Meet Sam Palmisano, bozo of the month. We diss IBM's CEO for allowing some management numbskull to suggest that the thousands of Big Blue employees who have been fired recently should consider a move to India. And work really cheaply. Always helpful, IBM is willing to pitch in with moving costs and -- in a particularly ironic twist -- visa assistance.
Yeah, it's hard to believe. But IBM put it in writing: "IBM has established Project Match to help you locate potential job opportunities in growth markets where your skills are in demand," IBM says in an internal memo first obtained by InformationWeek. "Should you accept a position in one of these countries, IBM offers financial assistance to offset moving costs, provides immigration support, such as visa assistance, and other support to help ease the transition of an international move."
[ Everyone from Bill Gates to prestigious business publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Economist has claimed that for every H-1B visa granted, between three and five new jobs are created. Read why that's far from the truth. ]
Maybe India's not to your taste. No worries. IBM is also offering to send the newly unemployed to China, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Russia, South Africa, Nigeria, and the United Arab Emirates.
Pink slips at Big Blue
And in a touch that could only be called Dickensian, the IBM memo notes that Project Match, which sounds like a reality show on Bravo, is limited to "satisfactory performers who have been notified of separation from IBM U.S. or Canada and are willing to work on local terms and conditions." Right. The worthy poor who don't mind working for wages that are infinitely lower than what they've been paid in the United States.
(For those who are considering a move overseas, check out InfoWorld's guide to offshoring yourself.)
The stunningly stupid memo comes amid a wave of firings that has cost the jobs of at least 2,800 IBMers, a move the company was unwilling to acknowledge until ousted workers and their union leaked internal documents to the media, including the Associated Press, which said that workers have reported layoffs in Tucson, Ariz.; San Jose, Calif.; Rochester, Minn.; Research Triangle Park, N.C.; East Fishkill, N.Y.; Austin, Texas; and Burlington, Vt.
Did I mention this came at the same time IBM reported strong financial results?