5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Aug. 18

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Infosys, whose CEO resigned suddenly in a dispute with the company's founder.

Also making the list this week are a former Denali executive who was hit with a federal charge of computer fraud; Kaspersky, for losing a key sales executive; and AT&T for losing a court challenge to a Google Fiber project in Kentucky.

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.

Infosys CEO Resigns After Public Row Between Founder, Board And The Chief Executive

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka (pictured) unexpectedly quit this week, citing in his resignation letter a long-running feud with the Indian IT outsourcing company's founder that included a "continuous drumbeat of distractions and negativity."

"I cannot carry out my job as CEO and continue to create value, while also constantly defending against unrelenting, baseless/malicious and increasingly personal attacks," Sikka wrote in a letter to Infosys employees, which he shared in a blog Thursday.

The company's board backed Sikka in the dispute with founder NR Narayana Murthy, according to a company statement, and decried what it described as "unfounded personal attacks" on the company's management team.

Co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan said the public spat would complicate the search for a new CEO. The upheaval also sent Infosys' stock down more than 9 percent to its lowest trading price since April.

President Trump Disbands Business Councils After Several Execs Quit

It was a turbulent week following the violence in Charlottesville, Va., and some top executives of the biggest companies in the U.S. – including Intel CEO Brian Krzanich – were caught up in the aftermath.

Critical of President Donald Trump's response to the violence, a number of the executives who sat on the administration's American Manufacturing Council decided to resign. Ultimately so many executives stepped down that Trump decided to disband both it and the president’s Strategy and Policy Forum, which included IBM CEO Ginni Rometty .

Krzanich was one of the first to step down from the manufacturing council, tendering his resignation on Monday.

"I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing," Krzanich said in a blog post on Intel's policy website. "Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base."

Feds Charge Ex-Denali CTO Michael Leeper With Computer Fraud In Hacking Case

Michael Leeper, the former CTO of solution provider Denali Advanced Integration, was charged this week by federal prosecutors with unlawfully accessing Columbia Sportswear's network to view commercially valuable and private information.

The U.S. Attorney's office charged Leeper with one count of computer fraud, claiming that Leeper remotely and intentionally accessed Columbia's network between March 2014 and October 2016 to gain a commercial advantage. Before joining Denali in March 2014, Leeper spent 14 years in Columbia's IT department, rising to the role of director of technology infrastructure.

Denali has not been charged in the case, but is named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by Portland, Ore.-based Columbia, which had been a customer of the solution provider. Leeper was fired from Denali following an internal investigation. Denali has denied any wrongdoing in the civil case, which is still pending.

Kaspersky Lab Loses B2B Sales Chief To Globalscape

Kaspersky Lab's senior vice president of B2B sales, Michael Canavan, has left the company to take a job with Globalscape, CRN reported this week.

Canavan's departure is a loss for Kaspersky especially given that his responsibilities included overseeing the security software company's channel program and partners.

News of Canavan's departure comes just as Kaspersky appointed a new North American channel chief, Jason Stein, to replace former channel chief Leslis Bois who left in December to take a job with Veracode.

Judge Tosses AT&T Lawsuit That Attempted To Halt Google Fiber Project In Kentucky

A U.S. District Court judge this week dismissed a lawsuit brought by AT&T in an effort to halt a Google Fiber project in Louisville, Ky. The decision by District Judge David Hale means that AT&T must allow the installation of Google Fiber on AT&T's utility poles, according to an Associated Press story on the U.S. News & World Report website.

Last year Louisville officials passed an ordinance allowing high-speed Internet providers to install their equipment on AT&T's utility poles. AT&T sued Louisville arguing that the ordinance violated state and federal rules and threatened AT&T's ability to operate in the city because of potential damage or outages caused by the Google Fiber installation.

Hale ruled that Louisville had the right to manage utility poles as a public right-of-way. AT&T is reviewing the ruling for a possible appeal.