your company culture. IBM seems to want the culture to be boring, dull, and just business. Learn from the startups of the world that you can mix work, fun, creativity, and a cool atmosphere, and your employees will thank you for it.

    • “Good large company with many large company problems and benefits”

      Current Employee - Applications Architect. Pros: Relatively stable company. Process oriented management. Many opportunities to learn. Work from home (100%) opportunities. Many smart people to learn from and network. Cons: Clueless middle level management. Little or no growth unless you have the "connections." Too much process (bureaucracy) and too many turf wars. Too many dumb people hampering your progress. Advice: Hire smarter managers or better still give opportunity to smart insiders. Reduce bureaucracy and reward true talent. More transparent management.
    • “Used to be a good place to work so i am told. ”

      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee. Pros: Flexible work time and ability to work from home . A vast amount of technology to draw from. Cons: Low morale. Workloads far exceed ability to do quality work. Management focus on executive bonus not quality products. Overwhelming feeling employees are an expense. Not valued for skills. Advice: Stop the focus on stock price at the expense company culture. Need to have quality products to keep customers happy and coming back for more. Invest more in people, Not buying more companies then squeezing out theirs profits by removing half the staff.
    • “Sad current state of affairs”

      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO. Pros: The benefits are decent is about all I can say here. Cons: The company seems to live quarter to quarter with a lost sense of looking to future sustainability or client satisfaction. Raises and bonuses are pretty much non-existent even for the highly rated. Low employee morale in many, if not most, segments of the company. Loss of many talented employees over the years. Advice: Middle management is quite powerless and helpless despite their good intentions. I am not sure that management can do anything the way the company is being ran at the top.
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alerts. This weeks articles include:
    • Alliance Members Honor 79th Birthday of Social Security
    • Reports Detail Critical Importance of Social Security
    • Great Recession May Have Forced Americans into Retirement
    • Medicare Advantage Insurers Systematically Overbilling Government
    • States Refusing Medicaid Expansion Losing Billions in Funding
    • President Obama Signs VA Reform Bill into Law
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 08/11/14:

    To -low performance 2+: That is a first low from IBM. ( I have been a PBC 2 and 1 since I joined the company). Then I was suddenly informed that due to my LOW PERFORMANCE I need to either leave voluntarily with minimized separation package, or choose to be put on performance improvement plan) but you have to realize IBM hires imbeciles for management; case in point Ginni. Getting an attorney would be a waste of your time and money. The best thing you can do is think of it as a blessing and get out. Trust me your manager is doing IBM's dirty work and then your manager will be gone. Good Luck! -RA'D in 2013-
  • Comment 08/11/14:

    This came from guidotti and its being enforced by dunderdale, all internal transfers are frozen as well as external hires. If you want to poach somebody you have to go to a board. Managers keeping folks from transfers in fear of losing headcount (IBM managers stopped caring about employees some 5 years ago, treat them as replaceable cogs) but at. The same time keeping them in a very bad place to be - can't transfer can't focus. There is a concerted effort to give more 3's this year and communicate it during mid-year review (have you noticed it in your w3 news instructions in having your midyear review). IBM stooped to a new low, only roadmap to hell matters now. IBM is creating a monster; show me one IBMer who was treated poorly - and ibm treats everybody poorly now if you are not a sycophant or an exec - and still entertains the possibility to buy/recommend IBM and I'll show you either an brainless bloodless person or a masochistic one. Beware. -Camms (whaaaat) manager-
  • Comment 08/11/14:

    Contracts being let go in Toronto in the past few weeks. Roadmap to Hell is showing cracks. -TOIBMer-
  • Comment 08/11/14:

    Starting to see the folks who were RA'd in the spring show up as contractors and supplementals. How does an RA really save any money in the short term with a payout of 6 months salary, lost productivity, loss of morale, lost work product, loss of sales, etc.? -Ginny Tookus-
  • Comment 08/11/14:

    -low performance 2+- that is exactly what happened to me in late 2012-- I had always been a solid performer, no complaints from anyone in my management chain. Got notice that my performance was "insufficient" and that I had 6 months to improve. I worked my you-know-what off, and by all accounts my first two levels of management thought I had fulfilled the terms sent down by HR. But then the summer 2013 RA arrived and I was on it. Guess it was a blessing as the severance was twice as good. I'm now happily retired. -anon-
  • Comment 08/11/14:

    IBM performance rating is a joke. If you piss off your manager or don't play the political game, you can be the best performer and you will still be RA'ed. With no employee union contract, you are at the mercy of greedy and corrupt management. Join the union -Ana-
  • Comment 08/12/14:

    looking to be RA-ed-: Minimized separation is one week pay for each year worked. Half the standard severance. If you leave voluntarily generally you do not qualify for unemployment benefits since you quit/resigned your job on your own unless you can prove you were indeed forced out or was put under extreme duress to leave. But you usually need an employment lawyer to help you out on that. -RA'ed-
  • Comment 08/12/14:

    I know a lot of people hoping for another RA. Gee, that's got to create a productive workforce, huh? The separation package (usually offered after two consecutive PBC 3 ratings) is a piss poor version of the more generous RA package, which has been offered to about 4K US employees annually for the last 6 years. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 08/12/14:

