5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending April 18

This week's roundup of companies that had a rough week include continued declines in IBM's hardware sales, a sudden change in Condusiv's top management, a possible hostile takeover at PCM, confusion over Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Update plans, and a major government agency that missed the Windows XP support deadline.

Slipping IT Hardware Sales Drag Down IBM's Q1 Results

IBM this week reported that revenue in its first fiscal quarter fell 3.9 percent, dragged down by slower sales of the company's System x, Power Systems and mainframe computers. Overall, revenue from the company's Systems and Technology Group was down a staggering 23 percent year over year.

IBM is in the process of selling its x86 business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion. Power Systems sales were down 22 percent, compared with one year before, and revenue from system storage products was down 23 percent.

Jerry Baldwin Out As Condusiv CEO

Jerry Baldwin (pictured), a hard-driving channel sales advocate, was suddenly ousted as CEO of Condusiv Technologies Wednesday with no explanation why from Craig Jensen, Condusiv's founder and chairman, who owns 100 percent of the company.

Jensen reaffirmed the company's commitment to the channel in a call with CRN. But it was Baldwin who, in his two and a half years as CEO, transformed the company from having virtually no channel sales to a company that relies on the channel for 80 percent of its business. His departure means Condusiv is losing a respected friend of the channel.

PCM Loses Sales President, Faces Possible Hostile Takeover

PCM lost its veteran sales president this week, bad news that came on the heels of word the national solution provider could be facing a possible hostile takeover. Sales President Joe Hayek left the company for a position with an Ohio manufacturer, and a PCM filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said there are no plans to immediately replace him.

Word got out late last week that Zones Chairman Firoz Lalji (pictured) and his wife had quietly acquired 5.02 percent of the shares in El Segundo, Calif.-based PCM. That's seen as setting the stage for a possible acquisition or hostile takeover.

IRS Misses Windows XP Deadline, Must Pay For Extended Support

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is paying Microsoft for Windows XP custom support and security patches after the government agency failed to migrate its base of 110,000 Windows XP-based PCs to Windows 7 in time.

The IRS said it failed to meet the deadline because of tight budgets and other constraints. The agency, which said it's paying Microsoft less than $500,000 for the extra services (a published report calculated it's more than that), has migrated 52,000 XP PCs so far and expects to complete the transition by the end of the year.

Microsoft Confuses Partners With Windows 8.1 Upgrade Ultimatum

Microsoft this week announced -- quietly, in a weekend blog post -- that customers running Windows 8.1 have 30 days to upgrade to the recently released Windows 8.1 Update. Failure to do so means they can't get Patch Tuesday security patches.

While many customers use Windows Server Update Services for automatic updates, 8.1 Updates through WSUS have been suspended because of a technical glitch. And Microsoft is advising against manual downloads. The result, according to partners: a confusing, counterproductive situation.