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IBM Workers Warned: “We Were Too Slow”

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Hundreds of thousands of IBM employees have heard from the boss.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Big Blue’s chief executive Virginia Rometty has released a video for all company workers following a bad earnings report.

The Journal’s story suggested Rometty’s primary message was: Think fast, move faster.

It’s a variation on the one-word slogan used by IBM founder Thomas J. Watson Sr. for decades. The “THINK” slogan still graces one of the company’s former North Street buildings at its Endicott birthplace.

The newspaper reported Rometty’s video message included “unusually blunt” comments suggesting the company must accelerate its shift to “new computing models to get back on track.”

According to the report by Spencer E. Ante, Rometty said “we were too slow to understand the value” of a prospective deal IBM ultimately lost.

Rometty is said to have issued a new edict: “If a client has a request or question, IBM must respond within 24 hours.”

Although IBM employed more than 14,000 people in Broome and Tioga counties about 30 years ago, the company’s presence in Endicott has diminished.

IBM representatives at the corporate headquarters in Armonk will not say how many people now report to the Endicott site.

Big Blue jettisoned its Endicott microelectronics unit in 2002 in a state-financed deal that resulted in the creation of the now-teetering Endicott Interconnect Technologies.

At the time of the deal, IBM officials said about 4,000 people worked at the Endicott site. Half of those remained with the company’s local operation with the rest joining the fledgling EIT.

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