back to article EDS boss Rittenmeyer 'retires' from HP reorg

EDS president and chief exec Ronald Rittenmeyer will retire from HP at the end of the year, as HP steps up efforts to fully digest the massive IT services company it acquired this fall. As HP announced with a press release this afternoon, Rittenmeyer will be replaced by EDS senior VP Joe Eazor, and EDS will be transformed into …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    doing business

    I do believe Mark is right down the "employee" alley of thought, without a single bit of entrepreneurial thinking crossing his mind.

    Although it might sound a bit cynical, the first and foremost reason for doing business is profit. Had Mark paid any attention in his economy class, he would have heard that a business is basically dead when it stops to grow, a notion he clearly failed to grasp.

    That said, I would be just as outraged had my benefits and income been cut in such a "corporate" manner, despite the recent doom and gloom pervading the global market.

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  3. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Shame

    It's a real shame that HP is suffering like it is. I spent several years of my early career working for them and consider myself to have been extremely fortunate. That was in the days when Bill and Dave were still running the show and it was a fantastic company to work for. All employees were just like me - we took great pride in providing outstanding service to customers. You paid for it in the product price of course, but you could bank on getting a first rate product and the service to support that product.

    I saw from the inside that things changed markedly around 1990 when Bill and Dave stepped down from their active role in the company. The bean counters took over and it changed significantly. In days of old HP used to be top dog in the independent support polls year after year. Now I hear they apparently don't even get into the top 100. A very sad state of affairs. Don't blame the employees for this - it's higher up on the management chain where it has gone disastrously wrong.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    I think I might have been lucky

    I was one of the ones chopped in the recent VR programme.... the way things are going, it looks like I may have had a really lucky escape, although to be fair, it doesn't seem like any of the above is anything new. We've (or should I now say "They've"?) within EDS not had a Christmas do in many years, some people haven't had a pay rise in 5 years, travel expenses have been banned for all but customer meetings and discretionary spending has been at nil for quite some time, well before HP came along. I suspect the two companies are going to get along great together...!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EDS - People are jumping

    Morale is at zero in the UK, there's open contempt for the company, mostly due to the cancellation of February's scheduled pay rises. EDS pays even worse than HP anyway, so people are upping sticks.

    The only ones they'll have left are the incompetent and infirm, anyone with self esteem will have gone. Say goodbye to hitting those payment milestones. This attitude isn't just shared by the mugs on the ground, but the tide of ill-will runs high up the chain.

    People expected Rittenmeyer to be going after the redundancies were made, he'll have a nice fat golden parachute to fall back on though.

  6. Joe Drunk
    Thumb Down

    Corporate Ethics

    It's time to for all those who work in corporate to wake up from the delusional haze that you are viewed as anything more than head count. You are a "Human" resource. Period.

    Years of service and loyalty are meaningless in large, publicly traded companies since the constant quest to increase market share leads to constant mergers and aquisitions which always lead to severe belt-tightening and resource reduction.

    As a consultant I have replaced many permanent employees over the years which has given me a certain perspective for any job I take - everyone is expendable. It would seem that most corporations, especially in the current job market are unconcerned with loyalty or morale based on how they treat their employees.

    You may feel betrayed or unappreciated when cost-cutting measures are put in place that affect you but in the eyes of a shareholder of HP's stock Mr. Hurd's efforts to increase value are highly appreciated.

    I have no expectations other than to be paid for the work I do. I perform at or above expectations and absorb any new technologies for my own benefit and to increase my marketability. That the company I work for likewise benefits from this work ethic is purely a side-effect. Recognition for a job well done is irrelevant unless it is in monetary form. As far as I am concerned this is purely a business relationship.

    I have learned to embrace transience after the internet bubble imploded. Remember folks, it's just a job. Don't make your job your life or you will end up like these sign-wearing sods:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/12/05/unemployed.sign/index.html

    http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2008/09/14/2008-09-14_layoffs_in_financial_market_hurt_city.html

    I hope that those of you victimized by this merger can still enjoy the holidays with loved ones even though you may have to do some cost-cutting measures of your own.

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  8. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Raiding the HP Pension Scheme Next - I hope not

    A someone who is approaching retirement age and having 20+ years of contibutions in the (now) HP Pension fund as a result of TWO takeovers I sincerely hope that he keeps his mits off the Pension Fund.

    At least (post Robert Maxwell) we make it slightly harder to raid UK Pension funds but I'm sorta thinking of taking is sooner rather than later if HP keeps acting the way it is now.

    As far as I'm concerned, they should get back to making what they know best. i.e. Printers and stop this Itanic silliness. How many billions has it cost the company.

    My ex is one of those jumping ship. She was a long term EDS project manager. She left at the end of last month and is about to move abroad with her new partner (he was made redundant by HP 6 months ago) and start a small business in foreign parts. Moral is rock bottom and many people are very depressed in the UK stump of Dec/Compaq/EDS/HP.

