IBM Fired Me Because I’m Not a Millennial, Says Axed Cloud Sales Star

Megalith

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Despite excelling in his position as worldwide program director and sales lead of Bluemix, Jonathan Langley was fired by IBM and is now suing because he thinks his termination was due to old age: court filings suggest the company has “devoted countless millions of dollars to its effort to rebrand as a hip, millennial-centric tech company.”

"IBM treated substantially younger persons more favorably by signaling through its internal and external branding and marketing that IBM wished to hire and/or retain younger persons," stated Langley in its lawsuit filing. The ex-IBMer has asked the court to force IBM to give him his job back along with lost pay and benefits, damages, his legal fees covered, and so on.
 

auntjemima

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Despite excelling in his position as worldwide program director and sales lead of Bluemix, Jonathan Langley was fired by IBM and is now suing because he thinks his termination was due to old age: court filings suggest the company has “devoted countless millions of dollars to its effort to rebrand as a hip, millennial-centric tech company.”

"IBM treated substantially younger persons more favorably by signaling through its internal and external branding and marketing that IBM wished to hire and/or retain younger persons," stated Langley in its lawsuit filing. The ex-IBMer has asked the court to force IBM to give him his job back along with lost pay and benefits, damages, his legal fees covered, and so on.

I would be interested in knowing what their reasoning. I would think that firing someone without just cause would be pretty difficult these days, no?

Would they not need a valid reason?
 

Cyraxx

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I find it funny that every state in your country is its own little country with its own little asinine rules.

'Merica baby. That was the entire foundation of our country - checks and balances. If a state wants to legalize weed, go ahead. Helps create competition, not just at the corporate level..

For example, buying a 2-story 3bd+ house is about 20x cheaper here in Texas than in California. Also lot less in taxes (no income, medium sales tax, high property tax - but low property values). This is why you're seeing a flock of liberals move and infest our bastard child known as Austin.

Also if someone wants to smoke weed legally - just move to a state that supports it.
 

twonunpackmule

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I'm almost 45, work for an IT company and fear for my job as well. To disguise myself as Millennial I vape, eat avocado toast and pretend to know everything. So far its worked :)
Make sure your pants are just tight enough to see the outline of your penis. It works for me. I don't work in tech. Nor, do I worry about my job firing me for age. They think I'm in my twenties still. I'll let them keep thinking that. I'm closer to 40 these days.
 

_l_

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I would be interested in knowing what their reasoning. I would think that firing someone without just cause would be pretty difficult these days, no?

Would they not need a valid reason?

No, not really especially the larger corporations
 

Cyraxx

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Also my work in consulting is simple... Bring in a good amount of consulting hours more than your salary = profit = you're not going anywhere.
 
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djoye

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...he netted a $20,000 performance bonus in January 2017
There's the smoking gun. This guy was probably making big money, they could pay a Millennial $40k/year and give them a $1500/year bonus and then gloat to shareholders about how much more profitable they were this year. Fast-forward to news article about Millennials killing some industry because they're not buying things for some reason.
 

[Spectre]

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If that is the case it seems to be in Beta 1.0

And its time to update the code and move up to something more stable :)

That code was updated 72 years post release, after major patch and almost complete elimination of states rights the current code base has been stable for 153 years. So it's not Beta anything, it is in stable release.
 

ZLoth

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It's because the young kids tend to be cheaper and more eager to work insane hours (because of those student loans) verses the older worker who may be married and have family obligations.

Sigh.... and I'm the third oldest worker on my team.... and the only person who is willing to work the weekend-graveyard shift, plus fills in for other shifts.
 

auntjemima

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It's because the young kids tend to be cheaper and more eager to work insane hours (because of those student loans) verses the older worker who may be married and have family obligations.

Sigh.... and I'm the third oldest worker on my team.... and the only person who is willing to work the weekend-graveyard shift, plus fills in for other shifts.

I would think selling your product would be the most important bottom line wise.
 

harmattan

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This sort of thing is institutionalzed at many similar large enterprises.

I have a batch of HR/Legal emails and files that were accidentally misrouted to me during a layoff period. The emails and files indisputedly show (and senior folks in the threads outright state) that two of the top criteria for "selection" were a) age (over 40 employees floated to the top) and b) ensuring the cuts "tell a good diversity story" (with white and Indian folks also floating up). The thing that shocked me the most wasn't that this sort of illegality existed, but that it was so overtly discussed and progressed over emails and captured in files.

The other part of the selection process was, once an individual was singled out, a separate process would happen where litigation would redact, massage language, and paraphrase the selected individual's 360 reviews to demonstrate why they were laying the person off. I saw a few examples of stellar reviews of very talented employees evolve to sound like the person wasn't meeting responsibilities, quotas, hard to work with etc. The whole thing was brazen and absolutely extraordinary to read.
 

