5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Feb. 6

This week's roundup of companies that had a rough week includes Symantec's falling security product sales, the departure of some key executives from Cisco, the health-care management company that was the latest security breach victim, RadioShack's bankruptcy filing and Amazon's less-than-stellar tablet sales numbers.

Symantec Suffers Security Revenue Declines During Restructuring

Symantec's plans to split into two publicly held companies hit a bump this week when the company reported that revenue from both its Norton consumer and enterprise security businesses declined during its third fiscal quarter.

While the company reported an overall profit for the quarter, sales of the Norton antivirus software dropped 11 percent year-over-year to $461 million while revenue from the company's enterprise security products fell 4 percent to $509 million.

The ongoing restructuring was cited as one factor in the sales decline. Symantec executives said a decision to pull out of unprofitable OEM and retail channel arrangements had an impact on the Norton software sales.

Meraki Founders Say Bye-Bye To Cisco

Just two years after Cisco acquired Meraki, a red-hot developer of cloud-based networking technology, word got out this week that all three of Meraki's founders have left the company. The departures of Sanjit Biswas, John Bicket and Hans Robertson was first reported by blogger Brad Reese.

Acquisitions in the IT industry are often as much about acquiring the talent as it is about getting the technology. One channel partner noted to CRN that Cisco paid $1.2 billion for Meraki when its sales were only $120 million -- meaning the startup's talent was a key reason for the acquisition. So for the three founders to depart so soon could be seen as a significant loss for Cisco.

Hackers Gain Access To 80 Million Medical Records At Anthem

Anthem, the largest for-profit managed health company in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, was the victim of a security breach this week in which a database with approximately 80 million patient and employee records were exposed.

Late in the week, Anthem said it was still investigating to determine exactly how many people were impacted. The company said there was no evidence that credit card data or medical information was targeted or compromised. But personal information such as names, addresses and social security numbers were exposed.

Anthem had not encrypted the stored data, according to a Wall Street Journal story.

RadioShack Files For Bankruptcy

RadioShack, perhaps the original technology retailer that sold PCs and calculators, filed for bankruptcy this week and said it had a deal to sell between 1,500 and 2,400 RadioShack stores to Sprint and hedge fund Standard General, the company's lender and largest shareholder, according to a Reuters story.

The 94-year-old retailer, which has about 4,000 company-owned stores, has posted 11 consecutive quarters of losses and the bankruptcy filing had been widely expected.

The RadioShack name will continue, at least for the time being, as Sprint will operate a "store within a store" in many of the shops it acquires. But the underperforming company-owned stores that are not acquired will be shuttered.

Amazon Tablet Sales Take A Dive -- Maybe

While RadioShack struggled with bankruptcy, Amazon, the leading new-generation retailer, wasn't having a great week either. Market researcher IDC issued a report saying that shipments of Amazon Kindle Fire tablet computers fell a whopping 70 percent during the holiday season, the steepest drop among the five biggest tablet makers.

IDC reported that worldwide tablet shipments recorded their first year-over-year decline in the fourth quarter since the market's 2010 inception.

Amazon, however, took issue with IDC's numbers because the market researcher didn't count Amazon's new 6-inch Kindle Fire in its calculations. IDC considers that product to be more of a media player rather than a true tablet because of its small screen and inability to connect to cellular networks. Amazon begs to differ.