IBM Boss Chews Out Staff: We Were Slow

Executives shuffled in wake of lousy earnings report

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 25, 2013 12:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – IBM reported some pretty lackluster earnings last week, prompting CEO Virginia Rometty to shuffle some executives and take the unusual step of criticizing staff performance in a five-minute video distributed to the entire company—all 434,000 employees, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Where we haven't transformed rapidly enough, we struggled," Rometty said. "We have to step up with that and deal with that, and that is on all levels."

IBM reported a 5% drop in revenues, which the company blamed on its sales staff. In her video, Rometty specifically called out one deal the staff hadn't closed with a big client. "We were too slow to understand the value," she said. "The result? It didn't get done." Beyond the criticism, Rometty has reportedly reassigned IBM's computer hardware business chief, and promoted a new senior VP for corporate strategy.

In this Feb. 16, 2006 file photo, Virginia Rometty, at the time an IBM senior vice president, speaks in New York.
In this Feb. 16, 2006 file photo, Virginia Rometty, at the time an IBM senior vice president, speaks in New York.   (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh, File)
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