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IBM The Almighty Buck The Courts News

Arrested IBM Exec Goes MIA On the Web 185

theodp writes "Among those charged in the largest hedge-fund insider trading case in US history was IBM Sr. VP Robert W. Moffat, the heir apparent to IBM CEO Sam Palmisano and the guy behind Big Blue's 'workforce rebalancing' and the sale of IBM's PC unit to Lenovo. IBM's not talking about the incident, but it's interesting that Moffat's bio is MIA at ('Biography you tried to access does not exist.'), and his Smarter Planet video can no longer be found ('This video has been removed by the user.') at IBM's YouTube Channel. Do you need approval from the Feds before tidying up after someone who's under investigation? BTW, if stories and comments appearing in the Times Herald-Record and Poughkeepsie Journal are any indication, Moffat may want to avoid a local jury trial. 'I have talked to a few IBMers today, and there seems to be a lot of cheering in the halls of IBM over his arrest,' said Lee Conrad of Alliance@IBM."
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Arrested IBM Exec Goes MIA On the Web

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  • Re:First post??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @02:45PM (#29779049)

    Prison rape isn't funny.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @02:58PM (#29779141)

    It's not exactly news that people or companies want to dissociate themselves from people charged with crimes. Removing any connections with these people has been going on for years.

    In any case, I don't know why this is even news on slashdot. If this insider trading case didn't involve a tech company, would this still be here? How is this is news for nerds??

  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @03:03PM (#29779169) Journal

    Anytime such grandiose outsourcing and/or workforce cutting schemes are created, you can suspect that a psychopathic suit just got an idea how to look busy and useful.

  • Re:First post??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @03:06PM (#29779191) Journal

    A lot of good programs and people were axed during his tenure which added to the short term bottom line but have shown in the last 4 years to hurt their long term objectives.

    That's so textbook corporate psychopaty. When will people learn?

  • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <{ten.knilhtrae} {ta} {nsxihselrahc}> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @03:13PM (#29779223)

    Yeah. There's nothing against cleaning up your image, only against destroying the evidence. Or something that could be construed as evidence. You can generally even supply it to the court under seal, if you don't want your neighbors to know.

    (Well, that's civil law. Criminal law might be different. But I doubt it. If you're supplying the evidence rather than having it seized, I think you generally get a lot of control over how widely it's shown.)

  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @03:13PM (#29779227) Homepage

    > Do you need approval from the Feds before tidying up after someone who's
    > under investigation?

    While the courts might frown on destroying records relating to such a person there is no requirement that they remain on public display.

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @03:21PM (#29779275) Journal

    IBM has moved from being a socially responsible organization towards being a profit driven company.

    Maybe if you ignore the monopoly thing a few decades ago. What has gone from companies like IBM and HP is job security. They are now process and project driven instead of technology driven, so when a product goes, so do the people.

    US's comparative advantage is change, not technology per se. Any technology that starts to become a commodity is shipped overseas, and the US companies have to move on to emerging, difficult, or sales-centric technologies to stay ahead of the game. Thus, there's high turn-over and burnout. You're a star one decade and "dead-wood" the next. IT is not the best career if you like stability.

  • Re:First post??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @03:37PM (#29779373)
    No what's funny is that a nation which is already joking about his prison rape before he's even been found guilty runs around the world trying to impose their view of human rights on everyone else.
  • by Teckla ( 630646 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @04:01PM (#29779515)

    The quality hasn't changed because it's the same machine.

    Sorry,, it's not.

    My company has been using ThinkPads exclusively for years, and once IBM sold the unit to Lenovo, the quality of the ThinkPad line has gone down, in my opinion.

    I think IBM demanded a higher of level quality than Lenovo demands of itself. My experience seems to indicate there is now a higher failure rate, as well as evidence of cutting corners.

    R.I.P. ThinkPad

  • Re:Bio link works. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @04:02PM (#29779525) Homepage
    I noticed that too. I think someone was a bit too happy about this and the company decided they have to show some level of support for the guy even if he's a complete ass.
  • No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @04:04PM (#29779537) Homepage Journal

    It's not the least bit surprising. Who would want to remind the world that they heaped praise on someone who turned out to be a felonious swindler and a cheat (and probable psychopath)?

