5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending March 28

This week's roundup of companies that had a rough week include disclosures of financial losses at Box; Lenovo's recall of ThinkPad batteries that pose a fire hazard; a major security vulnerability in Microsoft Word; a big-bucks copyright infringement verdict against the former CEO of MP3tunes; and controversy surrounding Mozilla's new CEO.

Box IPO Plan Reveals Financial Losses

One problem with initial public offering plans is that they are so, well, public. This week, Box filed its S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, revealing that the provider of file sync and sharing services lost a stunning $168.6 million on sales of $124.2 million for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2014.

The good news is that those sales represent a fivefold gain from the previous year. The bad news is that the company's accumulated losses now total $361.2 million.

Microsoft Warns Of Security Vulnerability In Word App

Microsoft this week warned all users of its Word application (and that's pretty much everybody) that attackers are targeting a serious zero-day vulnerability in all currently supported versions of the software.

The attacks are directed at a code vulnerability in the way Word handles rich text format files. Computers can become infected when a user simply previews an Outlook email with malware designed to target the flaw, allowing cybercriminals to gain user rights to the machine.

Lenovo Recalls ThinkPad Battery Packs That Pose Fire Risk

Lenovo Group is recalling 37,400 battery packs sold with ThinkPad notebook computers in the U.S. and Canada because they can overheat and catch fire. Lenovo has received two reports of the batteries overheating and causing damage to computers and nearby property, but no injuries, according to a bulletin from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The battery packs were in ThinkPad computers sold between October 2010 and April 2011, as well as battery packs sold separately during that time. Specific ThinkPad models affected include the Edge 11, 13 and 14 series; the T410, T420, T510 and W510 series; and the X100e, X120e, X200, X201 and X201s series.

Ex-MP3tunes CEO Slapped With $41 Million Copyright Verdict

A federal jury in Manhattan this week found the former CEO of now-defunct online music storage company MP3tunes liable for copyright infringement and ordered him to pay $41 million, according to a Reuters story.

Michael Robertson was sued by record companies and music publishers that were once part of EMI in 2007, charging him with enabling the infringement of copyrights in music recordings and musical compositions, according to the story. MP3tunes filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The whopping jury award includes $7.5 million in punitive damages, Reuters said.

New Mozilla CEO Under Fire For Proposition 8 Donation

Mozilla's appointment of CTO Brendan Eich as the organization's new CEO this week has sparked controversy because Eich contributed $1,000 to the "Yes on 8" campaign in 2008 supporting California's Proposition 8 ballot question banning same-sex marriage.

A number of Mozilla employees have taken to Twitter calling on Eich to step down, according to an Ars Technica story. And a Huffington Post story quoted at least one openly gay IT industry executive as saying he would no longer support Mozilla, which develops the Firefox browser and other open-source software.

Eich, in a blogpost, vowed to maintain Mozilla's policies of equality and inclusiveness.