back to article IBM's outgoing boss Rometty awarded $20m+ in 2019 for growing revenue 0.1%

Ginni Rometty was awarded $20.16m for her final full year as CEO, president and chairman at IBM as the organisation reported a gargantuan revenue rise of 0.1 per cent. According to the 2020 Notice of Annual Meeting & Proxy Statement, filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Rometty was paid a £1.6m base salary …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adding insult to injury

    In other news, non-executive IBM employees received no bonuses at all for 2019 because of the lackluster overall performance of the company. (This follows several years of laughably small bonuses).

    So the rule at IBM is: if you are executive with the most influence on overall company performance, you get a bonus based on your "individual contribution". If you are a peon who can really only control your individual contribution, you get no bonus based on the overall company performance.

    1. Ima Ballsy

      Re: Adding insult to injury

      And if you are above a certain age, you get a NICE door prize - The door .....

    2. Felonmarmer

      Re: Adding insult to injury

      The rule at all companies is if you are an executive and the market improves globally (from no effort on your part), you claim it was all down to your actions, and if it falls then it's someone elses fault or just the way things are.

      And the people who reward you are also executives, all on each others boards.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adding insult to injury

      > So the rule at IBM is: if you are executive with the most influence on overall company performance, you get a bonus based on your "individual contribution". If you are a peon who can really only control your individual contribution, you get no bonus based on the overall company performance.

      Proof, at least, that executive remuneration is not simply a form of legalised pyramid scheme - because if it were they would also get nothing.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adding insult to injury

      It's not just IBM - it's pretty much any large company these days. Top .1% get private Islands ... the rest get %$ck all

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adding insult to injury

      I'm sure she was the best person for the job, but, call me cynical, in 3+ decades of experience I believe there is unfortunately no longer such a thing as meritocracy these days in many companie(exluding IBM): i.e the best person for the job, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, social class, university attended...

      In some roles women have massively outclassed me and the men I knew,my male colleagues, they fully deserved their positions and salary and a lot more. But once social engineering and Cultural Marxism kicks in, well we know what can happen.

      Expressing my opinion, based on experience, not hating anyone or group. IBM did the right thing by chosing the best person, definitely.

      1. ducatis'r us

        Re: Adding insult to injury

        Wtf is cultural Marxism? This is just capitalism.

        1. Ubermik

          Re: Adding insult to injury

          I think cultural Marxism might be relevant if people suspect she wasnt the BEST choice, but she was the FEMALE choice, because "wammen" kind of thing

          As cultural Marxism (amongst other things) dictates men and women are IDENTICAL, with NO differences at all and that everyone is just as good as everyone else (its ANOTHER way they have tried to sneak communism through the back door like socialism was) and its being taught like a religion in ALL major universities across the globe

          So things will only get worse as more of these brainwashed snowflakes get into business and government

          An ideology that claims ALL men are mysoginists and rape apologists, that the ONLY evil people on earth are first white MEN specifically closely followed by white women, and that between them those "white people" subjugate everyone else

          Sounds insane? Seriously, check out places like Harvard and the race related courses they run, some of which are COMPULSORY in some universities in order to get ANY degree, even if its a technical discipline like physics or engineering

          More companies are just ignoring the BEST employee for positions and are looking to the most NON MALE, NON white, non hetrosexual, non able bodied person they can to be able to tick as many "woke" boxes as possible, often regretting it when they see the work product, but then being too scared to do anything

          Because a person who supports such an ideology would ONLY assume its their race, gender or disability that led to their replacement and that WHITE people were behind it, then sue

          Ignoring the fact that those are ALSO why they even got a job that was above their level of expertise in the first place, ahh selective cognition at its finest :)

          But still companies do it more and more because of social pressure

          Yet despite it being so widespread and ALREADY affecting laws and policies people seem blissfully unaware or just too apathetic or scared of a backlash to even discuss it never mind oppose it

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Adding insult to injury

          ducatis'r us

          Cultural marxism is a coded way of saying your an antisemite. Its really nice when people like that run up the giant red flags. Like that one. Right there.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Adding insult to injury

          The verbiage that poster is using and the tone, clearly they're from RH which IBM acquired. Keep drinking that koolaid buddy! Jim needs another house, car and plane!

