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5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

For the week ending May 10, CRN looks at IT companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions.

The Week Ending May 10

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Conduent, whose CEO resigned this week amid declining revenue and a dispute with activist investor Carl Icahn.

Also making the list this week is Symantec, whose CEO also resigned amid difficult times at the company. Employees at Cognizant's India operations faced layoffs while some 100 Amazon merchants discovered they were victims of a hack that siphoned money from their accounts. And eyeDisk was facing reports that its secure USB flash drive was not so secure.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves – or just had good luck – check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.


Conduent CEO To Resign Amid Falling Revenue And Battle With Carl Icahn

Xerox spin-off Conduent has had a tough haul lately. This week, amid poor financial results, CEO Ashok Vemuri (pictured) announced that he is stepping down as soon as the board hires a replacement – likely by the third quarter.

Vemuri's resignation follows this week's news that the business process services company suffered a 39-percent drop in new business signings in the most recent quarter, lost a $140 million contract with the state of California, and saw reduced sales to its biggest customer – all leading to reduced revenue for the most recent quarter and lower guidance for the year. And this week the company’s stock lost nearly 36 percent of its value.

All this comes as Vemuri had been mired in a public spat with activist investor Carl Icahn. He and the company's leadership have faced criticism from a resigning board member – an Icahn employee – who questioned decisions made by Vemuri and Conduent's management.


Symantec CEO Greg Clark Resigns As Company Wrestles With Investor Unrest And Flagging Enterprise Sales

Conduent isn't the only company that had a sudden change of management at the top. It's been a tough week for Symantec and for chairman, president and CEO Greg Clark who resigned from all roles at the company – effective immediately.

The company named former Novellus Systems CEO Richard Hill to serve as interim president and CEO.

The sudden management change follows a turbulent year at Symantec. Last fall the company wrangled with activist investor Starboard Value before agreeing to name three new independent board members. Also in the fall the company completed an internal probe into concerns raised by a former employee and deferred $12 million in revenue that had been recognized in the quarter ended March 2018.

This week the company reported that revenue in its fiscal 2019 fourth quarter (ended March 29) declined nearly 2 percent year over year.


100 Amazon Merchants Hacked In Extensive Six-Month Campaign

About 100 Amazon merchants have discovered that they were victims of an online attack between May and October 2018 in which hackers siphoned funds from the sellers' accounts.

The attackers broke into the accounts of roughly 100 Amazon sellers during the six-month period and funneled cash from loans or sales into their own bank accounts. The hackers were able to change merchant account details on the Seller Control platform to match their own bank accounts.

Amazon said it is still investigating the compromised accounts. Word of the incident leaked out this week when Bloomberg reported the attacks based on a redacted U.K. legal filing.


Cognizant Cutting Jobs In India After Lackluster Revenue And Earnings Reports

It was a rough week for employees at global solution provider and IT services company Cognizant, which is cutting an undisclosed number of jobs in India.

The company has about 285,000 employees worldwide with about 70 percent of the company's workforce based in India. Reports said the cutbacks appeared to be aimed at the company's mid-level staff in its India operations.

The layoffs come in the wake of the company's fiscal 2019 first quarter financial report that included falling profit margins and revenue that did not meet expectations.


Secure USB Flash Drive From EyeDisk Turns Out To Be Hackable

Startup eyeDisk has promoted its USB flash drive with the tag line "keeps your digital data locked and secure, granting access only to you," thanks to the iris recognition technology it uses to unlock and decrypt the device.

But it turns out the device isn't so secure, according to multiple reports, including Techcrunch and Threatpost.

Pen Test Partners, a U.K.-based cybersecurity firm, used the popular network packet analyzer called "Wireshark" while unlocking the device and found that the eyeDisk device's backup password could be easily obtained in plain text.

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