    The PR people fear that it reflects very poorly of the judgment of the others. I wouldn't be too hard on them though, psychopaths smart enough to not go to jail in their youth are notoriously hard to spot in a crowd.

  • Re:First post??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tunapez ( 1161697 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @04:16PM (#29779605)

    That's so textbook corporate psychopathy. When will people learn?

    After they're caught.
    At which time they will wax sympathetic, not admit any guilt and promise not to do it again.
    All the while crossing their toes.

    When a culture celebrates and rewards parasitic behavior, it's no wonder the psycho's are winning.
    ***How much time will the billionaire serve do you suppose? I predict he "affords" his justice and walks. Worst case, no admission of wrongdoing and 18 months of "hard" club-fed time for perjury or jaywalking.

  • Re:First post??? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Eudial ( 590661 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @04:19PM (#29779625)

    Rape is such a harsh word. Free surprise buttsecks is a much better way of putting it.

  • by lukas84 ( 912874 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @04:20PM (#29779627) Homepage

    Lenovo's quality of the "real" ThinkPads (T-series, X-series, W-series) is still pretty good.

    The R-series have always been not-as-good. What Lenovo did was to introduce the SL-series, which are crap.

    I've been using a T60, until i needed more power and switched to the W500 in last december. It's a great machine. I'm using it with Windows 7 x64, with WS08R2 on a VHD to run VMs through Hyper-V.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @05:02PM (#29779871)

    someone who turned out to be a felonious swindler and a cheat (and probable psychopath)?

    To be fair, that really could be any sufficiently successful executive.

  • Re:First post??? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @05:24PM (#29780007)

    Neither is war, but do you see the soldiers holding back? Black humor is as good as any other.

  • by QuoteMstr ( 55051 ) <> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @05:58PM (#29780253)

    We're coasting on the accomplishments of our ancestors. Unfortunately, their America is not our America.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @06:59PM (#29780637) Homepage Journal

    IBM invented all kinds of goofy laptop stuff, including the butterfly keyboard. To be fair, the fold-out screen idea is stupid, but trying new things is commendable. Failing to build reliable hardware is just failure, though.

  • by boorack ( 1345877 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @07:32PM (#29780809)
    As a person who still remembers (late stages of) communism, those fat & lazy corporations resemble old (long dead) industry in communist states. So many things look exactly the same. High rank executives chasing phantom "results" just to get their bonuses, causing so much mayhem in the process. Middle rank managers who are interested in just blindly executing orders from their bosses and have to be clueless crooks to succeed, low level worker drones interested in setting up another "Q&A cell" to do some paperwork or being a salesman without any responsibility instead of doing something real.

    For me, the main distinction between capitalism and communism (corporatism) is ownership. In capitalism the owner runs the business and risks its own property in the process - thus the owner is interested in well-being in the long run. In communism (or corporatism) the communist comisar (corporate executive) runs business that does not belong to him, does not risk anything and is interested in skimming some of it via bonus (for posting cooked results) or some form of fraud.

    Using ownership distinction it is easy to explain why some corporations (Google, even Microsoft) are doing well (and have clean vision) while others (pre-Gerstner IBM, HP after Compaq merge) have no vision except next quarter results. Apple is a blatant example - founded by Jobs & co, then taken over by some classic corporate drones (and nearly killed in the process), then taken back by Jobs and regained all its shine (and some more). This also explains why large corporations like to merge creating larger (more poorly managed) ones - the larger (and less transparent), the more occasions for upper management to steal something.
  • by tyllwin ( 513130 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @07:38PM (#29780835)

    God, I wish I had points to mod this up. I've never ever seen it be about skills -- usually, in fact, the people doing the arbitrage don't even *know* what the relative skillsets are.

