Resignations at IT firm that General Motors depends on : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I saw an article at Gary North's site today about resignations at EDS, the company working to make GM compliant. The 55 year-old Vice Chairman of EDS just announced his resignation, effective December 31, 1998.

The CEO of EDS announced his resignation in August. If there's any kind of leading indicator of a stock market crash and bank runs, then CIO and CEO resignations are that indicator.

Do you know of any other recent resignations like this?

-- Kevin (, December 04, 1998


You missed one: the CFO also resigned, back in Feb of this year. According to the news report I read a couple of days ago, he hasn't been replaced yet.

-- Ed Yourdon (, December 04, 1998.

Keep your eye on the stock market and the impeachment hearings. It's all down hill from there......Oh, by the way, have you heard about the last corporate layoffs at Boeing and Johnson and Johnson? There's a few others in our state that you may not have heard about that are laying off (semiconductor industry). My assumption is: as more money is spent to "fix" each company's Y2K problem, they will have to make up the revenue or profit loss somewhere, and it will always be at the expense of the loyal company worker. Stock holders love the word "cut overhead."

-- bardou (, December 04, 1998.

It's starting......

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, December 04, 1998.

The first thing weong is that you believed the slant that GN always puts in anything to suit his beliefs. The second thing is that people resign for other reasons than knowing it will all fall apart. In this day and age, he could have been forced out because he did not stand up to the standards ir was incapable of leading and acceptingthe reality of what was inpoetant to work towards a fix. Or maybe he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, sat at a desk and got paid big bucks for doing nothing, or had sex with the bosses daughter or wife. There are a multitude of reasons for resignations. If you are bent on assuming that evey event is a sign of an indicator of big problems in Y2K you will be ables to justify it in your own little head. But assumong does not make a situation conform to your bent on it. When did people stop using common sense and get so anal retentive just to use any situation to justify their own ideas? Perhaps it is the lack of proper education that has been the bain of this country for so many recient decades. It always makes me feel sorry for the lack of ability to see many sides of a situation that has not been taught. Pretty sad the lack of the ability of so many to use larger portions of their potentually brilliant minds. What a waste

-- Cherri (, December 04, 1998.

"Perhaps it is the lack of proper education that has been the bain of this country for so many recient decades." Since you are obviously so educated, I assume you meant to say "bane of this country for so many recent decades." I won't even attempt to parse the rest of your post.

-- copyeditor (, December 04, 1998.

FROM ONE OF YOURDON'S FAVORITE PUBLICATIONS: (Just so you DoomBreeders can't spin this one also)

(on why Fernandez left) ..................................... EDS' No. 2 says goodbye

According to industry observers, 30-year EDS veteran Gary Fernandes will be leaving the IT firm because officials there haven't tapped him to replace departing CEO Les Alberthal.

-- No Spin (, December 04, 1998.

My reference (to Pac. Nortwest area layoffs) was to the impact PNG has been predicting about the impact of US jobs from low foreign (Asian) sales, leading next year into problems from Y2K and their economic troubles together.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, December 04, 1998.

Copy Editor, I hate to be so picky but you really should have started a new paragraph after you used that direct quote from Cherri. :)

Don't hold back. Show us how to "parse" the rest of her post.

Then I can "parse" your post.

-- Anti-Chainsaw (, December 04, 1998.

To copy editor. Yes I am intellegent. But when I write at 4 am after a long day my spelling suffers. The idea I wrote is sound though. If you judge a book by it's cover and never open it, that is your loss.

-- Cherri (, December 04, 1998.

Its as a possessive has no apostrophe. Tee hee.

-- Vic Parker (, December 04, 1998.

Now, now - lets not get petti - youre only allwed to comment if you can more erros than the guy your righting about.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, December 04, 1998.

Whatever "spin" anybody wants to put on this is beside the issue. The fact is EDS, who is a major player, has just lost three of their top dogs within a year. Their leadership will suffer because of it.

This is a critical time for the whole country. We need the continuity to see this through. But that is just my humble opinion.


-- Anna McKay Ginn (, December 04, 1998.


I did not say that these resignations are Y2K related--I merely called attention to them. Yes, resignations like this will be an early indicator. I asked if any of you have heard of similar resignations.

One company is not a trend. This is noteworthy enough, though, to file away for future reference.

-- Kevin (, December 04, 1998.

Might also want to pay attention to the CIO appointments ...


Knight Ridder Names Chief Information Officer

MIAMI, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Knight Ridder (NYSE: KRI) today announced that David Starr, who has become known in high-tech circles for his work in designing database networks and integrating systems across geographically dispersed organizations, is joining the company as vice president and chief information officer.

"We are extremely pleased to have attracted David to Knight Ridder," said Chairman and CEO Tony Ridder. "He has been responsible for increasing efficiency and totally turning around technology operations at a number of major companies and is well known in this highly competitive business. We think he's just what we need as we move more aggressively into using new technology to offer more information to our customers."