    The days of the golden handshake RA are gone, Folks. Our reward for surviving past RA's is an inferior package and a couple extra years of circling the drain. Hasn't it been FUN?!? -Anonymous-
  • Comment 08/12/14:

    Is the low performance package truly one week per year worked? If so, I'd be happy as it would still be 6 months for me. What about unemployment? It's still a layoff, so I would think unemployment would be included just like any other RA, right? -Anonymous-
  • Comment 08/12/14:

    I assume this 'minimized separation' of one week per year worked has a max of 13 weeks? If that's not true and the max is 26 weeks then anyone with 26 years or more of service will get the full severance. And I agree with other poster that it's usually offered after two consecutive '3's. I hear it's a one time shot, you have a given amount of time to decide to take it and if you don't, it's not offered again. -anon-
  • Comment 08/13/14:

    It seems like upper management must be getting paid by the email and blog post. The company has dissolved into a Dilbert-esque parody. Nobody can get any work done because they are being bombarded by useless fluff emails from everyone in upper management with pathetic links to their blogs and other ridiculous crap. If people actually read this stuff, the company would grind to a halt (or hasn't it already?) Put a fork in it, but RA me first! -Band10PBC1WishingForRA-
  • Comment 08/13/14:

    The days of the big RA package are gone. IBM wants to trim headcount but doesn't want to pay to trim. First step is being told you're a low performer and offering minimized package if you refuse you go on pip and 30 days later they will get rid of you and not pay anything. Trust me once on pip you won't survive. Take what they offer and leave and don't look back. -anon-
  • Comment 08/13/14:

    I received my first PBC 3 in 2012 in BTV. When I questioned it, manager said you just got another 3 for next year. I never had a chance. Please everyone, get out while you can. Enjoy your family and health while you still can. -Stella-
  • Comment 08/13/14:

    Hatred spewed towards IBM? Instead of being ticked off get even. What is the one thing that would send IBM reeling? A union. My Dad was an IBMer in the 1950s. He and his peers never would have put up with this crap so why are you? Hit them where it hurts and show them you do have a choice. -Not an ibm fan-
  • Comment 08/14/14:

    Seriously guys, just how much more of this BS do you want to put up with? Roadmap, RA, PIP, PBC123, etc.

    The longer you stay, the more crap they would send your way. Why do you waste precious weeks of your life worrying about all that? Do as I did: get another job, submit your resignation letter and get out. I am now totally free from having to worry about nonsense like "Will I get PBC3?" "Will I be put on PIP?" "What would be my RA package?", not to mention the endless sequence of "newsletters" "communications" and"social messages" from every executive and his dog. In hindsight, I find it amusing to recall how much time I wasted on that crap. Life is much better now. -CleanPro-

    Alliance reply: To all, please do not send any more comments about getting out of IBM. The purpose of the Alliance is to advocate for employees, to fight back and to organize. We are not in the business of encouraging people to leave.

  • Comment 08/15/14:

    I've had enough. I've been with IBM for 10+ yrs. Received consistent 1 and 2+ ratings. Identified as a TR, Master Inventor, Patents, etc. I participated in just about every company event and group. However, the management lies and politics are unbearable, the bonus is pathetic, and the raises are worse. It's a disservice to myself and my family to stay here.

    All of my talented co-workers have left for greener pastures. Other friends outside of IBM work less, have more fun, and make much more for equivalent experience.

    As soon as I started applying the potential employers lined up. Signing bonuses of 50K+ and 50% raises are fairly common for those in Raleigh and Austin, California and others easily command much much more. My advice to all is...get a job outside when you have a job inside. When IBM replaces you (which they will!!!) with a cheaper international based resource, your negotiation power in a new position will be next to zero. -Band9TechnicalResource-

  • Comment 08/15/14:

    Now that many managers have left the company, the secrets start to spill. For example, things are really bad when Distinguished Engineers are demoted back to STSM or asked to retire. Or worse when STSMs and Band9s which represent IBM in standards groups and boards are laid off. Or the management trend to profile employees to assign retention bonuses to those most likely to leave. Oh, and let's not forget the list tracking who is single and who has kids. Where the latter is less likely to get a raise or promotion because they're less likely to leave. Add to this the trend to promote based on diversity rather than ability, experience, or skill and you can see a corrosive culture of epic proportions. -WhatIfountOutThisWeek-
  • Comment 08/15/14:

    Mike Cadigan spoke in BTV and said all is well with new tooling and some new hires (because of the people that left for GF). Maybe the good news is now that GF is out, IBM is willing to invest again in our fab. I hope so...he seemed to think we're good for a while in BTV. Not sure if I believe him or not though. -John R-
  • Comment 08/16/14:

    Cadigan is nothing more than a richly paid and compensated used car salesman. With no training. No credibility. A poor salesman at that. Kick the tires at your own risk. He is trying to get the best price to sell off a still serviceable fab that IBM doesn't want to invest $.01 to upgrade the line. Do yourself a favor all at BTV: THINK TWICE! JOIN THE ALLIANCE, sign up for a union, get a vote, get a contract! It is the only thing you can do now! -IBMUnionYES-
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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