back to article Former DXC Technology veep accuses 'toxic' CEO Lawrie of bullying staff in lawsuit

A former DXC Technology exec veep sacked last summer refuses to go quietly: Steve Hilton has accused his ex-boss, CEO Mike Lawrie, of having a "toxic" management style that he claimed involved "verbally abusing" underlings. These are among a series of allegations made by Hilton, one-time head of DXC's frontline techies working …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Colour me surprised

    A/C - because, well - I work at DXC

    but the idea that Mike Lawrie is not a nice person (after pocketing $5m in personal bonus, while laying off tens of thousands of people) - well, this is a surprise - this is my surprised face I tell you!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Colour me surprised

      makes me a little gladder that I decided not to pursue a job there....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to the world of Corporate Exec bastards

    Looking after themselves and their empires, screwing over everyone for their own personal gain, where decisions are made on narcissism and feelings rather than evidence and fact.

    1. Youngone

      Re: Welcome to the world of Corporate Exec bastards

      The big clue to me is the charge of " insubordination " which is not a thing outside of the armed forces.

      I was told many years ago that I was being insubordinate, which caused me to call that particular boss Captain Mainwaring to his face for the next few weeks until I found a new job. (It was pretty much the last straw).

      Good times.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Welcome to the world of Corporate Exec bastards

        The big clue to me is the charge of " insubordination " which is not a thing outside of the armed forces.

        HR appears to disagree.

        Insubordination in the workplace happens when an employee is disrespectful and defiant by refusing a direct order from a supervisor or entering into a confrontation with a supervisor. When an employee is insubordinate, it does not mean that the employee simply does not agree with the employer or supervisor, but that they are refusing to work.

        1. Youngone

          Re: Welcome to the world of Corporate Exec bastards

          HR appears to disagree.

          Well, they would wouldn't they?

    2. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

      Re: Welcome to the world of Corporate Exec bastards

      To be fair I've seen this in virtually every organization big enough to have a chain of command. By the time a person floats up to an executive position they stink (mostly).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mean: Is that a valid management style?

    Wouldn't make any long term plans. Even a snake can only eat so much of his own tail..

    1. Fatman

      RE: Mean: Is that a valid management style?

      Sometimes it is.

      I have seen evil, wicked, mean and nasty used to drive out executives that can be (charitably) described as "entitled twats" after a change of ownership. The new owners wanted to send out a clear message to the employees: do your job, or else.

      For those that showed up every day, did their best despite the laziness, indifference and effects of manglement, they had little to worry about. But manglement, feeling entitled to working from home instead of going in to the office; it was a wake up call.

      The general opinion of manglement was that they (manglement) believed it was OK to FOAD[1], and collect a paycheck for doing it. Manglement felt that the previous owners basically "gave them the company to run", and they chose to run it into the ground, instead of doing their jobs.

      Meanwhile the other employees busted their asses keeping the company running, and finally, the former owners got tired of the lies and excuses, and sold the company quietly.

      Did the shit hit the turbine blades the morning the new owners arrived!!!!

      For each executive in the list, the response was the same: "Working from home."

      That did NOT sit too well with the new owners. They consulted their lawyers, and then unleashed hell on manglement, which occurred one morning when the asset recovery agents showed up at manglement's homes with court warrants and sheriffs deputies. The warrants were for all company property and documents at that residence. Those agents took their sweet time tearing up the place, looking for everything.

      Manglement was told that in no uncertain terms, their work from home privileges were abolished, and manglement better get their lazy asses into the office.

      The next morning, they got sacked without severance pay. When word of the sackings reverberated through the company, the morale problems started to disappear. The employees were no longer stuck with stagnant wages while manglement rewarded themselves with raises and bonuses for incompetence and laziness. It took less than a year for things to turn around.

      [1] (in this instance) Fuck Off All Day

      1. Miss Lincolnshire

        Re: RE: Mean: Is that a valid management style?

        "manglement "

        Are you 5?

        1. Fatman

          Re: RE: Mean: Is that a valid management style?

