Both AECOM and IBM want to cancel the $2.3 billion IT outsourcing deal they signed in January 2017, according to an inside source who asked not to be named.
The source claimed that the two parties are struggling to find a mutually agreeable approach to an exit.
"Both AECOM and IBM want out but can't come to an agreement," the source told Computing. "All the way up both chains know and acknowledge this is a shit show," the source added.
They went on to discuss the proposed acquisition of AECOM by WSP Global, a professional services firm, suggesting that the deal would any make sense if it was going ahead with "a great discount".
"WSP is nuts for grabbing this falling knife, unless they get a great discount," the source claimed.
Computing recently heard from another source who claimed that AECOM Chairman and CEO Mike Burke, who recently announced his impending retirement, had been asked to leave by the board, but was holding on to see the sale through, hoping to gain personally from the transaction.
The deal between IBM and AECOM has been fraught with challenges according to numerous sources who have approached Computing since it was first announced. Many have cited poor support, lengthy response times, project delays and low morale.
Recent sources have painted the same picture, alleging that IBM are "a joke", and that their work is "sloppy" with "lots of mistakes". The failings are blamed on poor management, with the source adding that the organisation is suffering significant delays to ongoing projects.
"AECOM has crazy amounts of backlog," the insider began. "We win a lot of contracts, but we have barely been profitable. Poor management is what I have heard. IBM is a joke. It seems they have assigned their cheapest labour to AECOM to save money. And that labour is low skill. They don't care, and they produce sloppy work, with lots of mistakes."
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