      2. naive

        Re: Adding insult to injury

        You are spot on, women have no business in occupying leading positions within Tech companies, since being a leader in tech requires imagination, creativity and guts.

        Women don't peak in either of these, implying the company with a female in charge will lose from competitors led by men. This is exactly what happened to IBM, from being a leader until the early 2000's, towards the downward spiral they are in since over a decade.

        Make a woman head of development at Ferrari, within 10 years it will be bankrupt, with a runway full of unsold pink Fiat 500 like cars outfitted with furry interiors, because they are "cute and easy to park".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Adding insult to injury

          AMD seems to be doing quite well....?

      3. BebopWeBop

        Re: Adding insult to injury

        Please define "Best person for the job".....

  2. Chairman of the Bored

    Number not kwite right

    $1.1M for limos, jets, and blow seems low.

    1. EveryTime

      Re: Number not kwite right

      It's a bit odd to put jet and limo travel as part of her compensation. That suggests that it's really a taxable benefit-- she has use of a corporate jet and corporate residences for personal (vacation) use.

      1. defiler

        Re: Number not kwite right

        That suggests that it's really a taxable benefit-- she has use of a corporate jet and corporate residences for personal (vacation) use.

        Well, $1.1M won't really get all that far in a private jet if you have to factor in all the costs. Crew (ground and air), maintenance, airworthiness, fuel - it all adds up at one hell of a rate with these toys. So maybe that's exactly what it is - she got to take a few (taxable) jollies in it.

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Next person in line have two options

    - keep cutting jobs then claim expenditure savings

    - gear up, sign more contracts, employ more people and build IBM up again

    first option seems to be the most likely option...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forgot the most important.

      Share buybacks for all! Gotta keep that stock price high!

      1. Stork Silver badge

        In particular as the market is falling, it is a bargain now

    2. Schultz

      Next person in line have two options

      No, there is exactly one option:

      First year: Write off X billion dollars. Blame predecessor for every problem (found and unknown). Collect big bonus for cleaning up.

      2nd-4th year: Report brilliant numbers based on the write off. If not possible, continue cleaning up and writing-off.

      5th year ...: Collect rewards or start looking for a new job. You are now officially a troubleshooter able to take the hard steps required to fix up an ailing company.

  4. Groove-Cat


    what a fcuking clusterfcuk! I am mean an out-going Executive leaves with $10+ million in her hand, all the while staff, at the coal face doing all the actual work, get shafted with more redundancies?!

    I despair! I really do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF?

      Capitalism FTW!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF?

        America lost capitalism sometime in the late 19th century. What we've had since then is economic feudalism, wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross, and singing patriotic hymns.

        1. Blank Reg Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          You forgot the guns, can't go anywhere without your guns.

        2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          “Republicans stand for raw, unbridled evil and greed and ignorance smothered in balloons and ribbons.”

          ― Frank Zappa

          1. MrName

            Re: WTF?

            You expect Biden and his class of professional political groomers to be any better. They are floating Jamie Dimon and Michael Bloomberg for cabinet posts.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC - Re: WTF?

          It's still the same ol'capitalism, don't worry!

        4. the Jim bloke Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          Capitalism IS economic feudalism.

          Capitalism is good for capitalists

          Communism is good for Communists (party members)

          Monarchy is good for Monarchs

          Parliaments are good for for Parliamentarians

          Tyrannies are good for tyrants.

          Wouldnt know who democracies or socialism are good for, probably fiction writers.. I dont think there are any real ones out there.

    2. MikeLivingstone

      Re: WTF?

      RomeTTY, sounds like an Italian Language Terminal Session.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sauce for the goose?

    "develop a world-class succession process, culminating in naming Arvind Krishna as IBM CEO "

    Offshoring management to follow the staff makes sense.

    1. Schultz

      Re: Sauce for the goose?

      Arvind Krishna is an American, so it's not quite clear what you refer to. Maybe they should move their headquarters?

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: Sauce for the goose?

        And Arvind might actually develop a real technical strategy, unlike the overpromoted salesperson he is replacing. I rate him higher than either Rometty or Palmisano.

  6. Gothmog

    Gina Rometty looks disturbingly like EDI from Mass Effect 3.

