IBM Tries To Screw Salespeople Out Of Commissions, Says One Who Just Quit

Sam Palmisano IBM dollar signsSam Palmisano, IBM chairman and ex-CEO.

Photo: AP

IBM has this grand plan to make shareholders happy by bringing earnings per share up to $20 by 2015.Sounds great, but it’s really screwing up the company, several IBM employees have told Business Insider. 

The plan, dubbed Road Map 2015, was Sam Palmisano’s brainchild. Palmisano was IBM’s CEO until this year and he’s still the company’s chairman.

Internally, employees are calling the plan “Road Kill 2015.” The cost-cutting is getting so out of control that top salespeople are leaving the company en masse, they tell us.

That’s because IBM would rather screw them out of commissions than have them bring in big contracts, said one high-end software salesperson who called us the day he left the company. This employee has worked at IBM for over a decade and was a manager when he quit. He has moved to an up-and-coming cloud competitor.

“I chose to leave just like there are droves of people leaving,” the salesperson told us. “The problem came when Palmisano laid out our 2015 plan and everyone had to figure out how to make it work. People are micromanaged until they can’t stand it anymore.”

He continued, “Every given year about two-thirds of the salespeople do not make their quota. But they plan it that way. Two-thirds of the people are ok making $100,0000 a year, and while that’s a lot of money, I’m not in this to make 100,000 a year, I’m in it to make  $250,000 to $300,000 a year,” the ex-employee said.

After the sale, IBM tries to get out of paying the commission, this person says. 

“It’s in how they manipulate your quota and manipulate your payout rates … which is sad. You would think IBM would pay them what they owe them, but they don’t. After the sale, there’s a huge money grab.”

This person’s current company competes with IBM selling cloud software. He tells us it’s quite different there: “nothing would make them happier than to pay a salesperson $1 million in commission because to earn that you would have sold $100 million. IBM would loathe the day they had to pay out $1 million in commission and would fight tooth and nail to stop that from happening.”

The company is slowly reducing its workforce with layoffs that target older, higher-paid employees, too, some laid off employees told us.

In short, IBM is sacrificing employees to make shareholders happy. “It’s just sad. It’s iconic company going down the toilet.”

Are you a current or ex-IBM employee with a story to tell? We want to hear it. We are discreet. [email protected]

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.