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IBM Promises To Hire 25,000 Americans As Tech Executives Set To Meet Trump (reuters.com) 244

IBM Chief Executive Ginni Rometty has pledged to "hire about 25,000 professionals in the next four years in the United States" as she and other technology executives prepared to meet with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday. Reuters reports: IBM had nearly 378,000 employees at the end of 2015, according to the company's annual report. While the firm does not break out staff numbers by country, a review of government filings suggests IBM's U.S. workforce declined in each of the five years through 2015. When asked why IBM planned to increase its U.S. workforce after those job cuts, company spokesman Ian Colley said in an email that Rometty had laid out the reasons in her USA Today piece. Her article did not acknowledge that IBM had cut its U.S. workforce, although it called on Congress to quickly update the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act that governs federal support for vocational education. "We are hiring because the nature of work is evolving," she said. "As industries from manufacturing to agriculture are reshaped by data science and cloud computing, jobs are being created that demand new skills -- which in turn requires new approaches to education, training and recruiting." She said IBM intended to invest $1 billion in the training and development of U.S. employees over the next four years. Pratt declined to say if that represented an increase over spending in the prior four years.
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IBM Promises To Hire 25,000 Americans As Tech Executives Set To Meet Trump

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @11:34PM (#53481049)

    I suppose they'd have to let go of 50K already here first as well.

    • by ranton ( 36917 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @11:55PM (#53481153)

      Your comment seems half in jest, but then again so must IBM's statement be. Saying they will hire 25k professionals over 4 years is meaningless. They didn't say they will have a 25k net greater number of US professionals, just that they will hire 25k people over 4 years. With 84k US employees today (roughly), it would only take a 7.5% yearly turnover for them to hit that target with no net job increases at all. The only extra bit of information is that they intend their US workforce to be greater in 2020 than it is today, which would be true even if they only gain a few dozen jobs.

      This type of PR drivel is only possible in a country with math education so poor there is a market for tip calculators.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14, 2016 @12:20AM (#53481243)

        Quality of math ability has nothing to do with mis understanding IBM statement. The text has so many loopholes and incomplete ideas, its possible for the lay person to think one thing when reality a completely different outcome is also possible with both being true. I dont know how many people IBM hire in a single year, but from what i have seen they often hire lots of contractors for each and every project. With that in mind 25000 new names over 4 years might not be all that different from the same number of contractors they had over the past few years.

        As always, the real problem is that people dont realise that these announcements are written in a way to deceive from the outset, maths has nothing to do with any thing.

        • by ranton ( 36917 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2016 @12:38AM (#53481309)

          As always, the real problem is that people don't realize that these announcements are written in a way to deceive from the outset, maths has nothing to do with any thing.

          I admittedly was lumping concepts like logical reasoning and number sense into the field of mathematics when I made my comment. But that certainly wasn't clear when I used an example of simple computation to criticize math skills. IMO, the worst part of having poor math skills is not the inability to compute numbers, but the inability to identify flawed reasoning especially when numbers are involved. A personal pet peeve of mine is when someone says they were good at math in school except for word problems, which only shows they were quite poor at math but could at least do some simple computation.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You mean you actually pay for a tip calculator??

        How much did you add in as a gratuity?

        Vexing questions indeed!

      • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

        This type of PR drivel is only possible in a country with math education so poor there is a market for tip calculators.

        I'm pretty good at math, but not so good at arithmetic.

      • Your comment seems half in jest, but then again so must IBM's statement be. Saying they will hire 25k professionals over 4 years is meaningless. They didn't say they will have a 25k net greater number of US professionals, just that they will hire 25k people over 4 years. With 84k US employees today (roughly), it would only take a 7.5% yearly turnover for them to hit that target with no net job increases at all. The only extra bit of information is that they intend their US workforce to be greater in 2020 than it is today, which would be true even if they only gain a few dozen jobs.

        This type of PR drivel is only possible in a country with math education so poor there is a market for tip calculators.

        This isn't math. It's bullshit jargon written in legalese.

      • What this likely means...

