5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Dec. 18

As the end of the year swiftly approaches, not every company is having the best of weeks. This week's list of companies that had a rough week included the sudden loss of F5's CEO and the end of VMware's planned cloud joint venture with EMC and Virtustream. The security industry, in particular, had a rough week, with the departure of two top-level Kaspersky Lab executives, major vulnerabilities discovered in Juniper's firewall operating system, and the pending passage of a cybersecurity information-sharing act with major privacy concerns.

For a list of those companies who were having better luck this week, check out CRN's 5 Companies That Came To Win roundup.

F5 Suddenly Loses CEO

After only six months on the job, F5 Networks CEO Manny Rivelo suddenly resigned from the company this week, according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Rivelo said the resignation was "not due to any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company's operations, policies or practices." Partners were shocked by the news, with one partner saying that the move left a "lot of questions to be answered." Rivelo assumed the role July 1. He had been with F5 since 2011, previously spending 19 years at Cisco. He will be replaced in the interim by former longtime CEO and board Chairman John McAdams while the board looks for a replacement.

Kaspersky Lab Loses Two Top Executives

This week, CRN learned that Kaspersky had lost two of its top executives in recent weeks, including North American Managing Director and President Christopher Doggett and Vice President of SMB and Channel Sales John Murdock. Doggett has since joined Carbonite as vice president of global sales and Murdock has joined cloud software company Centage as vice president of sales. Murdock has been replaced by Leslie Bois and Doggett will be replaced in the interim by Chief Business Officer Garry Kondakov.

VMware Throws In Towel On EMC-Virtustream

In a move that partners said created uncertainty and confusion in the virtualization market, VMware threw in the towel this week on its EMC-Virtustream cloud joint venture. VMware had agreed to be part of the Virtustream Cloud Business two months ago. The joint venture would have been jointly owned by EMC and VMware and would have created a "true cloud integration" between cloud and virtualized environments, wrapping together Virtustream, vCloud Air hybrid cloud and other VMware cloud management offerings. VMware had predicted it could be profitable multibillion-dollar business over the next several years. Partners said the sudden reversal left them feeling confused, as they had already started building cloud services pipelines around the venture. The departure comes in the wake of ongoing rumors that VMware will be one of the pieces that will leave the EMC Federation as part of Dell's planned blockbuster purchase of EMC.

Juniper Reveals Vulnerabilities In ScreenOS

This week, Juniper revealed multiple vulnerabilities in its ScreenOS firewall operating system, including a vulnerability that could have allowed a hacker to monitor encrypted traffic across VPNs. The tech industry jumped on the news, accusing Juniper of installing government back doors into its security systems, a claim that Juniper vehemently denied. Juniper said it is not aware of any of the vulnerabilities being exploited at this time. The company issued a patch release for the issues and urged customers to patch their systems immediately.

CISA Slips Into Budget Bill

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (now the Cybersecurity Act of 2015), a bill previously up for vote and blasted by solution providers for its privacy concerns, slipped in as part of a budget bill this week. The bill was approved by Congress Friday and is expected to be signed into law by President Obama. The cybersecurity portion of the bill would build pathways for companies to share threat intelligence data with the government, although it doesn't provide restrictions on by whom or how the data is used. That includes sharing with the NSA, law enforcement and Pentagon, which in previous iterations of the bill were prohibited from accessing the data.