Cyraxx

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This sort of thing is institutionalzed at many similar large enterprises.

I have a batch of HR/Legal emails and files that were accidentally misrouted to me during a layoff period. The emails and files indisputedly show (and senior folks in the threads outright state) that two of the top criteria for "selection" were a) age (over 40 employees floated to the top) and b) ensuring the cuts "tell a good diversity story" (with white and Indian folks also floating up). The thing that shocked me the most wasn't that this sort of illegality existed, but that it was so overtly discussed and progressed over emails and captured in files.

The other part of the selection process was, once an individual was singled out, a separate process would happen where litigation would redact, massage language, and paraphrase the selected individual's 360 reviews to demonstrate why they were laying the person off. I saw a few examples of stellar reviews of very talented employees evolve to sound like the person wasn't meeting responsibilities, quotas, hard to work with etc. The whole thing was brazen and absolutely extraordinary to read.

....Dude I would have reported that shit easy. Or at the very least used some extortion and tell them to pay up or I would :p
 

harmattan

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....Dude I would have reported that shit easy. Or at the very least used some extortion and tell them to pay up or I would :p

Heh. I did report it, but only to our internal security that it had been misrouted. I did also respond to the threads with something to the effect "I shouldn't be exposed to information in these emails". I expect a few people were shitting bricks...

...I do keep copies in my back pocket though.
 

atp1916

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So...what's with the trend to keep (IT) retention level high due to it being less costly versus bringing in new?

Also (and for the record), IT != software development.

If you are on my side of the house (development), there is always huge demand for folks within the enterprise who are knowledgeable about the 'legacy' tech stack we have.

Tell us newer folks to do it, and i can virtually guarantee a large portion quitting. I would be one of them.
 

cyberguyz

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This is standard operating procedure for IBM. Nothing new. Has been like this for a very long time. You come to accept that you will be put to pasture once your experience is outweighed by your age.

Been There, Done that. It has been about 5 years since I was shown out the big blue door with a fancy IBM pen and a retirement package. I knew it was coming and was really happy when it did.

I for one would not go back at any price. My health has improved markedly since I retired. No regrets!
 

nilepez

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I see nothing wrong with trying to get new blood into the company. That's been the case for decades (including, I suspect, when this guy was hired), but if this article is accurate, it's almost certain that he was fired because of age. You don't give a 20k bonus to under performers.
 

Lakados

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I would think selling your product would be the most important bottom line wise.
You would think that but depending on the department IBM sells itself. They do what they do extremely well and people more than not go to them.
 

shpankey

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'
Also if someone wants to smoke weed legally - just move to a state that supports it.
Just a few miles north baby :D

Also, we (Oklahoma) are a right to work state, and other than protected reasons (age, race, sex, etc) can be fired at will for any reason whatsoever. It has some positives though, which is another discussion.
 

auntjemima

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So i take it you arent a fan of science, history or evolution? Having 50 different experiments in democracy is a strength, not weakness. It would be absurd to try and rule over 300 million people with one capital.

You're reading waaaayyyy too far into this. Your Soapbox is over there ->
 
D

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To all the people who have bosses, work 9-5, why? Why would any person in their right mind commit to quasi-slavery for a pittance of a wage? I could see if you're making bank like some of my buddies in banking, with asshole bosses breathing down their neck, and then retire after 5 years in IB. If you're making less than $150k post-taxes, why would you commit to such nonsense? It's boggling.

I can understand working to gain experience in some hell hole, taking bitch-made shifts + hours, kissing ass, towing the company line, but for multiple years?

I make less $$$ than I did last year, and even work slightly harder, but being self-employed, is far superior to having to deal with cocksuckers all day long.

The difficult part of work isn't usually the skill required, the hard part is dealing with bastards trying to jockey for power, and every variation of that.


Make 20% less, spend less time in traffic, less mental energy wasted, less stress, life becomes more enjoyable, don't need to rush to make/get coffee. Not having to watch my tongue all the time and agree with everyone or fear repercussions from some jagoff.

I actually make slightly more, with greater long-term potential than staying at a well-paying corporate jay oh bee.
 
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Bigbacon

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Man i would not fight for the job back. I would just sue for mega millions and then find a new job.
 

Bigbacon

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To all the people who have bosses, work 9-5, why? Why would any person in their right mind commit to quasi-slavery for a pittance of a wage? I could see if you're making bank like some of my buddies in banking, with asshole bosses breathing down their neck, and then retire after 5 years in IB. If you're making less than $150k post-taxes, why would you commit to such nonsense? It's boggling.

I can understand working to gain experience in some hell hole, taking bitch-made shifts + hours, kissing ass, towing the company line, but for multiple years?