  • by 787style ( 816008 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @09:57PM (#29781425)
    This is nothing but corporate socialism. Why is this better than the government stepping in and providing health care and retirement? People can't expect their corporation to be responsible for individuals who can no longer contribute to the bottom line. It is inconceivable to think you can compete when you product and service is easily reproducible by another company which isn't burdened by this "gift" to workers. I feel for his plight, however a disservice was given to shareholders by leaving this employee on for so long. Employees belief of entitlement is why IBM is the dinosaur it is.
  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:29PM (#29781543) Journal

    While those things are deplorable, the trouble isn't that the US is the worst in the world as it is that we can do better.

    Saying that "We" are guilty of these thing isn't true - though some few of us are and no doubt we can do better. We should do better. We should encourage each other to improve and not despair.

    On the other hand: Slavery is still a common practice in large parts of the world, particularly Asia (and to some degree in the US too). China harvests organs from political prisoners. In Russia the rule of law is still privately funded and enforced. Rape of political prisoners to discourage dissent is reportedly practiced in Iran. Female genital mutilation, "honor" killings and simply setting your wife on fire are practiced in many places. As I write this one billion of my six billion fellow humans is starving. And let's not even talk about the pit of hell that is Africa. And then there's the deplorable incremental loss of human rights caused by busybodies determined to legislate every possible human action from marriage to business to whether you wear seatbelts in your car to whether you have seventeen forms of insurance; from what you read and watch and say to who you associate with to where you travel. To count our ills as Men is perhaps counterproductive. It's probably better to count our blessings and be happy with our lot, and then reach out and do what we can to improve the lot of others - but without risking so much that we become part of the problem.

    If you really think our country is that bad, the exit is here []. Be careful, though. It's a one-way door. And don't let it hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

    Yes, prisoners raping each other is a despicable act and it occurs far more often than it should. It's not as common as people seem to think though and most of the people who joke about it don't do so because they approve of it. Voluntary "situational" homosexuality during incarceraton is far more common, as it is in polygamous cultures and other cases and doesn't get nearly as much discussion. Like most other fonts of humor like death and toilets and sex people joke about it because making light of the human condition is how humans deal with things that make us uncomfortable. It's how we let go of the inevitable sadness so we can cope. It's a joke. Laugh.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @10:36PM (#29781557) Journal
    if Sam Palmisano was also arrested, charged, tried, convicted and hung. The top of IBM have been horrible over the last 7 years.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:37PM (#29781763)

    Not unique to IBM, but in order to be granted permission to bring on an H-1B holder, the company has to show a "good faith" effort to find a U.S. Citizen.

    HR is trained in how to structure the requirements such that they will not be filled.

    The objective is to exclude everyone that attempts to get through, and if ALL requirements are met, they have to conduct an interview, the objective of which is not to see if you're qualified, but to find any excuse to exclude you.

    Once that has been accomplished, they can bring on the H-1B.

    Often times the job is "mapped" to the exact background of the H-1B they have in mind. Hence facilitating the process.

  • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by demachina ( 71715 ) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @11:53PM (#29781805)

    I think labeling these people as pschopathic is misguided at best. I'm pretty sure insider trading is an epidemic now and I wager a LOT of people are doing the same thing, in fact its behavior that is probably the new normal in the morally bankrupt world we live in. These guys were just doing it on a wholesale level and were unlucky that someone ratted them out. I wonder how many people are cringing right now because they know they've done the same thing and worry a little they might get caught too. I wager a week from now all the insider cheats will be back at it because the money is too good and too easy.

    It pretty tough to care about a few million made on illegal stock tips when places like Goldman Sachs are looting billions out of the pockets of all of us and getting away with it year after year. They ran a racket that nearly destroyed the global economy, pushed millions in to unemployment, foreclosure and homelessness and we punished them by giving them a bank charter, FDIC insurance, nearly unlimited money at zero percent. They are making a billion a month, and are going to pay record bonuses to the same execs who steamrolled our economy. When your whole economy has turned in to a crime scene how do you single out these people to jail.

  • by hobohro ( 968930 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @07:25AM (#29783191)
    I just read his BIO and all the divisions he has been head of no longer exist.............Thank you GREED!
  • by 787style ( 816008 ) on Sunday October 18, 2009 @08:54AM (#29783557)
    Because now its selective as to who gets the care. Only highly skilled individuals working for a select number of corporations reap the benefit.

The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta