5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending May 9

This week's roundup of companies that had a rough week include Massachusetts' decision to scrap the health-care website it's already spent $69 million on, CA's loss of its respected channel chief, the resignation of Target's CEO in the wake of the retailer's massive security breach, FTC charges against Snapchat and a security glitch discovered in Apple's iOS mobile operating system.

Massachusetts Scraps $69 Million Health-Care Exchange

In the latest tale of online health-care exchanges gone wrong, Massachusetts this week said it was scrapping $69 million of contracted work on its online health insurance exchange, which hasn't worked properly since its October launch.

The state froze payments to CGI, the original contractor, in December because of the problems. Massachusetts' plan now is to start from scratch and use an off-the-shelf solution. The state has hired hCentive, a provider of cloud health-care solutions, to do the work.

CA's Channel Chief Steps Down After Reported Conflict

CA Technologies' channel partners got a jolt this week when Senior Vice President Adam Famularo suddenly stepped down as the company's channel chief after less than six months on the job. Sources told CRN that the split followed an apparent conflict over the strategic direction of the company's indirect channel.

Famularo, a 16-year CA employee, was a respected channel executive who engineered a "channel first" strategy across CA's entire product line -- even working with partners in CA's top 1,500 named accounts. "This is a huge loss for CA," a solution provider told CRN.

Target CEO Resigns In Wake Of Security Breach

Company executives who only give passing thought to their company's IT security better think again. Monday Target President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel lost his job at least, in part, because of fallout from last year's massive IT system security breach that resulted in the theft of information from tens of millions of credit and debit cards.

Target CIO Beth Jacob resigned in March in the wake of the security failure, which occurred despite warnings about malware activity from an outside company Target had hired to monitor the retailer's IT systems for malware infections.

iOS Security Weakness Tarnishes Apple's Reputation

A security expert reported this week that email attachments are not always encrypted by Apple's iOS mobile operating system, a discovery that solution providers said could hurt customers' trust in the iOS system's data protection capabilities.

German security expert Andreas Kurtz said someone possessing a lost or stolen iPhone 4 could exploit the iOS weakness to view unencrypted documents. While Apple's website touts iOS' data protection capabilities, Apple partners say the encryption issue may have customers wondering what else may be ticking in the background.

FTC Charges Snapchat With Consumer Deception

Snapchat this week agreed to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission that it deceived customers with its promises that messages, photos and videos sent through its service would disappear almost instantly. The FTC said Snapchat failed to tell consumers that there are several ways to save messages. The agency also said Snapchat misled users about its data collection methods, according to AP and The New York Times.

Snapchat settled the complaint without admitting or denying wrongdoing, according to the stories. Under the settlement, the company will implement a privacy program that will be independently monitored for 20 years.