IBM management turns down bonuses as profits fall

IBM Watson
Did IBM's Watson supercomputer take a pay cut too?

IBM's Chief Executive and senior management team have said they will "forgo" their 2013 bonuses in light of the company's performance.

The world's biggest computer-services provider announced its 2013 fourth-quarter and full-year results yesterday, in which it revealed a 5 per cent fall in sales and a 1 per cent fall in net profits from 2013.

Performance was hardest hit in the IBM's 'growth markets', where revenue decreased 9 per cent. Of those markets, the so-called BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - saw revenues fall by 14 per cent.

"We continued to drive strong results across much of our portfolio and again grew earnings per share in 2013," said IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty, in a statement responding to the results. "While we made solid progress in businesses that are powering our future, in view of the company's overall full year results, my senior team and I have recommended that we forgo our personal annual incentive payments for 2013."

Cloud focus

IBM last week committed to a US$1.2 billion investment in its 'global cloud footprint', including plans to open 15 new data centres worldwide. The investment follows the acquisition last year of cloud computing infrastructure company SoftLayer and reinforces IBM's focus on cloud services going forward.

"As we enter 2014, we will continue to transform our business and invest aggressively in the areas that will drive growth and higher value," said Rometty. "We remain on track toward our 2015 roadmap for operating EPS of at least $20, a step in our long-term strategy of industry leadership and continuous transformation."