    1. jason_derp

      "Gina Rometty looks disturbingly like EDI from Mass Effect 3."

      It is an early time of day to become so unhappy so quickly, yet, here I am. Eww.

  7. Beachrider

    Her times were among the WORST for growth...

    It is fair to say that she has presided over the worst growth-period versus EVERY other IBM Chief Executive.


    1. eswan

      Re: Her times were among the WORST for growth...

      This chart says it all-

    2. Cave-Homme

      Re: Her times were among the WORST for growth...

      Are you suggesting she's not responsible, that it's only a coincidence?

    3. MrName

      Re: Her times were among the WORST for growth...

      Rometty's package is set by the board all of whom are compensated in stock and win from stock buybacks. During her tenure she oversaw approximately $50 billion in stock buybacks: .

      That is hard cash going from the company to the shareholders, often at the expense of actual investment and actual employees.

      The state of the company does not matter nor does any of the bs they wrote in their "justification".

  8. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Failure of corporate governance

    The biggest problem is that corporate boards are filled by all the same people so if you want a generous pay packet at your company, you'll vote for a good one for someone else who's likely to be on your board.

    That said, given the returns to "shareholders" via the various buyback schemes, this seems fairly small in comparison with comparable companies. No, I don't agree with this massive pay packets but think about the WeWork guy who got paid off for failing so much more.

    1. thinking ape

      Re: Failure of corporate governance

      maybe the employees should vote the board in

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Failure of corporate governance

        That's been tried and is generally not successful because of the inherent tensions over things like longer tea-breaks and higher profit margins. Nevertheless, some degree of worker participation on the supervisory board is common in larger European companies and is generally considered an efficient way to reduce conflicts between management and workers.

  9. fishman

    Maximizing shareholder value?

    How is this maximizing shareholder value?

    How is excessive executive pay, huge bonuses, and gigantic golden parachutes maximizing shareholder value, especially when the company is poorly managed?

    Maximizing shareholder value: One rule for you, another rule for me. Suckers!

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Maximizing shareholder value?

      The only way to truly maximize shareholder value over the long term is to terminate the upper echelons of manglement with extreme prejudice. Manglement is more interested in lining their pockets in a semi-legal way (just inside the law to avoid a long Club Fed vacation) at the expense of everyone else.

      1. MrName

        Re: Maximizing shareholder value?

        See my post above about stock buybacks. She did maxmimize shareholder value primarily by sacrificing the workers and the company to pay the shareholders off.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Maximizing shareholder value?

      How is this maximizing shareholder value?

      It's missing a couple of words:

      "maximizing short-term shareholder value"

      Most companies don't really care about anything other than current-financial year+(CFY+1) - mostl becase board compensation is predicated on current year performance.

      Last time I was in a formal bonus scheme, the bonus was paid 50% up-front and 50% delayed for3 years. So if I screwed up[1] during those 3 years, I lost the deferred bonus. And, since the the toal cae to about 90% of a years wages over 3 years, it was a fair chunk to lose.

      [1] Ways that you could lose the bonus were clearly delineated in thebonus scheme - leaving, being kicked out for gross malpractice were the main two.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its obscene.

    What's really fucking obscene is the amount of money being paid for failure at the expense of the workers being paid way less, many of whom the customers rely on to keep their business IT going.

    You want evidence the world has gone bat-shit crazy? Well, if that isn't it I don't know what is.

  11. FozzyBear

    Rometty - the poster child for corporate executive greed

    20+mil for What? Really?

    Honestly, the only thing these executives are good at is negotiating their contract that ensures their yearly bonus. Being measured on real growth in the company would have every one of them sitting on a street corner begging for change. They all seem to use the same management handbook. Cut staff, Cut more staff, and if that doesn't more cut more again

    Personally they couldn't manage to get laid in a brothel with a fist full of fiftes in one hand and a fist full of roofies in the other, let alone a major company!

  12. tip pc Silver badge

    They got her out cheaply.

    £20m+ is a bargain to be rid of her.

  13. James Anderson

    My part in Ginnie’s bonus

    I signed up for a free account six years ago to run a quick test.

    In spite of reminders to renew my subscription from a credit card that expired 5years ago I still seem to be a customer.

    with apologies to Spike Milligan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My part in Ginnie’s bonus

      Upvote for Spike. How I miss him.

  14. tcmonkey

    In her defence, finding an equivalent replacement would be a hard task. After all, we would normally flush such turds straight away.

  15. thinking ape

    It's not for doing the job, it's for the creative story telling! Seems to have worked

  16. Ubermik

    So much for diversity hires then I guess lol, maybe now they can shine again :)

    This kind of tweaks my "gggrrrrr" bone tbh (its right next to the funny bone, but its just grumpy lol)

    Politically we have social political ideologies dumbed down so much its laughable, of all the literally 1000s of choices and nuances its presented to the "peasants" who vote as merely a choice between COMMUNISM and wholly unregulated capitalism,, Niether is a workable ideology

    One enslaves the workers under the government, the other just gradually creeps back inch by inch to the days of workhouses and feudal lords "owning" the peasants who live on their land

    Time and time again we see companies either breaking even or improving slightly in often saturated markets where any real growth is nearly impossible without a disruptive technology nobody else has

    Despite this we often see companies telling the 99% of its employees who ACTUALLY earn them the money with their work being told "its a lean year, we cant afford pay rises" right before giving their directors and top executives HUGE payrises and bumps in their perks

    I personally think we need a law that dictates if ANYONE gets a payrise or a perk that EVERYONE should get the exact same raises AND perks based on annual salary/wages

    So Instead of giving a director a 1 million pound bonus and nobody else ANYTHING that "bonus" fund would be EVENLY distributed between EVERYONE from the cleaners to the directors and CEOs. So some might get lets say £20 whilst the lowest might get 20 pence, but thats FAIR, which is the difference

    Same with pay rises, either EVERYONE gets the same % of NOBODY gets anything

    I've seen and even worked for companies who plead poverty to justify no pay rises, occasionally even pay CUTS during tight times where the top people got HUGE payrises and bonuses despite the revenue stagnating

    A simple law would change this in one go, but when the rich and the corporations pretty much OWN every politician via donations and other means (token board memberships being another common method) its no wonder no such rule exists

    Obviously I know its NOT as simple as just one "rule of law" a sentence long, but the actual concept itself isnt that complex, ANYONE gets an X% raise then EVERYONE gets that same % raise, and bonuses also treated the same because they ARE part of someones "earnings" however you dress it up

    So bonuses and perks (or their monitary value) should ALSO be distributed the same way too

    I think most people would be perfectly happy with this approach because its FAIR, admittedly the top 5-10% of earners probably wont unless some of them ARENT selfish sociopaths, but hey, isnt democracy supposed to be based on the MAJORITY?

    When did our democracy change to being for the elites?

    In the US that was clearly in 1913, but in the UK I kind of hope its not too late and something better than we have but NOT communism, Marxism or any other "ism" which seems to be being pushed for by ALARMING amounts of people nowadays (mostly ignorant university students), however those SAME students WILL potentially end up in power some day

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So much for diversity hires then I guess lol, maybe now they can shine again :)

      I think that was the idea behind the John Lewis bonus scheme. Their lowest bonus ever is this year at 2% and yet it's still more than all the IBM workers combined.

  17. Noonoot

    I am in the wrong job

    My dad always said not to do an Art degree.

  18. rwill2

    She didn't do anything beyond being female ... Quantum, AI and educations all done way b4 by IBM


    Good pay packet for introducing more leadership diversity and ethical AI!


    The Compensation Committee said it also took into account her "exceptional personal leadership in several areas": this ranged from taking an "industry-leading role shaping a socially responsible approach to AI"; "record results in IBM's diverse leadership representation"; R&D in quantum computing and AI: and "preparing society for future work with new approaches in education and apprenticeships".

  19. fredesmite

    Isn't she too old to work there ?

    India Business Machines got rid of everyone over 40 I thought

  20. Rule Identity

    I just finished voting my IBM proxy statement. Let me tell you how I voted and why.

    I only voted for one director, Arvind Krishna, the new CEO of IBM.

    I abstained on the following because they all joined the board in 2019 or later and cannot be held responsible for the horrible management problem; They are Buberi, Howard, Pollack, and McNabb.

    I voted against the remaining 9, especially Rometty, who totally failed as CEO.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like