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Highlights—August 30, 2014

  • The Register:

    Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79. An era disrupted by the advent of the PC. By Richard Chirgwin. Excerpts: Former IBM CEO John Akers has died in Boston aged 79. Big Blue announced Akers' passing here, due to a stroke according to Bloomberg.

    After a stint as a US Navy pilot, the IBM obit states, Akers joined the company in 1960. His 33-year stint with IBM culminated in his appointment as its sixth CEO in 1985, following three years as president.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Low morale and dysfunctional management”

      Current Employee - Sales Specialist in London, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time for less than a year. Pros: Good learning environment. Good exposure to large clients. Cons: Dysfunctional management only focused on quarterly metrics rather than business growth. Low morale due to cuts. Advice: Focus on growth rather than conflicting targets that make no sense.
    • “Work with good people, but being continually asked to do more with less”

      Former Employee - Senior Technical Staff Member in Ottawa, ON (Canada). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years.

      Pros: I can honestly say that many of the best people that I have ever worked with were from IBM.

      Cons: Do not get comfortable doing what you are doing...you will be asked to do less with more. You will inherit other projects and not receive backfill for people moving onto newer projects. It demonstrates that leadership generally is not able to balance the product portfolio or make decisions about what is important.

      Advice: Ditch the 2015 plan and chasing shareholder value over all other things. Break the culture of sycophancy. Stop encouraging people to switch jobs every 2 years...no one invests in a maintainable business because they know it will not be their problem long term.

    • “IBM Canberra”

      Former Employee - Hardware Sales in Canberra (Australia). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: Strong training, and brand recognition. Cons: Limited regard for people within the organisation.
    • “IBM is going downhill (FAST)”

      Current Employee - Senior Consultant in London, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      Pros: It used to be a great company. It has great staff at consultant level.

      Cons: The leadership is simply woeful (especially UK GBS). The views, feelings, and opinions of staff are simply not considered (that is the truth, no matter what they say). Business is going from bad to worse. They over-complicate things, lack innovation, fail to recognise real talent. The Peter Principle rules in IBM, people are promoted to their level of incompetence.

      Advice: Get out. Bring in new management who are competent to lead this business. Just because 3% of the work IBM does is world class should not blind you to the 97% of average and poor work delivered.

    • “Nice job”

      Former Employee - IT Specialist in Hortolândia (Brazil). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years. Pros: Good salary, good health plan. Cons: bad communication with employee before fire him. Advice: Negotiate your income BEFORE sign or never more.
    • “Never thought IBM would be this way, really disappointed.”

      Former Employee - Remote Hardware Support Engineer in Cairo (Egypt). I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year.

      Pros: Salaries are slightly above average, good medical insurance and some other benefits and compensations.

      Cons: It was a mess; the Remote Support Department that they have in Cairo is a real disaster. Managers are so not helpful; work is so not challenging and trivial. And, worst of all...really WORST of all...is the HR department. I have never seen anything like this. I was shocked, how tedious and lazy and annoying, and lazy, and oh the "bureaucracy"!...for god's sake they still have a paper archive!!!

      If I were the HR manager there, I would have fired at least 10 of the HR department.

      Advice: Please provide more tutoring on the career path, and help get employees needs met; facilitate the tedious process.

    • “IBM: a company currently driven by numbers and spreadsheet”

      Former Employee - Senior IT Specialist in Hortolândia (Brazil). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Huge company, lots of projects and areas, interesting people, contacts with people from all over the world, important customers being supported, access to online training and support, top material to learn, a brand still valuable.

      Cons: Currently, IBM seems to have lost respect for its own people. Dismissals without any reason, a bad performance rating program (personal business commitment), salaries being held from fair readjustment, low salaries for juniors/newcomers, bad/expensive food in the cafeterias, end of many amenities for the employees, end/reduce of benefits, a bad year profit bonus, lack of clear strategy, excess of bureaucracy, lots of spreadsheets to fill, lots of not-integrated applications to access, a bad work climate, strange inside politics, managers protecting their friends, extreme arrogance when dealing with complaints from employees, extreme pursue of keeping a good market image even when things are clearly not going well, lack of gratitude to the good employees, a company driven by numbers.

