Lance Crosby Exits SoftLayer; IBM Layoffs Begin

SoftLayer founder Lance Crosby has announced his exit from IBM just 2 years after the company acquired his IaaS venture for $2B. Crosby’s departure comes just days after IBM made headlines for its less than stellar quarterly earnings report. IBM reported that $7B of its $93B in revenue came from cloud. Although $7B in cloud is nothing to sneeze at, financial commentators hammered IBM for lower than expected numbers.

“I am very proud of the business we built and the team who continue to evolve SoftLayer at IBM,”  said Crosby in his departure letter sent out through IBM. “Now that the business is successfully integrated into IBM, I am ready to take some time off before I pursue my next challenge.”

IBM released a statement regarding Crosby’s exit saying, “We wish Lance Crosby the best as he takes a well deserved break before pursuing new endeavors.”

IBM sprung onto the public cloud scene by purchasing SoftLayer for $2B. Under the agreement, SoftLayer would retain its own branding and founder Lance Crosby would make the transition to IBM. With Crosby’s departure and Robert LeBlanc’s promotion to head of cloud at IBM, it seems as if Big Blue may be ready to turn the corner on its cloud ventures and take it to the next level.

IBM Layoffs

A dustup of sorts occurred between tech writer Robert X. Cringely and IBM. On January 22nd, Cringlely wrote, “One in four IBMers reading this column will probably start looking for a new job next week. Those employees will all be gone by the end of February.” An articled published by Reuters has IBM saying that Cringley’s report is inaccurate. Fast forward to Wednesday, local sources such as say that 200 employees from IBM’s Dubuque office have gotten the pink slip. Other sources reports that IBMer’s from offices all around the world are also getting shown the door.

One former IBM employee writes, “14 year IBMer resourced today. Last day Feb 27. Age 58. C&N/Legal group. Outstanding performer downgraded to strong performer (i.e.2)for last PBC. Directly closed over $100M in contracts past QTR.”

“Resourced” is the IBM inside lingo for being laid off. No one really knows the real number of the IBM layoffs; As IBM puts all of its eggs into the cloud basket, many of its other business units will likely start to feel the pain thus layoffs are likely to occur and become more talked about in the mainstream news cycle.