    Many are privately saying 'bring back Carly'.

    Boy is that bad.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    HP Pension Fund

    Good comment by the anonymous HPer who mentioned the pension fund. I am depending on that fund for when I retire so I certainly hope HP doesn't get creative about disposing of it!

    I don't keep in contact with anyone at HP these days (not sure I would even know anyone who is still there anyway!). But it certainly sounds like a very different company to the one I knew 20 years ago. Back then staff moral was very high and a credit to the company.

    Bring back Carly huh? Now things MUST be desperate.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    HP matures

    I have yet to hear anyone from (what was) HP pre Compaq suggest that bringing back Carly was a good idea.... Face it lads, HP is a maturing business, not to mention an enormous one - the worlds largest IT company I think?

    I spent 12 very (mainly) enjoyable years within HP, and many of the changes were simply inevitable for a company of this size. Bizarrely, new business from within the company that could not promise $50M+ from year 1 was 'discouraged' - not enough management time to spend with small fry. Two reactions - (1) bitter - 'why can;t the silly sods see what this is worth' and (2) it's an opportunity - especially as HP has been generous working with external companies who want to build competence and partnership.

    Guess which one I went for?

    I am well aware of the eroding benefits and it is not pretty. BUT you have all had plenty of notice, git a liff lads (and laddettes).Get out, innoivate and you'll probably (as have we) do well providing services back into the organisation as well as others.

  11. yeah, right.

    short-sighted shareholders vs long term health

    It's a constant battle. The people like A.C. above who think that, because the only thing a company exists for is making profit, everything else is fair game, and you don't have to think beyond the next quarter. Then there are those like the founders of HP, who saw creating and growing a business as much more than just a focus on short term gains, but rather on building a solid team of people that can weather any storm.

    You can't treat people like furniture, then expect them to do whatever it takes to keep the company going. HP used to know that, but the new management has completely missed the point. I'm sure the shareholders are happy - but they're also happy when they've shorted a company and it tanks. A company is only as good as the people who work for it, and right now HP is doing all it can to destroy that aspect of their business.

  12. Skullrippa
    Stop

    Suck it up

    Ow dear! no pay rise to your probably decent corporate "package"? so what, think yourself lucky you have a job at all.

    All this bitching and moaning doesn't detract from the fact those retained are lucky to still have employment. There are going to be many thousands not so fortunate this Christmas.

    Let us not forget the impact on of the global (read USA) financial situation on those with less disposable income. So what if it's time to sell the third family car.

    There are people that are out of work this Christmas who will be more focused on finding money for food not stressing about the reduction in their big corporate gravy boat benefits.

    If your so keen to have a party with your colleagues then stump up for some of your own beer for a change down the local.

    I have worked for both EDS and HP (still do) they are just companies in the business of making money, not here to pamper their employee's.

    100 years ago every self appointed arrogant middle class BMW driving wine drinking over paid FW whinging in these posts would have been working in a textile mill or mine anyway.

    Stop taking what you have for granted as you might find yourself with more pressing issues soon. (I can't wait to see those overpaid PM's flipping burgers in McD's) Check those Standards of Business Conduct as there may be more redundancies to follow.

  13. Avian
    Unhappy

    Rittenmeyer

    took, IIRC, $51.6m in the HP takeover?

    I seriously hope that he doesn't get his snout in the trough for even more on "retirement" (although I guess he will turn up on a board somewhere else :-( ). Not bad for what? about twelve months as CEO since Jordan departed.

    I recently left EDS in the last VR and really feel for my colleagues left back there... the so called corporate leaders all getting fat payouts while the staff that make the revenue get f*ck all. I personally know EDS'ers that have already gone 36 months between pay reviews. They now get told there's nothing until Feb 2010 AND just to boost moral the long established Service Awards have been cancelled from January.

    Made me smile the last time acknowledged the company ethics..... wonder if Ron did?

  14. Doug Glass
    Go

    @ Joe Drunk

    What you say is very true. There are no more corporate "families" ... everybody is a contractor of sorts and everybody is expendable.

    Corporations exist to accomplish three goals: grow the company, enhance the bottom line , and increase stockholder worth.

    Employee satisfaction and for that matter, employee buy-in, are not mentioned in the company mission statement. It really makes no difference if you hate the company, love the company, or fall somewhere in between. The simple fact is employees today are commodities and commodities come and go at the pleasure of the big boys.