      Advice: IBM needs to be founded again.

    • “Too much outsourcing and not enough qualified supervisors and managers.”

      Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Tulsa, OK .I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: When I worked there, IBM was understanding about work/life balance.

      Cons: Low pay, and you are required to take your laptop home every night and basically be on call.

      Advice: Lighten up. The people from Armonk need to be diversified in Accounting. When I worked there, Armonk took away every little thing that made work fun, like replacing the coffee machine with those pods. That has to be a lot more expensive plus they taste horrible. You had to buy your own needs, like adding machines and ergonomics went out the window.

    • “Not exactly the company I envisioned.”

      Former Employee - Consultant in Houston, TX. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Medical and dental insurance were good. Company sought to grow its consulting business, but it's not happening fast enough to keep up with competitors. Cons: In my division there was very little growth. Most jobs were migrating to India or South America. During the 12 years I was employed, I probably only received a small raise very other year. Advice: I realize that the business is global, but IBM needs to start caring about its employees as people, not as just a body filling a chair.
    • “Very mixed bag”

      Current Employee - Executive Architect in Boston, MA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Great people in the rank and file, solid brand in many respects, leading technology, very good benefits, global reach.

      Cons: Rank-and-yank HR processes, senior leadership disconnected from reality, lack of investment in services and solutions, stifling bureaucracy.

      Advice: Spend less time and money on the marquee science projects like Watson, more investment and attention to the core businesses. Foster innovation, let us take risks.

    • “I am pretty sure I am less intelligent thanks to my time at IBM”

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

      Pros: Just about the only pro is the benefits are decent and they are very flexible about working from home.

      Cons: They only match 401k at the end of the year; if you leave before the end of the year you don't get your match. No career growth opportunities. No training. No bonuses. No raises. Constant layoffs, always wondering if you will be hit by the next one.

      Advice: Stop treating employees like slave labor. Pay a decent wage and offer training and advancement opportunities.

    • “Good opportunities for the right person; The problem is figuring out if you're the right person.”

      Former Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Costa Mesa, CA. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years.

      Pros: Good life-work balance. Working from home or flexible schedules are never an issue. Generous personal time off policies. Opportunity to play with cutting-edge tools. Great environment to learn about business, marketing, and technological trends.

      Cons: Working under the cloud of imminent layoffs, in spite of how well one's job performance is, or how much revenue one's project generates, is demoralizing.

      Inconsistent professionalism of 1st line and 2nd line managers. If one has a good manager, things will go better. But if one has to report to a manager who is self-serving and paranoid, the IBM experience is horrible. One does not have a choice in a manager. Lots of reorganizations and mini-reorganizations.

      Through no fault of their own, many IBMers are trapped in a dead-end project or job role that quickly becomes obsolete.

      Many managers are not supportive of the career development of their team members.

      While many IBMers are professional, others are defensive, paranoid, and uncooperative, and for good reason. IBM software group does not produce anything. IBM is in the business of acquisitions and then shoe-horning the acquired business into the IBM way of thinking.

      Lay-offs, or "resource actions" as they are euphemistically called, are cruel and illogical.

      It is very difficult to transfer into another project. Too much paranoia and overprotection.

      The employee evaluation system ("Personal Business Commitments" or PBCs as they are "affectionately" called) is ridiculous and a political game. I would not be surprised if managers simply throw darts at a board blindfolded to determine the top contributors and the low contributors.

      Advice: Eliminate PBCs. They are worthless. They encourage dishonesty and discourage collaboration. I am saying this as one who was consistently a "solid contributor," and received a few "2+" and a "1."

      Be straight with your employees. Executives sound more and more like dishonest politicians. Trust me. IBM employees can see through the lies. You cannot expect employees to continue to do more and more, with less and less. My team was devastated by layoffs in 2013, even though new sales was off the charts. Exasperating the problem, dissatisfied and frightened employees decided to leave, and they were not replaced. And yet, we had to pick up the workload from those who were laid off or who left voluntarily. And what was the thanks we loyal employees were given? "Sorry, no bonuses, no raises, and no promotions."

