- IBM Revenues Have Dropped from $107 Billion to $80 Billion in Five Years.
- By One Measurement, IBM’s 2016 Revenues Should Have Been $147 Billion…
- … or IBM Should Have Produced $80 Billion with 188,895 Fewer Employees.
- IBM Is Not Maximizing Shareholder Value.
- What Is Wrong?
Last week, IBM announced another quarter of declining revenues. Even if it had broken its string of revenue declines, it would have been reminiscent of what IBM salesmen would tell a rookie after they closed their first deal and started strutting around the office like they were hot stuff. After letting the salesman enjoy the moment, one of the thirty-plus-year IBM reps would tap the salesperson on the shoulder and say, “Enough son, even a blind squirrel finds the occasional nut. You need to go out there and do it again and again for the next thirty years to have a career with this company.”
Based on the most recent quarterly results, some analysts are performing a search-and-replace of twenty quarters with twenty-one quarters, planning ahead for twenty-two quarters, and increasing the intensity of their “woe-is-me” adjectives. Other analysts are finding hope in the growth of IBM’s strategic initiatives and believe that the repetitive, quarterly misses are because of poor “sales execution” or a company “in transition.” A few analysts are challenging IBM to provide transparent numbers on its strategic initiatives—like Watson.
IBM, though, is a blind squirrel that has been unable to find the occasional revenue nut because of two decades of misplaced investment dollars and abysmal human relations practices.
It is a corporation wasting away from malnutrition.