back to article IBM marketeers rub out chopper after visit from CEO Ginni

IBM has tried to erase the photograph of the Big Blue chopper that CEO, president and chairman Ginny Rometty used to fly to the UK R&D labs recently, because it didn’t fit with the corporate austerity message. The company recently issued a directive forcing staff to seek supporting evidence before spending more than £75 on …

  1. Your alien overlord - fear me
    Black Helicopters

    One rule for the rich......

    No blue helicopter icons - el Reg having an austerity drive?

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Just something to think about...

      You can easily calculate the following:

      1) How much Rometty makes per hour. (Including her millions in bonus for captaining the titanic...)

      2) How much it costs per hour of flight time for the private helicopter and/or jets.

      3) How much it would cost to build out a customized mini-van to drive as well as the cost of the trip in terms of gas, driver, etc ...

      Then you can see how things play out...

      1. 2Nick3

        Re: Just something to think about...

        You forgot the cost for the accountant to figure out all of that, the auditor to make sure it's right, the executive review to change it, the accountant's time to revise...

        1. englishr

          Re: Just something to think about...

          "You forgot the cost for the accountant to figure out all of that, the auditor to make sure it's right, the executive review to change it, the accountant's time to revise..."

          ...and the printing costs of the 1000-page report, with 10% of pages marked "This page intentionally left blank".

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @2Nick3 Re: Just something to think about...

          No, I didn't.

          That was just the beginning.

          Its the raw numbers.

          There's more to this in terms of accounting.

          Do you own / lease the vehicles?

          Depreciation? (Accelerated Depreciation?)

          Yeah, the bean counters can spin this anyway they want.

          They can say that the 45 min flight is faster than a 2 hour drive and that Rometty's time is more valuable and would be wasted in a drive. Or private jets for 8 people can be cheaper than 8 tickets when you consider that the plane is on their schedule and that they can do work on the flight where as on a public plane, they wouldn't be able to openly discuss work and need to be careful about their laptops being open... etc ...

          And yes, even with all of the facts, that doesn't mean that they can't be over ridden ...

          1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: @2Nick3 Just something to think about...

            Rometty's time is more valuable and would be wasted in a drive.

            Does she not have a laptop? Shirley, she could be adding up the savings resulting from the impending layoffs, or calculating her next bonus or something else important, during the drive.

            On the train to work every day, I'm surrounded by people using their laptops.

            Drivers are much less expensive than helicopter pilots.

            1. R 11

              Re: @2Nick3 Just something to think about...

              Does she not have a laptop?

              This is IBM we're talking about. You're thinking about Lenovo; they're the ones with the laptops.

            2. Eltonga

              Re: @2Nick3 Just something to think about...

              On the train to work every day, I'm surrounded by people using their laptops.

              Thomas Watson Jr. used to do that (commuting by train to NYC, I mean). And he was by that time General Manager of IBM World Corporation, IIRC the name, which was the company used for external trade by IBM.

        3. Overcharged Aussie

          Re: Just something to think about...

          You forgot the cost for the accountant to figure out all of that, the auditor to make sure it's right, the executive review to change it, the accountant's time to revise...

          ...the Project Manager to prepare the project brief, plan, work packages, budget, project board, status reports, staff impact statements, project gateways, post implementation review, project closure report.

          I'm sure marketing would want to be involved as well checking that the font used in the press release was correct, the blue of the carpet was the correct Pantone colour, etc.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just something to think about...

          Whoa whoa whoa - don't forget it makes no sense to employ people like that at your company. Focus on what you're GOOD at! Outsource those positions to IBM!

          ***in other words, tack on a 50% markup for the same service you could've gotten by just employing that person directly

        5. R 11

          Re: Just something to think about...

          Can't Watson do that stuff? The accountant, auditor and executive reviewer can all have their P45.

      2. Smooth Newt
        Happy

        Re: Just something to think about...

        It rather assumes that she would be doing something profitable for IBM with the time saved by using a helicopter, and that the perceived "Austerity is just for you little people" message has no significant effect on the productivity of the people at IBM who aren't already spending their entire working day looking for a better job.

        1. goldcd

          Re: Just something to think about...