I make less $$$ than I did last year, and even work slightly harder, but being self-employed, is far superior to having to deal with cocksuckers all day long.

The difficult part of work isn't usually the skill required, the hard part is dealing with bastards trying to jockey for power, and every variation of that.

Really???
 
D

Deleted member 201992

Guest
I venture to guess you derive great meaning and satisfaction from your job, and the work environment entails every realistic wish you had, including a decent paycheck?
 

Uvaman2

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To all the people who have bosses, work 9-5, why? Why would any person in their right mind commit to quasi-slavery for a pittance of a wage? I could see if you're making bank like some of my buddies in banking, with asshole bosses breathing down their neck, and then retire after 5 years in IB. If you're making less than $150k post-taxes, why would you commit to such nonsense? It's boggling.

I can understand working to gain experience in some hell hole, taking bitch-made shifts + hours, kissing ass, towing the company line, but for multiple years?

I make less $$$ than I did last year, and even work slightly harder, but being self-employed, is far superior to having to deal with cocksuckers all day long.

The difficult part of work isn't usually the skill required, the hard part is dealing with bastards trying to jockey for power, and every variation of that.


Make 20% less, spend less time in traffic, less mental energy wasted, less stress, life becomes more enjoyable, don't need to rush to make/get coffee. Not having to watch my tongue all the time and agree with everyone or fear repercussions from some jagoff.

I actually make slightly more, with greater long-term potential than staying at a well-paying corporate jay oh bee.
I see you are smoking good shit too... I kid I kid. Hehe.. yeah i think its great for you, but for many, zero chance of this.
 

Kor

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Do not miss working there one bit. Also they have zero chance of that rebrand goal. I was buying a new pair of shoes a couple of years ago when I was still there and the kid asked who I worked for. I told him and his immediate reaction was "who's that?".
 

Ultima99

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That code was updated 72 years post release, after major patch and almost complete elimination of states rights the current code base has been stable for 153 years. So it's not Beta anything, it is in stable release.

This. Besides, I don't trust either "side" of coders to do a good job updating it anyways.
 

singe_101

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That code was updated 72 years post release, after major patch and almost complete elimination of states rights the current code base has been stable for 153 years. So it's not Beta anything, it is in stable release.

The 19th patch or amendment was pretty important for users. Kind of rough to lock out more than half of the people who should have access.
 

Wrecked Em

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I think the bigger driving factor is insurance costs. People over 40 start becoming a big liability for long term health issues that will eventually drive up the premiums on the company. Higher premiums mean they have to put more of the cost on the employee. The more they put on the employee, the less attractive they become to new talent.

That's why there's such a huge "wellness" push in med to large companies. They're trying desperately to keep their insurance as low as possible.
 

Wiffle

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They want Millennial workers because they are young and naive enough to not recognize they are programming their obsolescence in the next 10 years...

...its all good though. The wonderful side effect of automation is it happens to empower individuals in the worst possible ways imaginable. The Catholic Church had a monopoly on literacy and religion up until the printing press came about. I can see the same happening once AI's are able to program themselves... Sure they won't need to hire a team of programmers anymore, but at the same time I won't need a Windows license or learn how to program Linux when I can ask a computer to program a run-time environment for me.

As far as ageism goes in this case... there is a LOT that this article isn't saying. This "Global Program Director" guy was making tons of money in bonuses every month probably on top of a large salary. My bet is his Supervisor was doing the same thing by "cutting" costs and "exceeding" quotas. She probably got a nice bonus for the 250k or more she saved by replacing this guy... Many of the words being thrown around in the article make it seem like he was some lower level type employee when he wasn't. He was probably getting the biggest bonuses because he was the Lead of the sales team...
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I find it funny that every state in your country is its own little country with its own little asinine rules.

This was by design. When the union was being formed, the small states didn't want to get steamrolled by the larger ones, so the Federal/State model was adopted.

There are laws and regulations at the federal level, but we intentionally leave a lot of this up to the states. It's a philosophy that people should be able to govern themselves.

It has its benefits and drawbacks, and I can see how it would seem silly to outsiders, but it is what it is.
 

nutzo

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MThey think I'm in my twenties still. I'll let them keep thinking that. I'm closer to 40 these days.

40's shouldn't be a problem, it's when you get into your later 50's and 60's and are looking for a new job, that it's a big issue.

As I'm already in my late 50's, I hope to keep working at my existing job until I retire.
I know far more about IT than any of the younger employees they've hired

If I every have to go look for another IT job, I'll be coloring my hair (at least I still have it), removing the early half of my job experience from my resume, and also removing the dates.
I could easily pass for someone 10-15 years younger if my hair wasn't so grey.
 
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