Tech News Stories
It’s been a difficult week for a number of technology industry giants who were placed under the spotlight and forced to concede that not everything has been going as smoothly as they would have hoped. Perhaps no-one in tech has had a tougher week than Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO of blood lab startup Theranos, who was forced to respond to a Wall Street Journal story which claimed that US Health Regulators suggested they may have to ban them “after concluding that the company failed to fix what regulators have called major problems at its laboratory in California.”
Holmes claimed to be ‘devastated’ by the accusations and promised to dig in and fix the issues at the lab, but many were skeptical that Theranos would be able to bounce back, and viewed her interview on MSNBC as a PR disaster.
Another high-profile CEO who was forced to admit that they were not successful was Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer, who has been trying for a number of years to revitalize the one-time search titan with very little success.
A sale of the company now appears to be a certainty, and the deadline for interested bidders was passed this week. Nevertheless, shareholders were encouraged by the better-than-expected results, as well as the news that Meyer was focused on the sale, and not trying to fight it.
Britain’s Daily Mail, the mobile provider Verizon and various other heavyweight stakeholders have all been named as interested buyers, but the Yahoo leadership has decided not to name names. They have publicly stated that they are moving as fast as they can and won’t be providing any further updates, but that there is a ‘a defined, aggressive calendar’ to move the sale forward.
Another industry stalwart undergoing a shakeup is the chip-maker Intel, who made waves with the announcement that it was cutting 11% of its workforce and choosing instead to “accelerate its evolution from a PC company to one that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices.” Wired magazine put forward a very thoughtful piece which came out in support of this strategy, arguing that is exactly what Intel should be doing. “Considering that the PC market is dying and that Intel had never really been successful as a chipmaker for mobile phones, Intel is right to restructure (and remarket) itself as a cloud company. According to research IDC, Intel controls 99 percent of the market for chips that drive computer servers. So for now, that’s Intel’s future.”
The company is determined to secure its future with the Internet of Things, yet at this stage no one organization is really dominant in an industry that is still more theoretical than factual, so for now data centers are a smart bet for Intel.
Netflix and Amazon
Two other global players who saw things get a bit tougher this week are Netflix and Tesla. While Netflix has recently extended its brand across the globe by opening up over 130 markets for its streaming services, the news that Amazon is about to offer a cheaper global streaming service has put the dominance of the Netflix brand in doubt. And in the world of electric cars, China’s Le Holding Co announced its all-new electric car called LeSEE which will be unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show next week. China is a huge prize for the auto industry and any one company that can dominate there in electric cars looks certain of a very bright future.
Clearly, the stakes are higher than ever and a lot can change in a week, but it seems certain that no companies can rest on their laurels in the hyper-competitive tech world of today.
By Jeremy Daniel