5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Jan. 6

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week is D-Link, which was the target of an Federal Trade Commission complaint filed in court charging that its internet-enabled products lacked sufficient security features.

Also making the list this week were CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives who received less pay in 2016 because Apple failed to meet revenue and profit goals, Proofpoint for the departure of its respected channel chief, Panasonic for its defective laptop batteries involved in a Toshiba recall, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection department for an IT system failure during a very busy travel day.

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.

FTC Files Complaint Against D-Link Over Router, Camera Security Issues

D-Link found itself on the bad end of a U.S. Federal Trade Commission complaint this week charging that lax security measures in D-Link's routers and cameras pose a risk to consumer privacy.

As internet-connected devices proliferate, experts have raised alarms that often-poorly secured products provide an easy target for hackers and can be used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks.

The FTC complaint, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, charges that D-Link has failed to take "reasonable steps to secure its routers and Internet Protocol cameras," possibly compromising sensitive consumer information.

Cook, Apple Execs Earn Less In 2016 After Company Misses Sales And Profit Targets

Apple disclosed in a regulatory filing this week that CEO Tim Cook and other top company leaders received less compensation in 2016 because the company missed revenue and profit goals for the first time since Cook became Apple's top executive.

The Wall Street Journa l reported Friday that Apple's revenue and operating income missed both targeted and "stretch" goals for the year. The company has exceeded its stretch goals every year since at least 2009, the story said.

As a result, the executives didn't earn their full potential cash incentives in their compensation packages. The Journal story said Cook earned $8.75 million in 2016, down from $10.3 million in 2015.

Proofpoint's Global Channel Chief Departs As The Company Consolidates Channel Leadership

Proofpoint global channel chief Dee Dee Phelps Acquista, who was credited with helping the company build out its channel strategy over the past three years, has left the company.

The development comes as Proofpoint consolidates its North American channel teams to report to Jon Bove, North America channels director, and centralizes all channel program management under Mark Sheridan, business development vice president.

Phelps Acquista, who was vice president of worldwide channels for Proofpoint, has declined to comment on the circumstances around her departure. But channel partners raised concerns that the departure of Phelps Acquista, a widely respected channel management executive, could affect Proofpoint's channel initiatives, pointing out that the company currently has no plans to hire another worldwide channel chief.

Toshiba Recalls Panasonic Laptop Batteries

In this week's "5 Companies That Came To Win" roundup, we praised Panasonic for showing off its thin, flexible lithium-ion battery technology at this week's CES event.

So there is some irony in that Panasonic also makes our "5 Rough Week" list for, wait for it, the company's lithium-ion batteries.

Last year Toshiba issued a recall for Panasonic lithium-ion battery packs installed in certain models of Toshiba laptops, saying the batteries could overheat, posing potential burn and fire hazards.

This week The New York Times reported that Toshiba has expanded the recall to cover Panasonic battery packs used in 41 models of Toshiba Satellite laptops sold between June 2011 and November 2016. Also covered were battery packs sold separately and installed by Toshiba during repairs.

U.S. Customs IT Systems Suffer Outage

A computer glitch shut down U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing systems for several hours Monday, a busy travel day at the end of the holiday week.

The outage, which began about 5:00 p.m. ET, caused long lines, missed connecting flights and some flight delays for thousands of travelers arriving in U.S. airports including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston, according to USA Today.

Operations were fully restored around 9:00 p.m. ET. While the cause of the outage was not immediately known, officials said there was no indication it was caused by a deliberate attack.