          <quote>"manglement "

          Are you 5?</quote>

          NO, add 60 to your suggested number.

          In the cited case, manglement is a truly deserved title. Those in charge of the company looked at their jobs as getting paid to FOAD, and let the `peons` do all of the work; running the company into the ground.

          They misled the owners, causing the value of owners investment to slowly diminish over time. They made sure they rewarded themselves, and punished the employees by withholding raises.

          So, YOU tell me what is a more appropriate label? Manglement fits perfectly!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: RE: Mean: Is that a valid management style?

            I can think of a much better word for them but say it like it is instead of making up silly words.

            I can see you next Tuesday to explain what they are if required

            1. manalive

              Re: RE: Mean: Is that a valid management style?

              All words are made up... what’s your point?

              I like this new word... much better than Brexit anyway.

              Manglement, the phrase that describes DXC to a tee.

  4. Miss Lincolnshire

    Quelle surprsie

    It's very difficult to feel any sympathy for Hilton, he knew exactly what he was getting involved in when he had that dinner with Lawrie and Mason.

    I can't think of a company I want to work for less than DXC, I just feel sorry for former colleagues that have that misfortune to deal with.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Greed does rule.

      Exactly. His personal greed overwrote his gut and the warning signs.

    2. gbshore

      Re: Quelle surprsie

      I disagree ... he was supposed to know at that BERY moment that the guy is a complete loon??? Please...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quelle surprsie

        Did you read the article?

        Mason and Lawries "relationship" is very well known as is their reputation

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Quelle surprise

          Yes - I'm almost surprised at how coy the lawsuit appears to be on this point, from reading the story, but maybe the lawyers decided it was not legally relevant. I was more surprised at how coy the story itself was. Still, nice to know Jo cuts all his meals up for him, like the 5-year-old he behaves as if he is. I wonder if she also hangs a plastic bib round his neck when they're at home, given the total mess he makes of nearly everything he touches.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kinsey and Credit Swiss

    Early last century CS was so enthralled to the wise men of Kinsey that they ended up appointing there chief Kinsey consultant as CEO of the whole shouting match. Then every year the bank posted a loss of 1 billion - one dollars (losing more than a billion would have been too embarrassing so some bookkeeping gymnastics took place).

    One of his first actions was to get another Kinsey genius appointed as CEO of Swissair which went bust two years later.

    After four or so years of disaster the old boss was brought out of retirement and the bank went back to profitability.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Mssrs Hilton and Lawrie

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA... [ad infinitum]

    Yours faithfully,

    Former (thank god) DXC employee.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DXC is dead

    As a former employee of DXC I’d just like to say I hope Hilton wins his case and Lawrie gets his comeuppance.

    Horrible company, horrible people at the top. It’s time DXC died.

    1. Mpeler
      Mushroom

      Re: DXC is dead

      The night they drove old DXC down...

  8. Fatman
    Thumb Down

    Hilton to DXC: "You screwed me!!!!!"

    Hey Hilton,

    As head of GDO you screwed people out of their jobs just to placate your boss, and meet some 'aspirational goal'.

    Now, you are the one getting screwed!!!!

    I have absolutely NO sympathy for you.

    Karma is such a bitch, isn't it??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hilton to DXC: "You screwed me!!!!!"

      Playing in the dirt gets your hands dirty.

      "I was only following orders" didn't wash in 1945 and doesn't wash in 2019.

      Hilton took the cash, he didn't have to.

      Its funny how he tries to paint himself as reasonable and a decent guy. No decent guy would have taken a job working for an absolute fruit loop in the meeting he describes here.

      He was either very naive or just thinking about his $$$$$$

      No, let him burn.

    2. gbshore

      Re: Hilton to DXC: "You screwed me!!!!!"

      Sets say he stands up to Lawrie... he gets canned. Do you think you’d still have your job ??? I don’t think so....

  9. Starace
    Flame

    Reading between the lines

    Is some of this suggesting that one member of senior management was useless but due to a 'close relationship' (wink wink) with the CEO was getting roles and responsibility well above what their ability could support?