    Anybody who thinks they are owed anything by the corporation who pays them other than pay for hours worked needs to think again. It ain't so Joe, it just ain't so. And 1,900,000 Americans laid-off thus far in 2008 now understand that all too well.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    It ain't so Joe

    Maybe it isn't (and my name ain't Joe), but what made HP the great company it once was came from the efforts of 2 outstanding people who didn't let a growing company shift them away from what they believed in. Those sorts of people don't come along very often - invariably when a manager climbs the ladder of success they pull up the ladder behind them and sever links with where they came from - that wasn't the case with Bill and Dave who were quite happy to chat to the lowest level of staff right up until the end.

    There was this thing called "The HP Way" which we were taught about when I first joined. And Managing By Walking Around (MBWA) was practiced by all levels of management. You could have a cup of coffee and a chat with the MD or any other high ranking person in the company and they were always on first name terms - and had to take their pick of the car parking spaces in the general employee car park like everyone else. There were no reserved parking spaces for them or a door for their office - it was all open plan.

    Sad to say, but before I left a few years ago MBWA was still being practiced, but had metamorphosed into Management By Wandering Away. Managers no longer made themselves available to chat with like they once did. It is unfortunately those managers who were relatively low level back then that have brought the company to what it is today, after having made a success of their own career.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what makes you think it is different elsewhere?

    Whilst not disputing how Mark Hurd's actions make you feel , have you worked anywhere else ? I've worked for several technology-based companies over the last 20 years, and I've seen what you are describing everywhere. I don't have a final salary pension anymore, I've not had a company paid for training course in five years, and pay rises are rarer than hens teeth - the best way to get those is to move job. I'd say (based on my experience) that corporates stopped being nice places to work in 2000 just after Y2K and all the accountants realised that you didn't have to pamper the propeller heads anymore. And they don't treat the rest of their staff any better either. But if you want a good combination of benefits versus job security corporates are the best employers in town. It just requires you to take more of a responsibility for your own training etc.

    Now just because this is happening does it make it right ? I think the lack of investment in employees - in their pay and benefits, in their morale, and especially in their training is storing up trouble for the future.

    But that's the future. For now the Chief Execs have to deliver profits to their shareholders right now. And right now we are looking at a downturn that pretty much every economist is scared witless about so you certainly are going to find your boss does stuff you don't like. If you don't like how your employer treats you , certainly email the boss to complain, but don't expect it to get you anywhere.

    You still have it in your power to up sticks and move on. You could set up your own company, retrain as something else or find an employer more in tune with your own beliefs. Or stay where you are, get some hobbies and take what enjoyment you can from your life and job. Take some positive steps for yourself.

  17. Gulfie
    Thumb Down

    @skullrippa

    I think you've missed the point, as an ex-EDS employee (I saw the writing on the wall late last year and promptly left) EDS staff have had crap treatment for several years. All the time we were getting the message that we were hitting targets and 'doing well' - albeit withouth the corprate grin - yet pay was kept well below the going rate. The company was turning into a low-way sweat shop and we were expected to support, promote even, moving our own work and therefore jobs to India and Egypt. Staff left in droves in late '07 and early '08 and hardly anyone was replaced, the rest were just made to work harder.

    The writing on the wall for me was in summer '07 when I interviewed for new staff to work for me, on a grade lower, and the company was offering them 20% more than my pay at the time, because that was the going rate. But not apparently for people already employed. Ethics? Do as I say, not as I do...

    Moral was bad when I left, I shudder to think what it is like now. EDS never pampered its employees when I worked there. Sounds like it is completing a transformation - to a workhouse.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    HP/EDS - and the season of goodwill

    Apparently HP have now changed the EDS expense policy for contractors, whereby they will pay your hotel bill whilst travelling on customer business, but NOT your dinner too.

    That'll help...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    skullrippa

    I dont think anyone in EDS/HP expects to be pampered. What is expected is to be paid fairly for a days work which none of us are. Jobs are being "Best Shored" people are being laid off and all this on the back of good profits.

    Company's should at least treat there employee's as an asset which they dont. If people feel they are treated well then they work better, productivity is up and the customer feels he is getting a good service. If you treat Staff badly, productivity is reduced and customers look else where.

    When companies get this right, there turnover is low because they keep people so they dont have to pay agencies to recruit and save money that way.

    Ron has gone and no one will miss him, that does not mean being part of HP will be any better.

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  21. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @AC 'EDS - People are jumping'

    'The only ones they'll have left are the incompetent and infirm, anyone with self esteem will have gone.'

    Eh? Yes of course, because we all have lifestyles where upping sticks and finding a job 60-80 miles away is an option don't we. Which means I myself am one of the incompetent and infirm, and (according to YOU) lacking in self esteem. I agree that yes, some who are left will be as stated above, but then they were here to start with and are present in every work place.

    Just think for a second, that in some areas of EDS, there are NO other jobs in the IT market, especially in the current climate. And additionally, some of us 'incompetents' at EDS are actually making less money (literally and projectively) than 10 years ago sitting next to people on 10k+ more than us. But we have to suck it up.