      Our peerless CEO declared that she and her executive team would not receive any bonuses, but yet they cash in stock options worth in some cases multi-millions of dollars. Do you realize how insulting and demoralizing that is? And then you have the gall to eliminate coffee and even plastic eating utensils from the employee kitchen. It is embarrassing that an IBM employee cannot offer a visitor or a customer a cup of coffee.

    • “Lacking reason to stay”

      Former Employee - Software Developer Specialist in Baton Rouge, LA. I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year. Pros: Meet a bunch of people. Cons: One sided relationship. Contract signed not held to content. Advice: Give compensation equal to national standard, Promote growth by not blocking transfers, and don't sacrifice employees to clients for any reason.
    • “Top heavy with management”

      Current Employee - Advisory IT Specialist. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Depends on the project or the client, but hours are generally flexible. There are a lot of good and smart people to work with.

      Cons: Pushing to make our numbers and it only gets worse every year, this year they demand we work certain weekends and are pushing for hours so much that we must average 50 hours per week over the whole year just to make up for vacation and holiday time off.

      Every year we lose something, they adjust something that takes money away from us and saves IBM money. In 2013, they moved the 401K match payout from payday to a lump sum at year end, and we missed out on all that interest.

      They moved the date raises are given to next year. They also decided not to pay out the bonuses they've paid every year since they started the program. No raise in 5+ years and I have much less to show for it.

      There is a major push to outsource most of the work over seas and only have about 15% of employees in the U.S. With so few U.S. employees, I get the sense that we are way too top heavy with management and all the overhead that comes with it.

      Advice: Labor laws overseas don't allow for all the free overtime you get from U.S. salaried employees, plus those employees are not as effective and don't generate the revenue you need. There are way too many levels of management that are unproductive and are a fixed overhead that we can't continue to support. Cut half your management team immediately and you'll see major decreases in costs.

    • “Advisory Engineer in STG, IBM”

      Current Employee - Advisory Engineer in Hopewell Junction, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 8 years.

      Disclaimer: A lot of what I'm writing below of course depends on the work area and management chain. But I found this to be fairly pervasive policies in IBM in my 9+ years with the company.

      1. IBM's policies and management are very flexible when it comes to working remotely or accommodating various life situations (sick days, doctor visits, etc.). Management is encouraged to measure an employee by their work and impact, and not by hours spent at their office.
      2. Great colleagues! Though unfortunately, many have been leaving due to the instability of IBM's HW development business.
      3. At least in my area, there's a high level of flexibility on which projects should I undertake based on my and my management assessment of business impact.

      Cons:

      1. Unfortunately, IBM still uses the "normal distribution" rating system, where at the end of the year each employee is ranked as a top contributor (5%), above average contributor (15%), average contributor (~75%), and bottom contributor (5%). This curve is difficult to apply in the R&D world, where you may have many members of the team working long and hard hours, and end up being "average contributors" at the end of the year, because there just isn't room for all to be top contributors.
      2. The above may not be so disturbing, if only IBM didn't practically cancelled all raises, performance bonuses and incentive for the non top-performers. I've had a consistent "above average" rating in the last 4-5 years, and my raise and performance bonus were ridiculous mere 1.5-2% of my salary. Were I rated "average contributor" I would have gotten NOTHING. So you can imagine that people can go year after year without any raise to their salary.

        From talking to manager friend, this is IBM's way to eliminate the non-top-performers without having to fire them, as part of its direction of reducing US manpower.

      3. Hiring freeze in many areas—again, as part of IBM's attempt to reduce its workforce across North America and Europe we see many jobs move to the India and Far East markets. This is of course upsetting to see local teams shrink and disappear, especially when many great local IBM colleagues and experts begin to drop out. From my experience thus far working with India SW teams—they are still very far away from the standards I would have expected from US and Europe based teams.
      4. Poor top down communication about company's and divisions' future. Employees learn from rumors and news websites what's about to come.

      Advice: Management must keep in mind that it today's world, which is saturated with brilliant companies that hire top talent, IBM must remain competitive to attract great talent and hold on to it. In the meanwhile, we're seeing the opposite trend, where great people leave IBM for other companies, be it because of a more competitive package, dropping morale and many other reasons.