    Also why didn't Hilton push back hard at the time when it actually mattered? He (apparently) had a contract, and US corporations are not absolute monarchies where the CEO can act in any way they wish. Plus the best way to deal with any bully is a decent slap in the face, metaphorical or otherwise.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reading between the lines

      I think the less than purely business relationship of which you speak has been widely understood for quite some time.

      Its still bloody freaky in this story though. Utter freak show!

      Hilton didn't push back because everyone who ever pushed Mikey got the shit can. He knew that, he'd seen it.

      This happened from day one that Mikey rolled into CSC, he tolerated no saying no, no suggestions, no independent action and absolutely no empire building.

      In fact by the sound of this story, that was what nailed him in the end.

    2. Miss Lincolnshire

      Re: Reading between the lines

      This is a simple case of a gutless employee that was quite happy to screw over thousands of his subordinates but goes mardy when it's done to him.

      Fuck him, Lawrie, Whitman, Hurd, Nick Wilson and the many other senior HPE ES "leaders" that were quite happy to do it to their own staff before the sell out to CSC

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reading between the lines

        The way I see it, all of the "leadership" massive multi million bonuses are the pay rises that the workers didn't get and haven't got since Mikey rolled into town.

        In that view, light them up, all of them.

        Burn mf'ers.

        I wonder if its possible to go to the court house and heckle?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Reading between the lines

          Instead of going to the court house couldn't they live stream it on Workplace?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reading between the lines

      Is some of this suggesting that one member of senior management was useless but due to a 'close relationship' (wink wink) with the CEO was getting roles and responsibility well above what their ability could support?

      Not suggesting it nearly clearly enough. She was known as useless when merely in UK HR at CSC. Lawrie arrives and suddenly they are joined at the hip in all things (not a metaphorical phrase in this instance).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What comes around the around...

    (ex DXC'er)

    Reading this, it's easy to feel that Hilton was cheated and that ML deserves to pay up... In fact, if you look at a photo of Hilton pre-merger and then when he left DXC, he looks like he's aged about 100 years.

    But..... Hilton did execute all those jobs, tens of thousands of roles mercilessly hacked. The same has being done to him, so he'll get little sympathy from exDXC folk.

    I did have exposure to Lawrie, and he was an intolerable control freak. He had his fingers into every single deal we were doing, and I had to weirdly admire his ability to manage so much. Having said that, he would come on deal governance sessions, and make decisions based on his emotions, with no grounding in business or financial sense. He would just slash deal costs, or direct us to submit pricing which was impossible to deliver, based on nothing whatsoever....

    DXC delayed deal bonuses so long that some folk (like me) just "left the money on the table" in pursuit of a career elsewhere....

    Sad to see it going to the wall. Clients aren't renewing deals, and delivery is suffering...

  11. RobertLongshaft

    This will be why DXC is going to shit.

    Expect the shareholders to get involved soon.

  12. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Nobody "earns" $20M

    It's really just daylight robbery with the rest of the management team grabbing their "share" - let's face it, these days in the corporate world if you are not on the manglement team (sic) then you are just grass in the field for the sheep to eat.

  13. gbshore

    Bad Leadership

    I am SOOOO glad I am nearing the end of my career. The countless times you have to keep your mouth shut because you have bills to pay, young kids, trying to save for their education etc. Bosses who when elevated thonk they know it all amd treat their subordinates like crap... even when it is clear they have no idea.

    I was recently at a startup in the IT Ops space... good CEO and my Manager who hired me, VP of Sales and real good guy. For some reason, CEO brings in an former EMC hack with an attitude who didn’t even know our space. For some reason, he had it in for me AMD my boss. Shoved my manager to side and starts to peck at me. We went into a meeting with an EVP who was being considered for a global CIO position at a Big 4 firm. This new guy in first three minutes asks thee giynif we have a deal... my CEO was floored... the client was floored. I asked my CEO if I could step in... I was able to pull us out of the abyss. But it was never the same. This JERK arrived to make it seem like the right thing to do. I had and have ZERO respect for this jerk. So as a former manager once told me, you either accept what it is or you can always look elsewhere. I found a great position but still wished I could have continued. I had a 45 minute talk with the CEO because he didn’t want me to leave. I explained very professionally why I was leaving. I told him that he saw who he hired in that meeting. I said TOU hired me but you let this guy push me away. I wished him success and said I would always support and advocate for them because I believe in what they are doing. I said I just wish this guy doesn’t set you back.

