Calling IBM’ers Who Have Been Chrome’ed, RA’ed, or PIP’ed: Tell Us Your Story

Do you think you’re part Project Chrome’s workforce downsizing? Or are the desks around you emptying out? What is going in your corner of IBM?

1 min read
Calling IBM’ers Who Have Been Chrome’ed, RA’ed, or PIP’ed: Tell Us Your Story
Photo: iStockphoto

IBM is currently in the midst of a workforce reduction. Journalist Robert X. Cringely reports that more than 100,000 current employees will be dropped from the payroll by March; IBM counters that it’s planned a layoff that will be less than a tenth of that amount. The IBM union website, Alliance@IBM, says 5000 already have layoff notices in hand. TechCrunch says some 43,000 will be gone by the end of the year, at a pace of roughly 10,000 a quarter until “the company righted the ship.”

Besides all sorts of numbers being tossed around, we’re hearing about all sorts of internal IBM acrononyms, all of which mean bad news for employees. There’s RA’d, or Resource Action’ed: that’s IBM-speak for laid off. There’s put on PIP, or Performance Improvement Plan—that’s when an employee gets a poor performance rating, and a deadline to improve it or leave.

For IBM—indeed, for the computer industry in general—layoffs are nothing new. However, every person laid off or threatened with dismissal has a unique story. And I’d love to hear them. Please share your experience with me directly at t.perry@ieee.org, on Twitter @teklaperry, or in the comments below. Keep yourself anonymous if you’d like, identify your job function and location if you’re willing, but tell us your story, we want to hear it.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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