Modified Image from Pixabay: #2108022 by Mediamodifie
IBM’s twenty-first-century Chief Financial Officers have lost sight of their primary duty to their corporation: spend money to make people more productive, processes more effective and products more valuable. The year before the trough of the Great Depression, Tom Watson Sr. shared his thoughts with the Controller's Institute of America.
"If the controller can find more ways to spend more money where it will expand the business, where it will bring in more orders to the factory, that will be the greatest service he can perform for the business with which he is connected."
Thomas J. Watson Sr., 1932, Controller’s Institute of America, New York, N. Y.
Modified Image from Pixabay: #418923 by Gerd Altman
In One Chart: IBM’s Seventeen-Year, Non-Union Work Slowdow
"We have different ideas and different work, but when you come down to it there is just one thing we deal with throughout the whole organization—that is the 'MAN.'"
Thomas J. Watson Sr., 1915, Endicott, New York
The Danger That Lurks Beneath the Surface
Most business analysts are writing about IBM’s twenty-one quarters of weakening revenue. It is a very visible and dramatic decline: revenue that peaked at $107 billion in 2011 has fallen over the past five years to $80 billion—an average drop in revenue of $5.4 billion every year. IBM’s leadership downplays any concerns saying that revenue is just the sacrificial lamb necessary to achieve higher profitability. From management’s perspective, IBM’s 25% decline in revenue is the natural result of a strategy to offload a plethora of low-value products to build a lean-and-mean, profit-driven, product portfolio.
Peter E. Greulich
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