5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

For the week ending Nov. 15, CRN looks at IT companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions.


The Week Ending Nov. 15

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Microsoft, which is facing an appeal by rival Amazon Web Services of Microsoft’s recent win of the Pentagon’s JEDI contract.

Also making the list this week are Intel for having to scramble to fix a “Zombieload” vulnerability in its new Xeon Cascade Lake family of chips; Docker for undergoing a major restructuring that includes selling off its enterprise business and changing its CEO; Cisco Systems for losing a longtime channel executive; and DXC Technology for potentially divesting three of its businesses.

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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 5 Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Microsoft, Pentagon Face AWS Appeal Of JEDI Contract Award

If you thought that last month’s award of the massive JEDI cloud computing contract to Microsoft was the end of a long, bitter competition, think again.

This week Amazon Web Services, which was Microsoft’s primary competitor for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, filed an appeal of the U.S. Department of Defense’s decision to award the contract to Microsoft and its Azure cloud system. The contract is potentially worth up to $10 billion.

AWS filed notice with the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals of its intent to protest the contract award to Microsoft, which was seen as a major win for its Azure cloud platform.

Intel’s Newest Cascade Lake Chips Hit By New ‘Zombieload’ Flaw

Developers at chipmaker Intel had to scramble this week when a new variant of the “Zombieload” flaw was discovered in the chipmaker’s new Xeon Cascade Lake family of chips, a flaw that could be used to steal sensitive data directly from the processor.

To combat the flaw, Intel released microcode updates Tuesday.

Docker Restructures, Unloads Enterprise Business, Gets New CEO

It’s been a turbulent week at container software developer Docker, which has undertaken a major restructuring that includes splitting the company in two and selling off the company’s enterprise business.

The company is selling its enterprise platform business to B2B cloud computing business Mirantis. Docker will now focus on its active developer business.

The company also said that Rob Bearden (pictured), who just became Docker’s CEO in May, is being replaced by Scott Johnson, currently the company’s chief product officer.

Docker did have some good news in that it has secured $35 million in new financing from previous investors Benchmark Capital and Insight Partners.

Cisco Losing Longtime Channel Leader Nirav Sheth

Cisco Systems disclosed this week that the company is losing channel veteran Nirav Sheth, who is leaving the networking giant for an external opportunity.

Sheth has been with Cisco for nearly 20 years. As vice president of worldwide sales and systems engineering for Cisco’s Global Partner Organization, he has essentially served as right-hand man to global channel chief Oliver Tuszik.

Sheth has also played a critical role in working with channel partners as Cisco evolves into a software- and services-focused company.

Sheth is leaving to take a channel-facing job in another, undisclosed company. Tuszik is taking on Sheth’s duties until a replacement is found.

DXC Technology Planning To Divest Three Of Its Businesses

DXC Technology CEO Mike Salvino (pictured) told financial analysts Monday that the solution provider giant is planning "strategic alternatives," including the possible divesture of three of its businesses in an effort to restart growth.

Salvino, who was named CEO in September following the resignation of Mike Lawrie, said DXC decided to pursue strategic alternatives for three of its businesses: its U.S., state, and local health and human services business; its horizontal BPS (business process services) business; and its workplace and mobility business.

"These businesses are strong," he said. "Our workplace and our U.S., state, and local health and human services businesses are market leaders. And we have meaningful IP [intellectual property] in our horizontal BPS business."

This would not be DXC Technology's first spin-off. The company in mid-2018 separated its U.S. public sector business with previous Vencore and KeyPoint acquisitions into a new company, Perspecta, that is now an independent public company.