Starr, 47, will join Knight Ridder June 1 and will report directly to Ridder.

Starr has most recently been chief information officer at The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., where he put in place a database capable of allowing that company to share resources globally and across product lines, increasing efficiency and decreasing costs. He was featured in CIO Magazine in 1991 for his role in restructuring the information services operation at Citicorp, where he managed 1,000 staffers in 92 countries. The database system he and his team set up tied 42 different systems together and was credited for helping Citicorp gain market share. Starr is a Miami native who was awarded a Silver Knight in science from The Miami Herald while attending Miami Coral Park High School. The Herald is one of Knight Ridder's largest newspapers and the Silver Knights are highly coveted national achievement awards. He began his career at General Motors as a senior systems analyst. For six years, he worked with Price Waterhouse, consulting for 100 different companies. He was with Citicorp from 1986 to 1991. Prior to joining Reader's Digest, he was chief information officer for ITT Corporation. He did his undergraduate work in physics at Florida State University and his graduate work at Harvard University Graduate School of Business. Starr is married with four children and will live in Northern California, where Knight Ridder corporate headquarters will relocate from Miami by the first of the year. Knight Ridder is the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher, with products in print and online. The company publishes 31 daily newspapers in 28 U.S. markets, with a readership of 9.0 million daily and 12.6 million Sunday, and maintains 33 associated Web sites under the name Knight Ridder Real Cities. Knight Ridder also has investments in two newsprint mills.

-- Diane J. Squire (, December 04, 1998.

I just realized last night there may be another angle to the EDS resignation. About two weeks ago, GM said they would pay EDS a bonus of $75 million if EDS could make GM compliant by 2000. This $75 million is on top of the $300 million that GM was going to pay EDS anyway for the Y2K work.,4,29127,00.html

Could GM have been trying to make it financially worthwhile for EDS's Vice Chairman to stay at EDS through 2000? Remember, EDS's chairman already announced his resignation in August. The Vice Chairman just announced his own resignation, effective December 31, 1998.

-- Kevin (, December 05, 1998.

This is relatively off-subject in this thread, but I've been tracking the popular use of words in the media in the last couple years. Of note is the recent upsurge of the word "parse". Goddess knows, I love words, is in part how I make my living. Could you who use the word "parse" give concise synonyms from YOUR usage for this word. I think when words begin to break into common usage they range greatly from their original usage..."how language gets bastardized" me out here so I can see if I want to use it in my everyday speech.

Don'tcha just love semantics?

-- Donna Barthuley (, December 05, 1998.

Since EDS provides both complete information system outsourcing, which implicitly requires Y2k compliance, and provides custom Y2k remediation to numerous clientele, the corporate officers at EDS are open to a wide range of Y2k-related litigation scenarios -- much more than you average corporate officer or board member.

If they are resigning due to liability fears arising from inadequate Y2k readiness, then they've set up patsies as their successors. Now, if their patsy-successors are unable to obtain adequate Y2k-related liability coverage (which in EDS's case I think would be prohibitively expensive if even available) watch whether these newly-minted officers stay on at EDS or if, they too, resign.

THAT would be an indicator...

-- Nathan (, December 05, 1998.

The word parse is used a lot by programmers in their work, but in everyday life, when I see it used or use it myself I take it to mean braking down a sentence, giving the form and function of each part. Picking at spelling instead of ideas is a form of parsing. Discussing the word parse itself in relation to the above is parsing...

As is arguing what IS is ;)

-- Chris (, December 05, 1998.


You've picked an interesting name for an example of a CIO appointment.

David Starr, ex-Reader's Digest CIO, was notorious this past summer as the "industry insider" who was saying Y2k was all hype, a manufactured for-profit crisis, "a dud". I tried to find his interview, but all the links to it come up empty. Hmmm...

One wonders. Was he canned at Reader's Digest for not taking Y2k seriously? Did he quit Reader's Digest because the rest of management was on his case because he wasn't taking any action? Doesn't Knight-Ridder know that, by hiring David Starr, they will appear not to be taking Y2k seriously?

-- Nathan (, December 05, 1998.

Nathan, I know.

I've been astonished at how little coverage "the" Silicon Valley newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, has given to Y2K. As a Knight- Ridder publication, it's easy to extrapolate a link with David Starr. If they don't have a "big one" in tomorrow's Sunday paper, a WHOLE BUNCH of the busniess and technology reporters and editors, will have an e-mail awaiting them Monday morning.

Luckily, the San Francisco Examiner/Chronicle and KRON TV -- the Merc's competition -- is covering the topic more and more. Rivalry works. (Sent a short e-mail last night to Peter Jennings asking why ABC wasn't covering the Y2K topic when 60 Minutes and Dan Rather were).

Donna, "parse" -- separate into little pieces, so it's harder to see bigger pictures?


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 06, 1998.

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