Is this the kind of person IBM would lay off?

by Volker Weber

Checking LinkedIn profiles of IBM employees who bag lots of recommendations in the last couple of days. Those are the one IBM does not seem to need anymore. This person for instance:

This is either a b/s artist, or a star. And he would not get so many recommendations if he were only a b/s artist. So he must be a star.

And here I was thinking that IBM would hire stars like him, if they could only find any.


IBM is big at doing this kind of stuff ... remember the take over of PWC Consulting ...

Claude Lehmann, 2009-01-27

It could be that companies like IBM are using the bad economy as cover to cut people they feel are overpaid. Then, when things pick back up, they can hire this person back at a 30-40% discount and this person will feel grateful just to have a job.

Michael Sobczak, 2009-01-27

Please explain that based on a review of LinkedIn profiles you have determined how IBM is going about laying off people, and that the wrong people have been let go.

Times are tough out there, no one wants to see people being laid off, but to speculate based on very thin information how a company internally made these decisions and publicly draw conclusions is absurd.

Mitch Cohen, 2009-01-27

Mitch, this is pretty simple. Look for messages from people asking to be recommended because they are being layed off by IBM. Follow the social graph from there. Recommendations are the only act of solidarity possible. Talk about the layoffs and your head comes off.

Do I know the "wrong people" have been laid off? Of course not. I can only find out which people are being laid off.

Volker Weber, 2009-01-27

As my "experienced" laid off friends called me over the last few days, I couldn't help but wonder about this article I read recently...

Carl Tyler, 2009-01-27

The comments linked from your first post about the lay-offs had quite a few remarks along the lines of "can't see how they decided who to lay off" and "was laid off after 20 years, consistent top-performer" or "performance ratings did not matter".

Actually, I would not be surprised if they just laid off every nth person on the list. Bean counters are pragmatic like that.

That makes it simple and fair. And it works out beautifully because as we all know, everybody is replaceable. All you need are documented processes, quality management and a substantial internal auditing infrastructure.

Nobody needs superstars, people just need to follow the damn processes and everything will be fine.

This "we have processes, QA and audit, we'll be OK" approach always works perfectly, regardless of whether you're offshoring stuff to India or re-building your teams once the economy recovers.

Warning: this comment may contain irony.

Joerg Michael, 2009-01-27

Individual blog posts are starting to back this up - see JF Arsenault's post on being resource actioned:For the uninitiated, the term Resource Action means I’ve been given 30 days to find a new position within IBM. Yes, you read that right… I guess the rumors were true after all. And like many, I didn’t want to believe them - at the worst, I never thought I’d be affected by this. I mean, for the last 5 years, I’ve always been rated as a Top Performer I was identified as Top Talent (management potential), and even received an IBM Stock (not options) Award as a retainer.

Stuart McIntyre, 2009-01-28

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