Promotion or P45? – The IT Developer Who Outsourced his Job to China

I’d welcome your comments and feedback after reading the story below from Verizon

which at surface level you may find amusing.

As a business strategist with over three decades of experience who encourages business owners and heads of family run companies to be resourceful, innovative and constantly seek out the top talent – it also poses some interesting questions.

‘Bob’, an IT worker in the US was recently fired after outsourcing all of his tasks to China. According to Verizon, Bob would turn up at work each day at 9am and give every appearance of putting a full day’s work. Each quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building and, apparently, his code was clean, well-written, and submitted in a timely fashion.

However, after investigating Bob’s online activity, it turns out that his daily work schedule was more like this:

9:00 a.m. – Arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos.

11:30 a.m. – Take lunch.

1:00 p.m. – Ebay time.

2:00 – ish pm Facebook updates – LinkedIn.

4:30 p.m. – End of day update e-mail to management.

5:00 p.m. – Go home.

Bob, who was paid several hundred thousand dollars a year, had outsourced his work to a Chinese computer consultancy firm for around $50,000 a year.

Obviously, Bob had broken the terms of his employment contract and caused a security headache for his employers but he also showed a certain amount of resourcefulness. A small part of me wonders if his employers weren’t a little hasty in giving Bob the boot. Surely a man with that sort of nous could be put to good use within the company.

There’s been a stream of alternative opinions posted on this story since it hit the social media headlines.

Many praise Bob as a true visionary who deserved  to be promoted

  • Others say the story reinforces the growing importance of outsourcing
  • Some say he left his employers vulnerable to a major security breach

And of course there are those whose comments can’t be repeated.

Most importantly, what do you think?  Let us know below, go to @RichardWhatIf on Twitter, Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn or post on

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