As someone who has worked in high tech since mainframes dominated data processing, I can categorically state nothing could be further from the truth. Apple faces continual uncertainty surrounding maintenance of its “walled garden” ecosystem; Microsoft is chasing Amazon Web Services for cloud supremacy; Oracle desperately needs to move beyond its database hegemony. And Cisco is still establishing beachheads that go beyond its core networking competency. Oh, and IBM, a company whose revenue has dropped by 27 percent since 2011, has spent approximately $1.6 billion on stock buybacks in the same time period. Does that look like a company that has too much money to invest back into its business?
As Sigmund Freud is reported to have said, sometimes a “cigar is just a cigar.” And all these buybacks are exactly what they appear: a transparent exercise in enriching executives and shareholders while employees, contractors and local communities are starved of their fair share of corporate profits.
Andrew Birnbaum, Shepherdstown, W.Va.