          Also assumes that the visit itself didn't have an impact on production.

          Maybe IBM is more rational than my employer, but my guess is that everybody spent the last couple of weeks running around like headless chickens to pull together presentations demonstrating how wonderful and critically important the site is.

      3. zMFer

        Ginni = Failure, 4-IBMerz ;-[ - Re: Just something to think about...

        Yes, it's called linear mathematics - I cannot fathom WHY the w. buffet biz-geniuses of the world can't see it??!?!!

        ginni + marissa = DISASTERz i.e., for IBMers & YAHOOers...

        S-A-D-!

        ;-[[

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ginni = Failure, 4-IBMerz ;-[ - Just something to think about...

          >ginni + marissa = DISASTERz i.e., for IBMers & YAHOOers...

          Yeah as Enron showed the ultimate macho culture largely free of women in leadership is so much better for shareholders in the long run. Plenty of incompetent men CEOs as well some of whom are actually committing crimes. I hope the tweet footer was satire and not the world's lamest dog whistle.

          1. zMFer

            Re: Ginni = Failure, 4-IBMerz ;-[ - Just something to think about...

            No, GENDER is irrelevant, here, anonymous fool...

            ;-]

            wake up and smell ur starbux!!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ginni = Failure, 4-IBMerz ;-[ - Just something to think about...

              * Throws HP-INC/HPE's Meg Whitman into the mix, sit's back and reaches for the brandy sniffer..*

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ginni = Failure, 4-IBMerz ;-[ - Just something to think about...

              >No, GENDER is irrelevant,

              Then why not point to someone like Léo Apotheker as an example who in far less time not only made a mockery of his company (and exposed their horrible board) but overpaid by nearly 10 billion dollars for a company worth less than 2? She definitely didn't drop the stock value more than 40% in less than a year. Ginni may be a failure but considering the company, turning that behemoth (especially after the stock buy back hari kari) around takes a rock star.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      my 2 cents

      Personally if I was working for Big Blue I wouldn't mind seeing the CEO in a chopper at all if revenue actually had a prayer of growing ever again. My currently company has been having record quarters lately in all metrics and the stock and bonuses have made me very happy. Therefore as far as I am concerned our CEO (who build company up over two decades) can go enjoy a giant yacht (not his style though).

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        @ happy AC Re: my 2 cents

        "...and the stock and bonuses have made me very happy. "

        What is this 'bonuses' you talk about? The stocks, I am well aware of. They used to chafe but now I have calluses on my wrists and neck.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We make choppers...

    ... so we need people buying and using them, to keep our jobs. Stop blaming them! <G>

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sooner her, and her ilk are "choppered" from the company the better.

    1. Doctor Huh?
      Paris Hilton

      Choppering out the Execs -- Priceless. Cost of the Parachute -- AUUUUGHHH

      I would agree that the current executive team at IBM has done about as well as an equivalent number of Irish Setters might be expected to do, but unlike the canines, allowing a mediocre-to-incompetent executive to walk gracefully into the sunset costs multiple millions of dollars/pounds/euros (doesn't really matter what currency you use when you start talking about 20-50 million units -- the figure is simply obscene).

      I

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Choppering out the Execs -- Priceless. Cost of the Parachute -- AUUUUGHHH

        That's not a setter, that's a retriever ... Totally ball-driven. For values of "ball" that include "personal wealth to the detriment of everything else", of course. Typical modern executive. Alas.

        Corporate austerity (except the ruling class) is the new black ... Get used to it, it's not going away until the Nintendo Generation is out to pasture ... and maybe not then; I'm not all that impressed with the millennials.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Choppering out the Execs -- Priceless. Cost of the Parachute -- AUUUUGHHH

          >I'm not all that impressed with the millennials.

          There are reasons to tear into them (complete lack of understanding of privacy for example) but very few of them are executives yet especially at a company like IBM. Hell most of them haven't even paid off their student loans yet.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Choppering out the Execs -- Priceless. Cost of the Parachute -- AUUUUGHHH

        >walk gracefully into the sunset costs multiple millions of dollars/pounds/euros

        Well a lifetime of back stabbing and general sociopath behavior has to have some kind of sick value to society or you wouldn't have golden parachutes and the mouth breathers watching Survivor.

      3. the Jim bloke Silver badge

        Re: Choppering out the Execs -- Priceless. Cost of the Parachute -- AUUUUGHHH

        At Last..

        A use for the Zimbabwe Dollar..

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      On yer bike!

      The sooner her, and her ilk are "choppered" from the company the better.

      Why not get her one of these?

      Chopper

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was so hoping for her to demonstrate a new innovation

    I was so hoping for her to demonstrate a new innovation - Ejection seats for helicopters

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: I was so hoping for her to demonstrate a new innovation

      Hate to tell you - there are helicopters with ejection seats: Kamov Ka-50.

      (However, there is also a little comic by André Franquin demonstrating the effect you had in mind, but I couldn't find a linky.)

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: I was so hoping for her to demonstrate a new innovation

        Back in the late 70s the Americans were experimenting with upward seat ejection for helicopters.

        In the high-speed slo-mo footage I saw the helicopter in question had a four-blade rotor. Explosive bolts sheared first one opposed pair of blades from he rotor hub, then the other, then the roof was discarded before the seat rockets fired.

        As I recall, "significant challenges" were faced to make all this happen reliably and in the right order and the idea was eventually shelved as Harriers were making big inroads to the military strike helicopter market.

        I think, were I piloting a failing helicopter fitted with such an escape mechanism, my first thought would be to attempt any other option before chancing the complex ejector seat mechanism built on a low-bid contract.

        1. FrankAlphaXII

          Re: I was so hoping for her to demonstrate a new innovation

          We only tested that on the XH-56 Cheyenne and only for the envelope expansion tests. It replaced the gunner's seat on Airframe number 9 during a phase of tests, but the program got cancelled immediately following those tests. And no, it ejected downward. I think you're talking about the Kamov Black Shark, which has a rotor blade or the entire hub explode off and then the pilot/gunner eject.

          The Cheyenne never made it out of testing, though it did have a permanent model number assigned, the AH-56. It wasn't a good idea but it wasn't because of the Harrier or the promises Bell and Boeing made about the stupid Osprey, its not a good idea to have light aircraft pulling CAS duties. The Kiowas were barely usable in Afghanistan, when your air support is below you most of the time, there's a problem but at least they could actually somewhat fly.

          The Cheyenne would have struggled with the jobs that the Army wound up handing to the Kiowa, Blackhawk and Apache, though it probably would have made an excellent light, high speed reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition aircraft. Thats not good enough though, not for the modern Army anyway, as the Armed Scout Helicopter and Light Helicopter Experimental projects have proven over and over.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I was so hoping for her to demonstrate a new innovation

      From the article referenced by the CP - "For improved pilot survivability the Ka-50 is fitted with a NPP Zvezda (transl. Star) K-37-800 ejection seat, which is a rare feature for a helicopter.[21] Before the rocket in the ejection seat deploys, the rotor blades are blown away by explosive charges in the rotor disc and the canopy is jettisoned.[22]"

      A nice to have feature but if I were a Russian helicopter pilot I might be a little alarmed at being in a vehicle which can blow off its own rotor blades.

      Incidentally, what is it about women CEOs and personal air transport? There was Fiorina and the multi-jet business that turned out not to be a new printer, and now this.

  5. kmac499

    I dunno which Is dummerer <sic>,. an attempt to erase history or the crass stupidity of posting the chopper piccy in the first place.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I dunno which Is dummerer"

      Neither. Say what you like about IBM, they are consistent.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: they are consistent

        I haven't seen it for myself, but I am told that there has long been a photo hanging on the wall of Hursley of a group of big-wigs at the opening with their arms raised in a curious fashion. The explanation, apparently, is that the celebratory glasses of champagne were painstakingly airbrushed out as they were in clear violation of the "no alcohol on the premises" rule. Consistent, indeed.

        1. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: they are consistent

          I heard the same story at HP, Amdahl, DEC, Western Digital and Intel regarding various grand openings. No proof of the whitewashing, of course. At best, I'd say the stories are apocryphal (especially seeing as I attended friday afternoon "beer busts" at all of the above at one time or another ...).

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Posting the pic was indeed stupid, but coherent.

      Removing the pic after it had attained the global Internet conscience is an order of magnitude more stupid because it demonstrates just how out of touch those responsible for this whole mess are. It shows that they have no idea of what the Streisand effect is, of what Facebook/Twitter/Instagram are or how people use them, nor indeed of how the Internet never forgets.

      Now, instead of Ginni being forever referred to as the CEO who cuts underlings' expenses from a helicopter, she will now be referred to as the CEO who tried and failed to hide her public use of a helicopter whilst cutting underlings' expenses.

      Some people can learn from the past, some must have the lessons bashed repeatedly in their face to get through their thick skulls. Seems like those who made this dismally stupid decision are of the latter group.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Swansong

        She retires soon, so is making the most of it while on expenses.

    3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      "I dunno which Is dummerer <sic>,. an attempt to erase history or the crass stupidity of posting the chopper piccy in the first place."

      Why should any dummkopf settle on just one dumb choice when he/she/they can pick both?

  6. Youngdog
    Joke

    Hmmm, an Aérospatiale/Eurocopter Dauphin 2...

    ...I guess IBM aren't on-board with the whole 'Hire American, Buy American' theme then

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm, an Aérospatiale/Eurocopter Dauphin 2...

      That's the real reason the pic was removed.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Hmmm, an Aérospatiale/Eurocopter Dauphin 2...

      It was probably a rental from Starspeed.

  7. McCovican
    Go

    All Hands to the "Share" Buttons

    They should know by now that trying to get photos deleted from the internet is like a giant flashing beacon to have that photo plastered across every news rag, forum, and social thingymabob - complete with liberal applications of photoshop phuckery.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: All Hands to the "Share" Buttons

      Indeed. Looks like the memo hasn't reached PR yet...

      Link

      I wonder how long this will last.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    When I read the phrase "Big Blue chopper" I imagined IBM had come up with a machine that made people redundant. I'm a bit disappointed it turned out to be a helicopter. A remorseless sacking machine would be a good application for Watson.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      I thought it was a new and extremely contagious STD.

    2. asdf Silver badge

      hey another excuse to quote my favorite movie

      > A remorseless sacking machine would be a good application for Watson.

      "Aw, sh1t. Half the country works for Brawndo.

      Not anymore! The stock has dropped to zero... and the computer did that auto-layoff thing to everybody."

  10. Bob Vistakin
    Coat

    Intense Bowel Movements

    Still showering down on the staff from the high and mighty management then.

  11. HmmmYes

    As far as Im concerned, she can ride on a fucking huge helicopter, flown by male strippers *IF* IBM updates some of the software we (used) to pay support for.

    As she/they havent - despite a long list of bugs - she can fucking hitch hike from Heathrow.

  12. whileI'mhere

    That'll be Ginny Streisand then (or Barbara Rometty)

  13. IGnatius T Foobar

    India Business Machines?

    Didn't they used to be a technology company?

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: India Business Machines?

      No, they chase you for PPI and whiplash claims.

  14. Paul Herber Silver badge

    Woolworths, TWA, PanAm, Enron, IBM ...

  15. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    IBM marketeers rub out chopper

    Glad they could rub one out for her...........ugh

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too scared to arrive by car

    The perimeter road around the Hursley site is in part not owned by IBM.

    As such people can assemble to protest and security cannot move them on.

    Perhaps she was too scared to face the 21 bum salute she so richly deserves?

  17. grumpyoldeyore
    Black Helicopters

    Management & HR....

    .. always advocate taking a helicopter view ....

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Helicopter management

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/283260

    http://thehumanfactor.biz/are-you-a-helicopter-manager/

  19. HKmk23

    and this is from the company

    who in 1947 said there was only room for five computers in the whole world! Who said you cannot get the sack for buying IBM..... I know I would sack any moron who did!

  20. Working Grunt

    Takes the biscuit!

    In fact the packet, Box and the whole flippin store!

    Hopes people wont notice if the pic is deleted. Probably also hopes the staff don't notice that passenger on said chopper was recently awarded a 60% increase and a 30% bonus for managing the 20th straight quarter of decline.

  21. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Time for a swan song?

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