5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Feb. 26

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week is Ingram Micro, which is losing its second-in-command executive just days after the news the distributor is being acquired by a Chinese company.

Also making the list were a key executive loss for VMware, accelerated layoffs at HP Inc., a loss for Apple in its ongoing patent legal battle with Samsung, and Nutanix's reported delayed IPO.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves -- or just had good luck -- check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Ingram Micro Loses President/COO Just Days After Tianjin Tianhai Acquisition News

Ingram Micro said this week that President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Read, the distributor's second in command, would step down Friday. The news was disclosed in a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Word of Read's stepping down, and departure later this year, came less than a week after Ingram announced a deal to be acquired by China-based logistics firm Tianjin Tianhai for $6 billion and become part of HNA Group, Tianjin Tianhai's biggest stockholder.

When the acquisition was announced, Ingram said it did not anticipate any changes to its management team. This week, the company emphasized that Read's decision to leave was his own. Read had been in the job for nearly two and a half years. When he joined the company, he had been looking at possibly succeeding CEO Alain Monie, the distributor's investor relations executive director told CRN. But HNA wants Monie to lead the company "for some time," leaving no path for Read to advance.

VMware's Top SDN Exec Departs For Job At VC Firm

Ingram Micro wasn't the only company losing a key executive amid company uncertainty. Martin Casado, VMware's top software-defined networking executive, dropped a bombshell this week by revealing that he's leaving to join venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Casado has spearheaded VMware's efforts to pitch the company's NSX software-defined networking technology, a key product for VMware that's on a $600 million bookings run rate, as a network security technology.

The loss of Casado comes during a tumultuous time for VMware. Dell is in the process of acquiring EMC, which in turn owns 80 percent of VMware. Casado maintained that the Dell-EMC uncertainty wasn't a factor in his decision to leave.

HP Inc. Accelerates Cost-Cutting Plan With 3,000 Layoffs This Year

HP Inc., the PC and printer company spun off from Hewlett-Packard Co. late last year, is facing a tougher road ahead with declining sales and the need to speed up a plan to cut costs.

HP reported this week that in its first fiscal quarter, ended Jan. 31, sales of core printing products were down 17 percent while revenue from the company's PC business was down 13 percent. Overall revenue was down 12 percent year over year, to $12.2 billion.

While HP had long planned to cut 3,000 jobs over the next three years to reduce costs, this week HP said it would accelerate those plans and eliminate 3,000 jobs in the current fiscal year.

Apple Loses Round In Patent Battle With Samsung

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a ruling Friday saying Samsung does not need to pay $120 million in patent infringement damages to Apple, according to a Fortune.com story.

The ruling in the long-running legal battle between the two companies said that Samsung did not violate patents Apple holds on converting alphanumeric characters into links and reversed an earlier jury decision that Samsung violated an Apple patent on auto-correction.

The court said Samsung doesn't need to alter its product designs and, perhaps most disconcerting to Apple, said some of Apple's patents were "obvious" and patents on slide-to-unlock and auto-correct technologies were "invalid," the Fortune story said.

Nutanix Reportedly Holds Off IPO Amidst Poor Market For Tech Stocks

Hyper-converged system manufacturer Nutanix has put its plans to go public on hold, according to one report, because of the poor market for IT company IPOs.

Nutanix filed its IPO prospectus in December. But the company is holding off selling its shares until the current volatility in the market wanes, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC. Nutanix was originally scheduled to go public in late January, but has been advised by its bankers to wait until the market settles, the report said.

It's been three months since Square and Match Group went public and that not a single software or Internet company has followed. And seven of the last 10 technology companies to go public are trading below their offer price.