    • “This is the place to learn, but don't expect a big salary”

      Current Employee - Digital Execution Specialist in São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: The knowledge database and learning opportunities are countless. You can have access to an immense amount of courses, webcasts, teleconferences and others sources of knowledge, by doing a few mouse clicks. The managers tend to incentive you to get certificated and/or get graduated in your area of expertise. Overall, this is the place to get experienced and learn.

      Cons: The metrics systems are everywhere, and sometimes they do speak in your place. The "freeze" situation (where the company doesn't hire or promote anyone) may hold your career plans for a few years.

      Advice: Upper management team should participate and be more open for employees opinions.

    • “There has to be something better out there

      ” Current Employee - Senior SAP Consultant in Washington, DC. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Having IBM on your resume looks nice, medical benefits are good, really is trial by fire so you really have to learn quickly.

      Cons: Forget everything they've ever said in onboarding or while talking to executives. IBM's primary goal is their bottom line and to them people are disposable. They do a poor job of selling and writing contracts and the workers bees have to deal with the repercussions of undersold contracts and not enough projects in the pipeline for when we hit the bench. Compensation is terrible; you will not make the market value for your skillset unless you come in at that rate and the possibility of ever achieving that rate is slim to none otherwise.

      Advice: EXTREMELY POOR MANAGEMENT—since IBM is so quick to lay off, how about laying off all of these poor managers and recruiting new managers who actually add value. Mid-level managers are dismissive, rude, condescending and add absolutely NO value (resource staffing personnel included). Good luck getting an answer or assistance with anything unless you have their boss' boss copied on the email. Good luck on getting funding for training/education expenses. Sure, they tell you they provide assistance but really they don't because there is never any available funding for it.

    • “Stable company, continuous change, many learning opportunities”

      Current Employee - Business Analyst in Tulsa, OK. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Flexible work hours with some work from home opportunities. Will learn a lot and make many connections. Cons: Pay is not competitive in outsourcing area. Extensive overtime required and many jobs move to other countries. Always concerned with next layoff. Advice: Pay adjustments to bring to market value would help keep valuable employees with top ratings.
    • “The definition of corporate”

      Former Employee - Staff Hardware Engineer in Austin, TX. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years. Pros: Decent benefits, many incredibly smart people. Get to work on the cutting edge of high end computer systems. Good place to start a career. Cons: Constant decline of benefits (except for upper management), constant layoffs, work being sent to India so you liaison with a team there constantly. If you work on a cutting edge processor chip that is being hotly pursued by management you are treated like a king with perks; everyone else involved with the product is made to feel inferior with no perks and extremely crunched deadlines. Advice: none.
    • “Great people, challenging atmosphere”

      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Highly intelligent and motivated co-workers; great people to be around. Willingness to do what's right for the customer is prominent. Cons: Maniacal focus on earnings has led to reliance on annual spending reductions, and limited (or no) vision for growth. Atmosphere for employees has been stifling. Advice: Organic investment—not just marketing billion dollar investments in the news—is overdue.
    • “Out of touch workforce & out of control legacy products. Struggling to change years too late.”

      Former Employee - Software Engineer in Hursley, England (UK). I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year.

      Pros:

      • Good opportunities to get out and about, if you are in the correct role and have funding (almost impossible currently).
      • Surrounded by plenty of smart people.
      • Ridiculously good looking locations.
      • IBM still looks good on a CV.
      • Plenty of opportunities to move around the portfolio and also change job role.
      • Shows hope of changing for the better.

      Cons:

      • Disappointing IBM wide culture, few willing to adapt to changes in the industry.
      • Some employees respond to stack ranking by undermining others.
      • New products behind, out of touch and still do not focus on the end user.
      • Massively out of touch marketing efforts scare developers from IBM's latest products.
      • Disappointing and insulting graduate and intern hiring schemes.
      • Poor/no on-boarding process for new hires.
      • Incorrect and disgraceful process in places.
      • Employees frequently prevented from working by individuals on irrelevant box-ticking power trips.
      • Audit-ability over usability, if you care about working at pace with good tools - go elsewhere.
      • Lots of IBM skills are useless outside of IBM—many find it hard to jump out of the company.
      • Death by PowerPoint/conference call is frequent.

