Thursday, March 31, 2016

What’s happening at IBM (it’s dying)

This is a column I didn’t want to write. Like many of you I am tired of IBM stories and the company that was once an industry leader has become, at best, a poster child for how not to manage the later stages of a corporate life cycle. But because what’s happening at IBM is also happening right now at hundreds of other big technology companies makes it worth covering. So let me be clear: IBM is dying.

Last week a huge round of layoffs hit IBM just as I predicted back in January. The company is releasing as few details as possible. Nobody, for example, knows exactly how big is this layoff — how many people are being let go? IEEE Spectrum found one source that said the number was 30 percent of the U.S. IBM workforce, a number which IBM says is too high. I also believe 30 percent is too high, especially if you confound it with retirements, contractors being axed, etc.

This round of IBM layoffs looks to me to be in the 20-25 percent range. A similar number of IBM workers were let go last year, but what makes this year’s numbers so notable is that most are regular employees — not contractors or retirees (those were mainly dumped last year to make those layoffs look lower). With IBM U.S. employment in the 90-100,000 range, this suggests that 18,000-25,000 people have just been shown the door at IBM. And they did so under new rules that grant at most one month of severance pay instead of up to 23 weeks that was in effect until the end of 2015. That has to be a kick in the head to all the IBM old-timers who had been waiting for the axe to fall no matter how good they were at their jobs, yet hoping for some kind of package. Well the package is here and it is full of crap.  (more...)

Shout out to some people I've worked with:

Sent to Watching IBM: 225 people in the IBM Sweden Kista Office to get notice. Announced today.160 in Denmark.900 in...
Posted by Watching IBM on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Watching IBM has received a tip about possible job cuts at IBM Toronto and Markham today 3/31. Please message me...
Posted by Watching IBM on Thursday, March 31, 2016

Where the information age began:

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