5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending July 7

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week are thousands of Microsoft employees who face the prospect of layoffs amid a massive reorganization of the software company's sales operations.

Also making the list this week were Apple, which was hit by patent infringement complaints filed by Qualcomm in court and with the U.S. International Trade Commission; the WWE, whose database of millions of wrestling fans was exposed; ConnectWise, which has lost a key executive; and Google, which scrambled to fix a vulnerability in Android devices.

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.

Microsoft Employees Weather Uncertainty As Layoffs Loom

Microsoft's sales and marketing operations are undergoing a significant reorganization that could result in as many as 3,000 – or more – employees losing their jobs.

Earlier this week Microsoft, in a memo to its 121,000 employees worldwide, said it was restructuring its sales and marketing teams with sales groups divided to focus on enterprise and SMB customers, and sales teams organized by industry and product.

CNBC reported that Microsoft is planning to lay off up to 3,000 employees as part of the reorganization. The report said that about 75 percent of the cuts would come from outside the U.S. Other reports put the number of layoffs at closer to 4,000.

Channel partners speculated that the changes could sharpen Microsoft's focus on industry solutions and increase its reliance on the channel. Good for solution providers. But the week has undoubtedly been unnerving for Microsoft workers.

Apple Hit With Patent Infringement Complaint From Qualcomm

Chipmaker Qualcomm filed complaints against Apple in court and with the U.S. International Trade Commission this week charging that Apple iPhones imported for sale use 4G wireless chip technology that violates six Qualcomm patents.

The complaint filed with the ITC asks that the agency conduct an investigation "into Apple's infringing imports" and issue a Limited Exclusion Order barring the import of the iPhones into the U.S. from offshore manufacturers, according to a statement from Qualcomm.

Qualcomm also filed a patent infringement complaint against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, seeking damages and injunctive relief.

Data On 3 Million WWE Fans Exposed In Massive Data Leak

An apparent IT error may have exposed a WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) database with personal information of more than 3 million wrestling fans, Forbes reported this week.

IT security expert Bob Dyachenko, from security firm Kromtech, discovered that a huge WWE database residing on an Amazon Web Services S3 server lacked username or password protection and was open to anyone who knew the web address to search, according to the report.

The database included data stored in plain text such as WWE fan names, home and email addresses, birthdates, children's names and ages, and even data on earnings, ethnicity and educational background.

The Forbes story said it was likely that WWE or an IT partner misconfigured the database. It wasn't clear which WWE operation owned the database: The story said Dyachenko suspected it belonged to a marketing team, possibly related to subscribers to the WWE Network video streaming service. The WWE was reported to be investigating the incident.

ConnectWise Loses Veteran CRO Executive

ConnectWise partners, who credit Chief Revenue Officer Adam Slutskin with driving innovation and teamwork over his eight-year tenure at the company, were disappointed this week to learn that he has departed the company after helping the IT service management vendor grow its revenue 17-fold and see the company through three key acquisitions.

Slutskin announced his departure in a LinkedIn post, saying he wished to spend some downtime with his family before exploring what to do next.

Slutskin joined ConnectWise in May 2009 and was promoted to CRO two years ago, managing a 300-person team across the company's business development, channel, sales, account management and marketing operations.

CEO Arnie Bellini will function as ConnectWise's combined CEO and CRO for the foreseeable future, while Steve Farnan -- also an eight-year ConnectWise veteran – has been promoted from vice president of sales to senior vice president of sales.

Google Issues Security Patch For Critical Vulnerability In Android Devices

Google scrambled this week to issue a security patch that fixes a critical vulnerability that exposes millions of Android devices to possible attack.

The security patch fixes the vulnerability called "Broadpwn" that could allow remote attackers to execute malicious code on targeted devices, according to a Threatpost story.

The Broadpwn bug is specifically tied to a vulnerability in Broadcom's BCM43xx line of W-Fi chips used in Android devices, according to Threatpost.