    Moral of the story? There are JERKS everywhere. But, we have choices as well... sometimes it works out sometimes not. I now have a manahernthat is one of the three best I’ve had in my 35 year career. It always works out....

  14. Acks

    Directors

    http://www.dxc.technology/investor_relations/ds/32534-management_and_board_of_directors

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should we feel sorry for Steve Hilton?

    Things are seldom as they may first appear and there are two sides to every story.

    I cannot speculate on the personal relationship between Hilton and Lawrey but Hilton made choices and should now live with them. He placed his bet and lost. That is life for nearly everyone who does not have the resources to bring a lawsuit. Steve, it is time to man up and move on. Do not take it out on the rest of us or you are just as bad as you portray Mike Lawrey to be.

    As an employee of DXC, I can understand what Lawrey has had to do to ensure a chance for the survival of DXC. While many have lost their jobs, many such moves had to be made. Anytime you have mass cuts, there will be mistakes in who goes and who stays. I do know that many of the current employees of DXC would not have jobs if Lawrey did not take drastic action to create a path to survival of the company.

    I work with wonderful and highly capable people at DXC. We work hard in some challenging circumstances. We may not agree with resource limitations that impact us but there is little opportunity for us to see the bigger picture unless we are very senior management. I want a CEO who makes the right decisions to ensure survival. I do not care about personalities and nice guys. I hope Mike Lawrey is the right guy for DXC.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Should we feel sorry for Steve Hilton?

      Every big picture is made up of small pieces and I know exactly what the little piece I work on looked like before Mike used his sledgehammer to cost effective “optimize” it.

      Surely I understand when you take over the wheel of a struggling company, some difficult decisions have to be made. But that was SEVEN years ago! In his sixth year he fired 35,000 hard working and dedicated people. Well actually, he hired Steve to do that for him...

      If you, after several years were not capable to reform the company into a healthy state, then maybe you are not capable at all. A true leader could have made DXC a healthy company again, surely some harsh decisions had to be made, but loyal hard working people, who stayed and helped rebuild the company could been rewarded accordingly. But not Mike.

      I hope Steve wins his case, not that I particularly like him, he is just the next mf to screw you over. I just hope this noice wakes the share holders hard enough to send Mike home. And when they do, I hope he leaves some money on the table!

      If we, DXC, lose the 20 million, all we have to do is let another 250 people go. That is how we have solved problems for almost 7 years now...

  16. TnBuckeye

    For years after the creation of DXC I suspected bonus payments due to legacy HPE employees were being held up in an attempt to frustrate people into leaving while holding onto cash....now I have little doubt.

  17. TXGirl-BR

    Bad Guys

    Good article, good comments and so glad I am an EX DXC'er. What was a great company EDS then a really good company - HP....then ended up being DXC has gone to Hell in a hand basket. Employees are of no value, no pay raises for over +++4 years, employees randomly terminated without their organization even having input, vendors not being paid, not being able to say no to a task if it's unethical...WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THIS COMPANY. I had to leave....I could not work for an unethical company. I took a cut in pay but i feel so much better and can live with myself and sleep at night. Didn't know Hilton but agree with the comments. He's getting it done to him and now he doesn't like it. I hope he learns from this and doesn't continue behaving badly because what goes around comes around; however, I do appreciate that this is now in the public eye. DXCers have seen this for years without ANY recourse. To all the great people that I left behind: JUST GET OUT, LEAVE DXC. Find some place that values you and your expertise, your loyalty, your ability to help and support your company because DXC is not it! You deserve better!

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