        Is that when the churn occurs, they will hire Americans instead of H1B visas. But there is a reason for this. Many government agencies are applying pressure on contractor firms to no longer use H1B visa holders. And that the awards of future contracts may in part be based on those who have the higher percentage of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

        So essentially, they could be saying "We have 25,000 government contracting positions for which we are being told that employing H1B

        • by ranton ( 36917 )

          So essentially, they could be saying "We have 25,000 government contracting positions for which we are being told that employing H1B visa holders can jeopardize the awarding of contracts. So for these contracts, when an employee leaves, we will replace them with U.S. workers."

          She could be saying that, but considering her careful wording it is quite doubtful. The language of her actual article [usatoday.com] includes the same language CEO's are using to justify H1B labor today. This includes stating we need new skills for the new economy (with the implication her current and former employees couldn't have been retrained) and that the US government needs to redouble efforts to train more future employees (or else IBM will need to continue hiring H1B holders).

          Obviously you cannot know for certain

        • I figured this means IBM et al. are working with the Trumpster to fast-track US citizenship for qualified H1-B applicants.

    • The "nice" thing about post-fact politics is that you don't need to keep your promises.

    • AND this was Obama saying this, wanna bet the media and 99% of liberals would be championing this? But, that wasn't Obama's mission...to try to stimulate job growth. His was to try to continue to destroy the USA.
  • ...but I am unprofessional, so I guess I ain't getting a job at IBM.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      After working with IBM Global Services for thirteen years, I think being unprofessional is a requirement.

    • That is great... ...but I am unprofessional

      Don't worry, we already knew that.

      • Don't worry, we already knew that.

        I used to work for IBM. We all BM for IBM. I parted peaceably, so in theory I could go work for them again, but since I've made a bunch of public comments about their role in the Holocaust since, odds are probably against it.

  • Translation (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @11:40PM (#53481077)

    They'll buy 50 companies with an average of 1000 US workers each, then lay half of them off.

  • by NothingWasAvailable ( 2594547 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @11:42PM (#53481087)

    The leopard doesn't change it's spots.

    IBM's principle strategy for the past decade has been moving work to lower cost countries (layoffs), stock buybacks, and acquiring other companies; these lower costs, increase earnings per share, and starve R&D of funding.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Not matter what the leopard chooses, if the meal is not accessible it will starve and in this case the simple government expedient of forcing all government funded contracts to be carried out by US citizens within the US, will force companies to comply, whether they want to or not. Sure some will bitch, the insanely greedy but the rest will accept it as long as it is an equal playing field (in the end they will be economically better off, ignoring insane short term destructive psychopathic greed).

      • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2016 @06:54AM (#53482167)

        "forcing all government funded contracts to be carried out by US citizens within the US, will force companies to comply"

        Nope. You forget companies are adept at gaming a system, any system. They have legions of lawyers to figure out how to do that and they can pay much more than the hired guns for the U.S. government. And the U.S. spends roughly $4 Trillion out of a $19 Trillion economy, but most of that is cash payments and stuff that could only funded within the U.S. regardless of what is offered in foreign countries.

        What's likely to happen is that Trump does his Monkey Dance on Twitter complaining about some perceived inequality. Companies will make treks to Trump Tower where Trump will receive them. Trump will make some grand pronouncement of a deal that only he could make. Companies will laugh all the way home on how they took that rube to the cleaners. Everybody is happy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      The purpose of the Trump presidency is to oversee the end of USD Hegemony and the transition to a UN mediated reserve currency for foreign exchange.

      The USD has been artificially strong since the Nixon Shock, the reasons of which are significant but not relevant to my point. This was a political move, at that time. The goals of USD imperialism have been achieved, and the imbalances caused by this system (see the the Triffin Paradox [wikipedia.org]) mean it is in everyone's interest to move to this system.

      An immediate conse

      • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2016 @03:06AM (#53481739) Journal

        The purpose of the Trump presidency is to oversee the end of USD Hegemony and the transition to a UN mediated reserve currency for foreign exchange.

        Hah, hah, very funny conspiracy theory you have there.

        In reality, it's much simpler, and far more obvious. The purpose of the Trump presidency is to enrich Donald Trump.

        • by Tesen ( 858022 )

          The purpose of the Trump presidency is to oversee the end of USD Hegemony and the transition to a UN mediated reserve currency for foreign exchange.

          Hah, hah, very funny conspiracy theory you have there.

          In reality, it's much simpler, and far more obvious. The purpose of the Trump presidency is to enrich Donald Trump.

          "And those he and the Republican congress see fit to enrich..."

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14, 2016 @09:07AM (#53482551)

          > In reality, it's much simpler, and far more obvious. The purpose of the Trump presidency is to enrich Donald Trump.

          I disagree. I think the the purpose of a Trump presidency is

          (a) For Trump to try to fill that hole in his heart created by an unloving and disapproving father - the man is a walking needball craving approval and adoration, right now he's doing a god damn victory tour, who does that? All the generals he's filling the cabinet with are father-surrogates he imprinted on while in a military boarding school.

          (b) For Bannon to tear down the institutions of government (as evidence for this I point to all of the cabinet appointments of either incompetents like Carson or those outright hostile to the very mission of the departments they will head, like EPA, Energy, Labor and Justice).

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Yes, except for one thing, the rest of the world sucks, legally. The reason the U.S. dollar is THE reserve currency is because of trust. The reason the Chinese renminbi is not is because no one trusts the Chinese government further than they can spit a two-headed rat. No other currencies are big enough.

        And your conspiracy theory is stupid.
         

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The reason the U.S. dollar is THE reserve currency is because our military and "trade treaties" are deliberately tasked to promptly squash any and all pretenders to the crown.
          No one really trusts the U.S. dollar any more, but there's little alternative at the moment. We took out Hussein and Gaddafi because they made too much noise about limiting the destructive influence and systematic theft of the petrodollar mechanism. Others will meet the same fate.
          Our Q.E. program alone is proof we can't really be trust

    • The R&D starvation is pandemic in the US.

      CEOs and shareholders are shortsighted greedy bastards or bitches, as applies.

      • The R&D starvation is pandemic in the US.

        Israel and Korea spend the most on R&D, at about 4% of GDP each. But America is still in the top ten. China's R&D spending is rising the fastest. Countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe tend to invest the least.

        • by gtall ( 79522 )

          Wait until Trump wastes U.S. R&D. He won't understand its function and no one will be able to explain it to someone who has the attention span of gnat.

    • The leopard doesn't change it's spots.

      IBM's principle strategy for the past decade has been moving work to lower cost countries (layoffs), stock buybacks, and acquiring other companies; these lower costs, increase earnings per share, and starve R&D of funding.

      This is correct but I'd add to this that apparently one thing they aren't doing as they lay off US workers is laying off US management. I believe we've had reports of this and through a remote family connection I know a US IBM employee in middle management who has expressed zero concern about ever being laid off. All I can say is my previous employer did this too - laid off many of the US employees and kept the US based management - and it didn't work out so well for them. One of the things we found is t

      • by Deagol ( 323173 )

        Now there's a name I haven't heard of in a long time.

        My first ever Unix account was on a Sequent Symmetry in 1990 for CS101 (RIP sage.cc.purdue.edu). The OS was Dynix, and I think the machine had six i386 cores.

        Ah, those were the days, before shadowed passwords and TTYs with proper permissions. All via 9600-baud serial connections in the dorms. Fun stuff.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @11:49PM (#53481115)

    Heard it before - they tout how many new hires they've brought in over the years. What they don't say is they do it through letting older, higher-salaried employees go. If you lay off one engineer that's been with the company 20+ years and making $120k, it's easy to hire one or two new college grads making $50k. I'd estimate the 25k new hires will be at the expense of 10k-12k experienced engineers.

    I was lucky - I left IBM five years ago and six months before my entire team was moved offshore. A part of me still has fond memories of IBM, but it's heartbreaking to hear all the stories of really good, experienced engineers that have received top ratings year after year suddenly get a low rating with no explanation and let go two months later. It's happened quite a bit, and it's sad.

    There used to be a movement to get a union going at IBM (Alliance@IBM), and on its website you could read a number of stories off the layoffs for younger or offshore replacements, but IBM eventually got to them and they folded.

    • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2016 @12:58AM (#53481369)

      The answer is blowing in the wind. ~ Bob Dylan

      I was a suit at Mobil Oil in the IT department.

      They kicked us all out and hired "contract" people.

      The people in Dallas walked across the street to Kodak.

      I got an email from my replacement(s) asking me questions like the password for this and that and asking how the spaghetti code tied the mainframe into the local area networks tying Beaumont, Dallas, and Reston together via a T1 with Unix boxes (ca. 1996).

      I had the complete list of email addresses at the time and I replied with .cc to the big players, including Fairfax, that, "Mobil Oil has made certain business "rightsizing" decisions and I fully support the corporation's new direction and we should all begin, immediately, to trust the expertise of the "best of breed" new players that were selected to work within the new paradigm."

      I got some calls from my former managers and had lots of fun with that.

      I found a new job in four days.

    • by shanen ( 462549 )

      You must still be working to choose AC status? Afraid of the retribution?

      I spent much of my career in various parts of the Big Blue machine, and it was sad to watch the devolution. I still think "respect for the individual, customer service, and quality" were good principles to build a company on. Last I heard the buzzword was something like "cognitive solutions in the cloud", though that didn't get much mention in the CEO's post-election fawning letter. (I actually interpreted the primary objective as a wa

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @11:54PM (#53481143)

    Will Trump have time to meet with every one of them? That's a lot of executives!

  • Why IBM was so racist? Why didn't they bring jobs when Obama was a president. Why didn't they stand behind Hillary. They could h have promised a fraction of those jobs in Michigan, and Hillary could have won Michigan (lost by approx 10K votes).

    • Why IBM was so racist? Why didn't they bring jobs when Obama was a president. Why didn't they stand behind Hillary. They could h have promised a fraction of those jobs in Michigan, and Hillary could have won Michigan (lost by approx 10K votes).

      Let's assume, just for a moment, that you're actually asking those questions for real. Racist? Please. But why not add employees while Obama was president? Still grinding our way out of the Great Recession despite many administration policies that seem intended to slow that down, and a general administration posture on everything from finance and regulation to taxes and contracting that was overtly hostile to business in the US.

      And ... Hillary? What exactly do you think Hillary Clinton, as president, wo

      • by khallow ( 566160 )

        And ... Hillary? What exactly do you think Hillary Clinton, as president, would have done that would have been more attractive to IBM and its customers? Be specific.

        They might still have hired 25k employees. Acting like they're doing this for the next president is likely to be good for them no matter who is in charge.

  • last I heard IBM only hired Americans for Sales. They were essentially a company you went to for access to cheap (usually Indian) tech workers, often on dubious H1-B visas...
  • Bullshit Reporting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14, 2016 @12:29AM (#53481283)

    When is all that talk about fake news supposed to go into effect? Hiring '25K people in the USA' is in no way equivalent to hiring '25K Americans' and in no way excludes hiring H1-Bs nor excludes contracting to a contracting firm and claiming you've hired everybody at the firm (that's often a selling point: Our firm has 9K years worth of graduate experience behind it). It also makes no mention on the amount of people you're going to fire (but at least the summary does make a note of that). Hire 25K, fire 30K, retire 7K?

    Since the knowingly immoral interpenetration of the quotes was directly used to create the blatantly false headline, does that categorize this story as fake news? And people wonder why the trust in journalism has been near completely eroded.

    • Seriously why do so make people here have trouble with basic English words like "fake" and "news". It's almost like you don't want to understand. Let me break it down for you.

      The claim is IBM made a pledge. Is this new infrmation? Yes. That makes it news.

      Did IBM in fact make the pledge? Yes. Therefore the news is real, a.k.a. not fake.

      Is IBM telling porkies and/or weaselling? Who knows. Quite possibly, but that does not make the news that IBM made a pledge fake.