    Options? Bankruptcy is an option I suppose, as is giving up and claiming benefits in the hope of something turning up.

    So before you lot who havent worked here drag the rest of us through the mud on here YET AGAIN, have a think about the fact that a) its middle/top management fooking the projects sideways, not the ground floor and b) some of us HAVE NO CHOICE but to work here, unless you class moving happily settled kids for every job acceptable (I dont).

    Ignotards!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weak Spineless Management

    HP and EDS are in this boat because of weak spineless management - this includes all of the current boards. One sure fire way to ultimately fail in any market is to continually piss off the people that work for you. I have worked for EDS for nearly 5 years. I joined EDS to A) get it on my CV as one of the biggies and B) to get certified in all the suff I know - as was told in the interview "Two external training courses per year" - I have had one in five years.

    The promotion regime is yes men/women only at EDS they are not interested in independent thinkers or people that can bring innovation or even more efficient and cost saving processes. The reason; the current management are so bad that if anybody good got into their ranks they would be exposing themselves. Mediocrity begets mediocrity begets mediocrity.

    So it is time for me to leave - before I jump ship I will A) be paying for my own training for a week (£1200) and B) wait until I have something to jump to.

    Everyone I know at EDS wants to leave, some don't becuse they just cruise, most of the others (good people in general) don't because of the money sunk into the pension scheme, EDS is too convenient for them or simply the value of just having a job in these dire economic days.

    I would rather have my teeth pulled than remain here on a long term basis. I have no respect for ANY of the managers in EDS or HP. I sincerely hope that what goes around, comes around for these high paid, low IQ, spineless tossers.

    Lastly - I am aware that companies need to make money...... They could make a shit load more of it if they promoted the right people and had any clue about recognising talent. As it is - the only way forward they see is cutting costs.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Doom and Gloom? - well not for me!!

    I've worked fro EDS for over 6 years now and can safely say it's been very enjoyable and rewarding. I can say this from experience after having worked in the IT industry for 20 years. I've worked for several corporate organisations and truly cannot fault EDS. I receive regular payrises AND performance related bonuses. All my training requirements are met and my benefits are substantial. I don't consider myself to be receiving special treatment but instead consider myself part of a medium sized group of people who actually prefer to work hard, get on with their jobs without moaning, be flexible and consistantly try to exceed their expectations. It's give and take with any employer but unfortunatley, the majority of people this day and age prefer the taking!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Some people missing the point

    Companies are made to generate profit, but if you screw over the employees and sacrifice R&D for "shareholder value" - you end up with an empty shell that can't survive.

    Companies used to know this. I'm not sure when the "excessive greed" button was hit that caused so many companies to purposefully screw the future for the now. When did the opinion of some talking head on Wall Street become law (analyst forecasts)?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Doom and Gloom? - well not for me!!

    is there another EDS out there?

    I dont think the majority of EDSers recognise what you are describing and they are working just as hard as you sunshine.

    Dont tar everyone with the same brush - you obviously work somewhere where your efforts are recognised. That isnt the case for the majority and it isnt their fault is it?

    Maybe you are one of the bean counters or managers whose success is measured by how much you screw those below you?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a Corporate Feeding Orgy!

    I too am an anonymous coward who has worked for EDS for over 20 years and have had just about enough of the rampant hypocrisy and corporate greed. Having been fed the "great news" about exceeding our Financial Targets for FY08 and the exciting news that the Corporate Bonus scheme will be initiated (in an internal email from Mark Hurd). All this while we - the poor suckers who delivered the financial performance - will have no salary increase, no bonus, no training and no internal travel. The Corporate Leaders made an absolute killing on the acquisition through their generous stock options and now the trough that's been prepared for the Corporate bonus scheme will be distributed among our well-respected and illustrious leaders. To add insult to injury, those same Corporate Leaders in EDS & HP are now expecting us to achieve our "Performance Targets" for FY09 - the usual crap - about how we must sell more and increase "wallet share" so that they have enough money to boot out a few more of us unfortunate and stupid suckers. My suspicion is that our pension fund is next in line for tipping into their trough.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for having a job at all and can thank my stars for that, particularly at my age. What I do hate more than anything else is dishonesty, hypocrisy and double-standards that goes unchallenged in the big greedy corporations. It's my belief that there is a feeding frenzy going on and no-one can stop it. Corporate Leaders are now busy grabbing whatever they can from their employees (by sacking them, cutting their salaries, whatever it takes) in order to provide themselves with a thick layer of fat for when the crunch comes.

    This is actually part of the same trend: consider those other well-respected institutions, namely our Banks and Financial Institutions who have been bailed out by the tax payer to the tune of several Trillions of dollars. Those same Corporate greedies immediately trousered the funds for their own bulging pockets - there's a saying "a leopard never changes its spots".

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