5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Aug. 26

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week was Blue Coat, recently acquired by Symantec, which saw its respected channel chief jump ship this week.

Also making the list were Apple for several zero-day security vulnerabilities it scrambled to fix in iOS this week, Tech Data for a less-than-stellar Q2 earnings report, Microsoft for a Windows 10 update that caused headaches, and HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which were hit with an age discrimination lawsuit.

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.

Blue Coat Channel Chief Leaves As Symantec Integration Gets Under Way

Blue Coat Systems' channel chief jumped ship this week to take a position with another, undisclosed company. The departure of Kurt Mills comes as Blue Coat and Symantec work through a complex integration following Symantec's $4.65 billion acquisition of Blue Coat earlier this month.

As vice president of worldwide channel sales and operations Mills had led Blue Coat's channel operations since January 2015. A long-time channel veteran, Mills had previously held channel executive posts at Aerohive Networks, Websense and McAfee.

There was, of course, no certainty that Mills would have a role in the combined Symantec-Blue Coat. Nevertheless, the departure of a respected channel executive with such extensive channel management experience is a loss for the company.

Apple Issues iOS Update To Fix Vulnerabilities That Were Exploited By Spyware

Apple scrambled this week to issue an update to its iOS 9 mobile operating system to fix three security vulnerabilities and advised iPhone and iPad owners to immediately upgrade their devices. The incident could result in a hit to the security credibility of Apple's products.

The critical zero-day vulnerabilities came to light this week in news stories, including from the BBC News, which said a human rights lawyer in the Middle East alerted security researchers about text messages he received that could have downloaded spyware that exploited the vulnerabilities.

The security research firms, Citizen Lab and Lookout, brought the problem to Apple's attention, which developed the updated iOS in 10 days and issued it Thursday.

If downloaded to a user's device, the spyware can read emails and text messages and track calls and contacts, according to a New York Times story.

Tech Data Q2 Results Dragged Down By Slow Sales Of Mobile Devices, Data Center IT

Distributor Tech Data reported disappointing Q2 financial results this week, citing spending delays around mobile devices – possibly due to the upcoming iPhone 7 launch – and slower sales of non-essential data center products. Increased competition also led to eroded margins.

For the quarter ended July 31, Tech Data's revenue fell 3 percent to $6.35 billion – well-short of Wall Street's expectations of sales around $6.64 billion. But the real hit came in net income, which plummeted 39.3 percent year over year to $46.4 million.

Wall Street was displeased and punished the distributor's stock by sending it down 9.8 percent Thursday morning after the start of trading.

Microsoft Windows 10 Update Breaks PowerShell Tools

Microsoft issued a Windows 10 update this week to fix a number of bugs and other issues in the operating system. But instead the new release broke a key piece of PowerShell, the operating system's scripting and automation platform.

More specifically, the update broke the PowerShell's Desired State Configuration (DSC), which is used for automating the management and control of PC networks and other systems, according to a Register story.

On the PowerShell blog page, Microsoft recommended that anyone using DSC on or for Windows clients not install the KB3176934 update or remove it if they did.

Microsoft said a fix for the problem will be issued in the next Windows 10 update on Aug. 30. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause," Microsoft said.

Google In Dispute in Nashville, Reportedly Plans To Cut Fiber Staff In Half

Google finds itself in a connectivity battle with AT&T and Comcast over its Fiber rollout in Nashville regarding utility pole wiring policies.

The development has the tech giant threatening to back out of Nashville completely.

This comes on the heels of a report from The Information this week that says Google parent company Alphabet's CEO Larry Page has ordered Fiber to slash its staff of 1,000 in half to about 500 employees.

"Google has the money for fiber rollouts and they have a history of success supporting business users in other segments. But the connectivity space is a completely different business vertical for them, this is a completely different business venture for them," said Courtney Humphrey, CEO of Opex Technologies, a Raleigh, N.C.-based solution provider. "Our main concern is customer experience and how they will execute in this area, so it is a wait-and-see scenario for us."