IBM chief Virginia Rometty has issued a company-wide dressing-down to staff who are "too slow", after the firm's disappointing first quarter results. Rometty sent off a five-minute internal video message to IBMers, seen by the Wall Street Journal, where she blamed the company's sales staff for the results, saying they failed …
I understand where he was coming from with blaming Easter. What was traditionally a time for introspection and the celebration of Spring has become over commercialized and simply too expensive. I understand IBM wanting the best for their staff, but these tough economic times mean everyone has to make sacrifices. IBM should never have OK'd the big egg hunt. Hollow plastic eggs are definitely overvalued and few companies can justify hiding valuable prizes in the bushes, simply to give away! They don't even have an unused asset recovery plan for any undiscovered eggs. Moving forward, birthdays and Christmas will be closely analyzed for inefficiencies & may result in realignment or consolidation of dates and/or mandated employee contributions.
IBM does not realise that its customers don't like being harrassed into making purchases on IBM's time scales just to meet some aritficial/internal quartetly target.
Focus on the customer, not on the numbers.
My experience with IBM is that they have reached a point where they oscillate between two extreme behaviors.
One is of such level of risk adversity that everything takes four times longer because they don't move a finger if the process/proposal/whatever does not follow exactly their process and they don't get it signed off by four layers of management.
Time passes and then they reach the second state, where anything goes while trying to recover some of the time and competitiveness lost in the first stage. They are now going to be on this one.
Sorry AC, but having been on the other side of the counter... A smart customer knows how to play IBM. All they have to do is to get the sales rep to commit to a sale that quarter, and then drag out the process to the last minute and then force them to make huge concessions and discounts.
And yes, it usually works like a charm. ;-)
...the buck stops here.
There's no use crying over spilt milk, if she wasn't able to spot this earlier then she really needs to step down.
This tirade has left me the distinct impression that perhaps Ms. Rometty utilizes some controlled substances to increase HER performance.
It would also help if IBM hired sales people who actually did their job instead of just delegate all the work to the rest of us drones and then just cash in on the commissions.
AC because... duh!
Not at IBM, but this sounds pretty typical management bullshit - at that level they seem to think "I have stated it, so it will happen.", forgetting that you need time, people, resources and ongoing exec support to make things happen and these aren't in infinite supply. When exec managers in my organisation do this - "come to me if you hit roadblocks", my experience is they fire off a few emails and then forget about it, resulting in you going back to not bothering to raise it next time.
If Rometty is concerned that things didn't happen fast enough to close out a quarter, she should aks herself why that is, not just go round bullying folks with these kind of "I will bulldoze roadblocks" messages. I can pretty much guarantee it won't be the sales guys holding anything up - the way salesdroids are incentivised means except in a few corner cases, they always want the deal to go through quickly. So where's the problem? I don't know IBM much myself, but if I was going to have a guess based on what has happened at most big american IT corps, it's probably all the sale support (presales, quote and config services, legal services, revenue and margin analysis etc. etc.) that has been cut to the bone as part of "efficiency savings" by those self same managers.
Sorry. Rant over.
A woman running IBM? Say it aint so!
Just kidding. I'm not trying to be sexist, because I'm not.
But you have to realize that IBM has been playing accounting tricks for the past decade and longer. Offshoring back room functions, onshoring substandard and cheap labor in to GS outsourcing contracts. Letting their products get long in the teeth why buying companies...
Propping the stock up with buy backs which incidentally, exec's pays are tied to stock performance...
The house of cards were eventually about to fall, and Ginni happens to be the CEO when it happens.
Coincidence that the exec who's in charge when the wheels fall off the cart? I think not.
Just some food for thought.
Here's a free clue. You sell off your server business (keep the mainframe because they are dying...) [Hint: Mainframe == prehistoric Big Data System] What's left? Overpriced hoard of consultants and aging software.
Doesn't take a genius to figure out that to save the company, you need a big axe and some deep pockets to re-invent itself.