IBM Should Donate Hursley House To The U.K. National Trust, Sell The Rest To Be Turned Into A Retirement Community.
>> Get rid of unproductive R&D — Feb. 2, 2015.
>> IBM’s 26% layoff is NOT enough — Jan. 27, 2015.
>> Punch-drunk IBM, 40% layoff — Oct. 21, 2014.
>> Continue to punish shareholder — Oct. 20, 2014.
>> Spin Off Watson — Oct. 8, 2014.
>> “Think” sign — Aug. 28, 2014.
>> Hursley’s John Fairclough … — Aug. 27, 2014.
>> Mainframe 50th — Apr. 7, 2014.
>> Gene Amdahl & I – Mar. 29, 2014.
>> IBM Hursley pictures – Mar. 16, 2014.
>> Malaysia flight 370: And ‘Poor’ IBM — Mar. 11, 2014.
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As I tried to be as lucid as possible in my prior post 24 hours ago, IBM’s ‘applied research’ R&D facilities, the so called ‘Laboratories’, have not been pulling their weight for years.
IBM, with its stockholders taking a beating, cannot afford to be sentimental anymore. Some of these Labs, especially the expensive European Labs, have to be closed down. In all cases IBM can make billions on their Real Estate investment. This was ALWAYS the plan from way back in the 1950s. Pick prime RE for the Labs so that if nothing else the RE will appreciate and be worth a fortune. That part has worked, and worked well. IBM is sitting on an absolute gold mine when it comes to RE — much of it associated with the huge sprawling campuses of the Labs.
Plus the original basic rationale for the European Labs is no longer relevant. In the 1950s IBM started building Labs in all of the major European countries to show its commitment to that country and as such gain favorable treatment when it came to doing business there. Those days are long gone. IBM having a Lab in a country is no longer a major factor. So why waste money.
IBM’s absolutely picturesque Hursley Park (where I used to work) is a case in point. Whatever is being done there these days can be moved to places with cheaper labor and much less expensive infrastructure costs. IBM no longer has the luxury of owning showcase locations like Hursley. That privilege now falls to the likes of Google, Apple, Samsung and Facebook.
Hursley House, where the iconic Spitfire of Battle of Britain fame was designed, is historic and magnificent. It also still has, I hope, the Wedgewood Room which featured the eponymous china embedded into the wall. IBM should donate the house to the U.K. National Trust and get some Tax Credits and bucket fulls of goodwill. The rest of the campus should be sold to a developer to be made into a stunning, luxury retirement community. Basically that is what it is now. Actually most of the building could be easily converted into high end condos. Many of the IBMers working there could just move in there. They will all have good pensions from IBM.