5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending July 1

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week is Oracle, which was ordered by a California superior court jury to pay $3 billion in a long-running legal battle with Hewlett-Packard.

Also making the list were Dell, which will pay $25 million to T. Rowe Price to settle claims resulting from Dell's move to go private in 2013; Nutanix marketing executives, who were dealing with the fallout from an embarrassing incident at a customer conference in Las Vegas; Seagate and its employees, on the news of layoffs as part of a cost-cutting and restructuring effort; and customers, employees, and just about everyone associated with Tekserve, the Apple retailer in New York that said this week that it's closing its doors.

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 5 Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Oracle Ordered To Pay HPE $3 Billion In Long-Running Itanium case

A California jury this week ordered Oracle to pay Hewlett Packard Enterprise $3 billion in damages in the long-running dispute between the two companies over Oracle's software support for Hewlett-Packard's Itanium-based servers.

Oracle, which argued for years that the Itanium processor used in the HP servers was obsolete, vowed to appeal the jury verdict.

In 2011 Oracle said it would stop developing its software for the Itanium server chip, manufactured by Intel and used by Hewlett-Packard to power its Integrity Unix servers. Oracle at the time argued that Itanium was nearing the end of its life. But HP sued Oracle for breach of contract.

In 2012 a California superior court judge ruled in HP's favor and this week a jury, after a second trial, set the damages at $3 billion.

Dell To Pay $25M To Settle Dispute With T. Rowe Price Over 2013 Buyout

Dell agreed this week to pay T. Rowe Price Group $25 million to settle claims that the giant computer maker shortchanged investors when it was taken private about three years ago.

While $25 million isn't a huge sum, it comes at a delicate time for Dell, with the company close to wrapping up its $62 billion acquisition of EMC.

But the settlement could be seen as a bit of a win given that it's just a fraction of the $200 million Dell might have had to pay if not for a T. Rowe Price mistake that resulted in the company voting in favor of the buyout deal.

Nutanix Management Deals With Fallout After Risque Conference Stunt

Executives from hyper-converged technology startup Nutanix were in full apology mode this week after a marketing stunt at a company event last week was widely criticized as sexist. The company's chief marketing officer even promised to resign in the event of a recurrence.

Last week at the Nutanix .NEXT customer conference at the Encore resort in Las Vegas, attendees were greeted to a poolside event by bikini-clad female Encore staffers sitting on a small Ferris wheel with the .NEXT logo and waving light wands. The stunt led to a wave of critical tweets – one sarcastically saying Nutanix was "doing their part to elevate women in IT."

Nutanix CMO Howard Ting (pictured) apologized for the stunt and pledged to resign if anything similar happens again. Corporate Marketing Vice President Julie O'Brien apologized in a blog post.

Seagate Cutting 1,600 Jobs In Restructuring Bid

It was a bad week to be an employee at Seagate Technology. The hard disk drive manufacturer said this week that it would cut some 1,600 jobs, about 3 percent of its workforce, as part of an effort to cut costs in the face of slowing demand, according to a Reuters story.

The company said it expects to complete the restructuring, which will result in annual savings of about $100 million, by the end of the September quarter. The company will take a charge of $62 million against earnings to cover the costs.

Seagate's revenue has declined in the past five quarters due to weak demand from OEMs, including PC makers, the Reuters story said.

Apple Reseller Tekserve Closing Its Doors

Tekserve, an Apple reseller and service provider in Manhattan that many people consider the first real Apple store, is closing its customer service center July 31 and retail operation Aug. 15.

The news is certainly a loss for the company and the 70 employees who will lose their jobs. But it's also bad news for Apple computer users in New York City who are losing a community.

The retailer is a victim of rising rents in Manhattan, as well as competition from Apple's own stores that dot the city. Tekserve isn't disappearing entirely, however. The company will continue to operate its corporate sales business and provide professional services.