      Advice:

      • Don't just talk about change, the culture needs to change.
      • Focus improvements on the workforce, making radical changes if required.
      • IBM is nothing without its employees; put them first and give them what they need.
      • No more half measures with new products.
    • “One of the Best company to work and grow with”

      Former Employee - Citrix Engineer in Chennai (India). I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year. Pros: IBM is best for ITIL and Process management. Cons: Indian Managers are not relevantly trained to understand the needs of Employees which lead to attrition. Advice: Train Managers for Employee satisfaction and not for saving Project revenue
    • “Old style management, have and have nots”

      Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Jose, CA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Large company, many projects to work on. Flexible work hours, liberal work at home policy.

      Cons: Was part of an acquisition and during the "indoctrination" process a whole bunch of promises were made. About 10% of which were true. Been there a little over 4 years and have not had one raise, even though they insist on yearly reviews and have been an above average contributor for all 4 years.

      Long hours, want to work like a startup but without the same benefits of a start up, i.e. stock options, catered lunches, phone plans.

      Too many managers making decisions without consulting the folks who actually do the work. I would go as far as to say the first and second line management is either incompetent or uncaring about the work. Just "ship it" seems to be the motto, regardless of quality. They also manipulate the "defect" rates so as to make the product quality look good on paper.

      Advice: Stop managing to the earning per share, drop the "curve" rating system and pay your folks what they deserve.

    • “Low morale and not getting any better”

      Current Employee - IT Architect in Indianapolis, IN. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Great potential for the future and a lot of great ideas being talked about that could make a very bright future.

      Cons: Currently too focused on financials and not growing talent, skills, retention, and reassurance of the overall company direction. The top technical resources are being scooped up by other companies by the hour. The company attempt to pretend they are providing education is extremely too focused on current highlighted technologies, but what the company forgets is that even the latest and greatest direction, like Cloud, requires many other skills underneath to be able to provide and improve on that give area.

      Advice: Read my Cons. If the company only concern is what we are delivering now, and what the future of what is being delivered now, they are missing on many other areas that could be the talk of the future. Go back to investing more on R&D. That is was placed this company on the map initially as a technology giant. We are now more of a follower of what other companies are coming up with. I'm a proud IBMer, but I have to be able to be honest of the current situation.

    • “Technical Lead for more than 8 years”

      Former Employee - Technical Lead in Boca Raton, FL. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years. Pros: Stimulating work environment. Strong work culture. Great people to work with. Remuneration in line with the job responsibilities. Doing a great job on foresting innovation. Cons: Although they're trying to reduce the red tape, there are plenty of bureaucratic hurdles. Career advancements it's a battle of the "fittest", not the brightest. Overtime not being paid, seen as normal.
    • “10 years, good, but enough”

      Former Employee - Sales Specialist in Minneapolis, MN. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years. Pros: Good corporate package of benefits. Prestigious name to open doors. Cons: Managed by spreadsheet. No real long term culture. Very impersonal and overly virtualized. Advice: Don't lose sight of the value of good staff while making your macro moves.
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alerts. This weeks headlines include:
    • This Labor Day, Let's Raise America's Pay – It Will Help with Retirement Savings
    • No Surprise: Between 2000 and 2011, the Wealth Gap Widened
    • “Star” Rating System Fails to Protect Many Seniors in Nursing Homes
    • AP: GOP Sees Health Care Law’s Advantages More and More
    • Paul Ryan Hears More from Seniors about his Medicare Cuts during Book Tour
    • Fiesta Addresses Machinist Retirees, Celebrates Social Security in Rhode Island
  • MarketWatch:

    Labor Day is a joke. By Brett Arends. Excerpts: Let’s just scrap Labor Day, shall we? After all, if we’re not going to treat the working man or woman with respect in this country, why don’t we just stop pretending?

    If we’re just going to stick it to the working stiff 364 days a year, we might as well be honest and make it 365.

    According to U.S. government data, in the past 12 months the working people of America have received about the smallest share of national economic output since at least World War II.

