5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Aug. 4

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Lenovo and now former North America president Emilio Ghilardi, whose sudden exit this week won't help the company's efforts to gain traction in its key markets.

Also making the list this week are Sprint, whose merger offer with Charter Communications was shot down; a FireEye Mandiant security analyst who was the victim of a hack; McAfee employees hit by a round layoffs; and Unisys, whose stock price plummeted after second-quarter sales missed expectations.

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.

Ghilardi Is Out As Lenovo North America President

Lenovo said this week that North America president Emilio Ghilardi had left the company effective July 31.

While no specific reason was given for Ghilardi's sudden departure, it was probably a rough week for the man who had been in the job for less than 18 months.

But it's also not good news for Lenovo. Ghilardi was the fifth person to occupy the North America president post and his unexpected exit is the latest of a string of executive defections from the company.

All this comes at a time when Lenovo is struggling to gain momentum. It has been hit hard by the worldwide slowdown in PC sales: Gartner's second-quarter numbers for worldwide PC shipments showed Lenovo's shipments declined 8.4 percent and lost market share to rivals HP Inc. and Dell. And partners said Ghilardi's departure is yet another indication of how tough it is going to be for the company to find its footing in the data center business.

Sprint Spurned In Efforts To Find A Merger Partner

Wireless carrier Sprint got a harsh "Thanks, but no thanks" from Charter Communications Sunday after Sprint proposed a full merger with the cable giant.

And Sprint took an additional slap in the face when Charter said it plans to launch its own wireless services for its customers, using the Verizon network. Charter already has a Mobile Virtual Network Operator relationship with Sprint competitor Verizon.

Sprint's proposal, issued last week by Sprint majority owner SoftBank Group, would have created a media and communications giant.

Sprint has been publicly seeking merger partners since April, but just can't seem to find any takers.

FireEye Mandiant Analyst Reportedly Hacked, Attackers Say Further Leaks Possible

It's never a good thing when the people who are supposed to be providing the security get hacked.

A senior threat intelligence analyst for FireEye's Mandiant division, which provides breach remediation and cybersecurity consulting services, was reportedly the victim of an attack in which hackers stole records from the analyst's compromised system.

The records included emails and images of the analyst's One Drive account, Live account, LinkedIn account, Amazon accounts, personal device geo-tracking data, billing records, PayPal receipts and credentials for FireEye portals.

Some records and documentation from customers were also stolen, according to the Salted Hash blog that reported the incident. The hackers posted some of the stolen information online Sunday and claimed to have more.

FireEye acquired Mandiant in 2014 for $1 billion and former CEO Kevin Mandia is now FireEye's CEO.

McAfee Employees Hit With Layoffs Following Acquisition By Private Equity Firm

CRN reported this week that security software developer McAfee conducted a round of layoffs that impacted departments across the company. The extent of the layoffs wasn't immediately clear, although a spokesman who confirmed the layoffs said they were less than 10 percent of the company's workforce.

The layoffs were said to include cuts to the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company's channel team.

The cuts come just five months after McAfee completed its split from Intel – a move that included the sale of a 51 percent stake in the company to private equity giant TPG Capital.

Unisys Reports Big Dip In Q2 Revenue, Stock Plummets

Unisys reported this week that revenue for its second quarter ended June 30 fell 11 percent to $666.2 million from $748.9 million one year ago. While much of that decline had been expected, the results still fell more than $8.5 million short of analysts' forecasts.

And it clearly missed Wall Street's expectations as well. After closing at $12.68 Tuesday, Unisys stock plunged nearly 13 percent in value by the opening bell Wednesday. But it didn't stop there and by mid-day Friday the stock had fallen nearly 31 percent from the Tuesday close to $8.75 per share.