5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending April 4, 2014

This week's roundup of companies that had a rough week include VCE, which lost a key channel executive to Red Hat, more scrutiny of RSA for its relationship with the National Security Agency, additional problems with the Healthcare.gov website, problems with Instagram's mobile application, and the resignation of Mozilla's controversial CEO.

VCE Loses Channel Exec To Red Hat

VCE Vice President of Global Indirect Channels D. Robert Martin this week jumped ship to join enterprise software maker Red Hat as vice president of North American partner sales in what solution providers are calling a major blow to the VMware, Cisco Systems and EMC converged infrastructure system alliance.

VCE partners said Martin's departure is another sign of cracks in the VCE alliance, along with problems they are having working with VCE's sales representatives. Those partners said Red Hat's hiring of the respected Martin marked a channel coup for the enterprise software developer.

RSA Again Under Scrutiny For Possible NSA Link

Researchers this week said they uncovered another link between National Security Agency surveillance activities and RSA Security's encryption tools, a link that allegedly supports the agency's ability to spy on protected communications. Systems integrators say reports of security vendors working with the NSA have businesses questioning the reliability of security products and services developed by U.S. technology vendors.

RSA came under fire in December when published reports said the company had worked with the NSA under a $10 million contract to include a back door in its widely used encryption toolkit. RSA denied those reports.

Obamacare Website Stumbles Twice On Deadline Day

This week was the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance through Healthcare.gov. But the website went down twice on Monday, the last day of open enrollment, when software bugs caused hours of downtime. The site was scheduled for regular maintenance between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Monday, but software bugs kept it down for several more hours. Later in the day the site stopped creating accounts and providing access to enrollment tools because of high user traffic, although the site's data services hub still worked. Healthcare.gov has been plagued with problems since its Oct. 1 launch. While the site's operations have been improving, an analysis by CompuwareAPM concluded that its performance still isn't meeting benchmarks for health insurance industry applications.

Mozilla CEO Resigns Over Gay Marriage Controversy

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich stepped down Thursday because of a controversy that erupted over Eich's $1,000 contribution to the "Yes on 8" campaign in 2008 supporting California's Proposition 8 ballot question banning same-sex marriage.

Eich, previously CTO of the open-source software organization known for developing the Firefox browser, was named CEO just last week. But Firefox employees and people outside the company took to Twitter and other social media calling on Eich to step down.

Instagram Bug Hides Recent Photos

The popular website Instagram, which recently celebrated having 200 million users, suffered a glitch this week that prevented users of its mobile application from seeing recent photos. The web version of Instagram was not affected.

The problem cropped up earlier in the week, and by Thursday the company said it had resolved the problem. But that wasn't before thousands of confused Instagram users took to Twitter to complain that they couldn't see recently posted photos.