    They’ve been under pressure for decades, but the real free fall has been since 2000.

    When you adjust for inflation, real median household income is down about 10% since the start of the millennium and is now lower than it was in 1989. No kidding.

    For the past 35 years, the American economy has “persistently redistributed rewards away from workers and toward shareholders,” wrote economists Daniel Greenwald and Sydney Ludvigson, of New York University, and Martin Lettau, at the University of California at Berkeley, in a recent paper. They calculated that this trend, not “rising productivity” or technology, is the main reason the stock market has done so well over that time.

    Our grandparents would be amazed at how America treats the working man and woman today. Let us count the ways.

    Back in the Middle Ages, the monarchies of Europe used to rank people as aristocrats, merchants or peasants. Aristocrats got treated best, peasants the worst.

    Today? Here in America a kid who buses tables pays an effective tax rate of 25% (including the full cost of the payroll tax) on everything he earns, and the rate quickly goes higher.

    Meanwhile a tycoon who makes a few million a year from long-term capital gains pays a maximum rate of 24%.

    And the kid who inherits a few million dollars from rich parents? No tax at all.

    Peasants, indeed.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 08/20/14:

    Development and test schedules in Tucson are being modified (i.e., line items de-committed) to accommodate resource movement (i.e., certain regulars are being re-assigned to other managers to be saved no doubt and contractors are being let go gradually heading into 4Q). You don't need to look at the writing on the wall. There WILL be more mass firings in the Tucson labs before 2014 401k matches are paid. Better join the Alliance as you're looking for a new job before you get labeled as "distracted, disconnected, or disengaged" for 2014. -Shaun-
  • Comment 08/21/14:

    Worked for > 10 years in IGS/SYSTEM X. Writing is on the wall, so left in 2013. Many talented colleagues left as well. Very puzzled by how it will succeed after 2015, with so many talented people leaving. -left in 2013-
  • Comment 08/23/14:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/business/john-f-akers-79-dies-led-ibm-as-pcs-ascended.html John F. Akers, the chief executive and chairman of IBM during a turbulent time when the rise of the personal computer undercut the profitability of the mainframe computer business, died on Friday in Boston. He was 79. His death was confirmed on Saturday by Edward Barbini, a spokesman for IBM, who said the cause was a stroke. -anon-
  • Comment 08/24/14:

    I see that former IBM Chairman & CEO John Akers has passed.

    He may be the last of the "old school" IBMers. I worked there when he was in charge. He had no idea what to do about personal computers. He never even touched one and refused to use one in his office. His beliefs were entrenched in the idea that IBM was an international "business" machines (mainframe hardware) company. He really never thought that IBM would be a "consumer" machines company (ICM). They can say all the BS they want about his attempt to 'save" IBM from going down the drain; but he knew the company was doomed.

    Gerstner convinced the BoD that Akers was too slow. Akers didn't think so; but stepped down anyway. When the Jackal shows up, you better leave...know what I mean? RIP John Akers. -BlueEyedBlindness-

  • Comment 08/25/14:

    -BlueEyedBlindness- My recollection of Akers was that he actually drove a Volkswagen diesel Rabbitt to work at least occasionally at the now Old Armonk HQ. He wasn't a big man but he was taller than Gerstner (who is real short of stature and charisma and lacks some digits on one hand, hence the TFL [three-finger Lou] references).

    I also think Akers had none of the arrogance that was Gerstner's modus operandi.

    Yes, Akers tried to hold onto the believe that IBM didn't have to change and could cling to mainframe revenue. At least Akers was a man and stepped down.

    If Gerstner was still in charge and the BoD wanted to make a change he would be going down kicking and screaming and demanding a lucrative exit package worth at least a $1B.

    RIP Jack Akers. It wasn't all your fault: IBM management underneath was sniping at you, as they still do now. And now we see decades later it is not totally his fault why IBM is where it is. -anonIBMer-

  • Comment 08/26/14:

    Has anyone heard about rumors of IBM selling GBS business Unit? -Anonymous-
  • Comment 08/28/14:

    More cuts for contractors in the Dallas area. Roadkill 2015 here we come. -JS-
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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