They have reached the point where they can no longer slash their way out of declining sales. Angry employees and angry customers does not make a successful business.
Don't you recognize that it is all as you say, ONLY SHAREHOLDER VALUE counts for any American business, nothing else matters. Not employee morale, not have talented workforce, not having good customers. Saw a rep from AstraZeneca in a medical office today and commented that THANK GOD they no longer use IBM. SHE AGREED. BUT WHAT THE HELL, ONLY SHAREHOLDER VALUE matters and since it is $190, who the hell cares otherwise. GO GINNY, DECIMATE the American ranks and #$%$ off American customers. AstraZeneca, Texas, AmGen, Service Master, Hilton Hotels. All told IBM to take a flying leap off a bridge.
What a concept IBM. You praise technology deficient decision makers and allow them to weed out all of the few who do understand the technology. Then give the positions to others out of country who work for pennies on the US dollar with no realization of cultural communications other than copying a US workers ethics and actions. Do you even realize who the real innovators are? I'm guessing you think every skill can be transferred to whomever and just line your wallets. Bravo! How about lining your customer's wallet with those penny on the dollar savings. The sad thing is when you get to that point of passing those HUGE savings, you won't have any employees on the payroll who understand the ever changing technical equation. Since you're taking everything backward a century or so, lets all join in.
You can't have corporate success from just buying up shares. Eventually you either run out of money or enter into dangerous leverage or both. The company has to eventually show organic growth.The history of large corporate buyback programs is they buy high and issue at much lower prices and destroy value.