John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

“Investing in Our People.” Is That Another Layoff Euphemism, IBM?

“We’re not looking back, we’re looking ahead. We’re continuing to invest in R&D, in strategic acquisitions, in growth initiatives–and most importantly, during these difficult times, in our people.”

IBM CEO Sam Palmisano in his letter to shareholders last year

So much for IBM’s lifetime employment concept.

In 2009, the company sacked as many as 10,000 employees. Now comes word of thousands more losing their jobs in what the company likes to refer to as “resource actions.”

The Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701 Web site, which tracks layoffs at IBM (IBM), reports that some 2,544 IBM employees have been let go this week, with more to follow. And unsurprisingly, the group says off-shoring is, once again, to blame.

Evidently, RA’d employees are being asked to train their overseas replacements before they’re cut. “IBM is shifting work offshore,” Alliance@IBM national director Lee Conrad told me. “The company appears to be abandoning the US workforce.”

And this, not two months after IBM announced that its full-year profit will be at least $11 a share, exceeding earlier targets.

What was that about investing in our people, again, Sam?

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik