IBM - Great people. Terrible Executive Management | Glassdoor
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Helpful (1)

"Great people. Terrible Executive Management"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Contractor - Senior Project Manager in Austin, TX
Current Contractor - Senior Project Manager in Austin, TX
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

I have been working at IBM as a contractor (More than a year)

Pros

Great colleagues who are willing to go the extra miles or two to achieve, sometimes unrealistic goals, set by business and executives. Flexible work hours. Since you VPN in, you can work from different state or even country as long as you have internet and phone.

Cons

The management has been going from bad to worst. Constant layoff which is not based on performance. Poor communication. No growth.

Advice to Management

There is no failure in business but only failure in leadership.

Other Employee Reviews for IBM

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Hard work, occasionally rewarding,for a Co. that seems wedded to using what worked in the 80s to drive excellence today."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Pasadena, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Left Brain: 'Performance-based culture': you can rise quickly and gain access to top people and a great many resources when you have success...

    Cons

    - Right Brain: 'Performance-based culture': perform within the confines of a near-soulless formal organization, working with, but also to best your valued co-workers who are similarly numb - so that you can continue to do what you do...

    Advice to Management

    The elephant did learn to tap dance, but the mice now need to be nurtured, not stomped - they will never be in control but they can stampede a thousand elephants. Give them real reasons to like the elephant not fear him. You'll succeed.


  2. Helpful (7)

    "A once great industry research lab spiraling down the drain."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    One of the few industry research labs where you can keep one foot in the academic world. Flexible work environment and schedule.

    Cons

    IBM Corporate has no clue how to truly get long term value from research. As others have posted, research is high-risk high-reward, but in the past years IBM is only concerned with quarterly bottom lines. IBM Researchers are constantly bombarded with inappropriate projects just to help immediate revenue. Over the years IBM Research has seen a lot of turn over as many researchers leave for academic or industry positions due to the degradation of the value of true research. As such, management at IBM Research is slowly being filled with more 'corporate' minded employees. IBM Corporate simultaneously wants to tap IBM Research for immediate boosts to revenue and also expects game-changing products. They fail to see that the former will impact the latter, and as others have posted, do not understand that Research needs to be insulated to make long term dramatic impact.

    Morale at IBM Research is at a near all time low. IBM Research does not value their researchers and the message you infer is that you should simply be grateful for the opportunity to work at IBM research. Compensation, benefits, and perks are constantly being reduced and eroded. The building itself is abysmal. Bleak, no windows in offices, dirty, musty, ancient office equipment (unless you are IBM Corporate, they have all the nice offices and meeting rooms). For a tech company that is attracting top researchers and tech people it is truly sad that one has to beg and plead for the most basic needs (monitor for laptop, mouse, stapler, ...).

    The current problems at IBM Research mostly impact the new Research Staff members and Postdoctoral Researchers. Old employees have learned to insulate themselves better from IBM Corporate, but new employees are at their mercy. From experience I know researchers at IBM used to have 25%-50% of their time free for their own research. Going in to my job I expected this, but this delusion was quickly shattered. New researchers are expected to work on IBM dictated projects or research directions. I was made to feel guilty for working on personal research (which was still oriented along our general research lines). Again, the impression you get is they can always higher new top talent because of their reputation. So, accept it or leave. But the prestige of working at IBM Research is falling rapidly.

    For those looking for a dynamic and agile work place, IBM Research is just the opposite. Mostly this is simply due to the sheer size of IBM. But the remaining fault lies with the culture at IBM. It is slow and stale, and the often infuriating part is many IBMers think the opposite.
    Compounding this, IBM Research (and IBM Corporate) as a demographic is older. Not that this is a problem, but one should be aware if they are young, energetic, and bright-eyed, this is not the place for you. Lastly, the software, tools, and support one is forced to use at IBM (looking at you Lotus Notes) is atrocious and often wastes an inordinate amount of time to do things that should be simple and straightforward.

    IBM Research is on the decline. They are coasting on their (deserved) reputation as a leading industry research lab. Those days are gone. Morale is low, people are leaving, the wrong people are staying, and sadly management actually does know about the problem yet seems unwilling or incapable of fixing the it. IBM Research is moving to a place where they do not value their employees yet expect them to be grateful to simply work for IBM. Pockets of true old-school IBM Research groups still exist, mainly in the math group, but those are being squeezed out. That is why you still see (and rightly so) positive reviews of IBM Research. But as a whole, IBM Research is spiraling down the drain. Sadly, I believe in 10-15 years it will be a shell of what it used to be. They are losing their real talent and what made them special, and can only ride on their reputation for so long. Most likely the remaining talent will be divided into the profitable non-research divisions and it will be no more.

    Advice to Management

    Research is a high-risk high-reward venture. Insulate IBM Research and let them do great things, as they have done before.

There are newer employer reviews for IBM
There are newer employer reviews for IBM

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