  • Incorrect headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2016 @12:46AM (#53481337) Homepage Journal

    The actual quote:

    "We have thousands of open positions at any given moment, and we intend to hire about 25,000 professionals in the next four years in the United States," Rometty wrote in a USA Today piece published on Tuesday afternoon.

    Ginni Rometty did not indicate that IBM would hire Americans. They would hire " 25,000 professionals in the next four years in the United States" - and Ginni did not specify "additional." For all we know they could be laying off 25K Americans and be bringing in 25K H1-B and L-1 workers to replace them.

    Next paragraph:

    IBM spokesman Adam Pratt declined to say how that hiring might be offset by staff reductions or disclose how many people IBM employs in the United States.

    See? It is nothing but DoublePlusGood DoubleSpeak.

    • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
      Well, H1-B is limited to 65k per year (if the cap is not raised). L1 is a different story, though.
  • First Carrier and now IBM are treating Trump like a prostitute treats a john. Appeal to his ego while giving him absolutely nothing, just so Trump can tell his followers that he knocked off a piece and she was begging for it.

    Meanwhile, he's doing photo ops with Kanye West at Trump Tower. 2017 is gonna be fun.

    • First Carrier and now IBM are treating Trump like a prostitute treats a john. Appeal to his ego while giving him absolutely nothing, just so Trump can tell his followers that he knocked off a piece and she was begging for it.

      There is no prostitution going on here, only theater. (While the historical connection between prostitution and theater is well-documented, it is not highly relevant here.) Trump doesn't need actual victories, he only needs apparent victories.

  • ... because this is a preemptive strike before the ass-chewing when he calls in the blue chips.

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      The blue chips will own Trump. His business record indicates he's really more or less a rube with Sgt. Bilko's abilities as a small time bunko artist.

  • I was stealth laid off by IBM (merger, contract release) along with a couple hundred of my friends in August. Your axe is bloodier than most, IBM.
  • Will HR still pass over vocational education people?
    Say we want the 4+ year piece of paper so no job for you?
    and so on?

  • Hiring 25,000 employees in the US doesn't mean increasing IBM's number of employees in the US or that the "new" employees will be US citizens or even living in the US when they become employees, i. e., H1-B visa employees, or renewing contractor employees on a one year contract. Maybe somebody has asked or should ask what will happen to the number of full time, current US citizens that will be added to their employment roster, the change in its total number of US based employees, as well as other relevant q
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      As Trump does not care about actually doing something for the unemployed and the poor, but would (at this time) very much like to give the apparency of caring, these numbers are just what he needs. As most of the press will not look too closely and most Trump voters either understand what is going on and do not mind (a minority) or are too stupid to understand the reality of things and that they are getting screwed, this will work fine.

  • Used to be IBM policy to stay out of politics, but did you read Rometty's fawning open letter to Trump after. There's a copy on the IBM website, too, but I suspect the main effort was emailing it to all the employees to keep them quiet. At least one employee did respond by quitting.

  • IBM has bled talented people for quite a while and sacked a lot of others. They probably got rid of quite a few more people than they can actually afford at the moment and now can sell re-hiring some of them as great contribution. And in a year or two, they can quietly fire most of them again.

  • Zero benefits, no health insurance, and like everyone else in Trump's America (other than Trump), they'll be working every Saturday for straight pay.

    Just like my local grocery store - part of a very large national chain - everyone is part time, except the manager. #MAGA
  • My guess would be that they intended to do whatever they where intended to do anyway, so regardless if Trump or Hillary or even Sanders would have become president, they would have done the same thing.

  • ... repeats? IBM loves despots, evidently. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
  • Do they really need that many janitors? I mean, it's not as if they're going to hire tech people. IBM has already shoved most of those offshore.

  • Parsing out that statement, it's pretty difficult to tell what IBM is defining as "professionals" and whether this will be a net increase of US jobs. I've never worked for IBM, but know a lot of current and ex-IBMers. Their MO for ages has been to move all technical work that can possibly be done offshore to low-cost countries and firing all the people in the US and Europe. Because of the shareholders demanding blood every quarter, in my opinion they're too far gone down the road of brain-drain -- it's no l

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