The tech business week: Microsoft CEO sorry for remarks, HP and Symantec plan spin-offs

13 Oct 2014

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who apologised for saying women in the tech sector should not ask for raises but instead trust karma.

Microsoft CEO apologises for saying women should trust ‘karma’ rather than seek raises

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has issued a memo to employees, apologising for remarks he made during an interview on Thursday at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Phoenix, Arizona. He had said women in the tech sector should not ask for raises but instead trust karma.

No sooner had Nadella said those words than he immediately took to Twitter and tweeted: “Was inarticulate re how women should ask for raise. Our industry must close gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of a bias.”

He further went on to address his employees in a memo, in which he said he answered the question incorrectly.

HP confirms split – new companies are HP Inc and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise

Computer maker HP has confirmed it is dividing itself into two companies: Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which will focus on servers and software, and HP Inc, a PC and printing company.

The move comes after HP examined various routes to breathe life into its ailing PC and devices division, including potential trade sales.

HP said the separation into independent publicly traded companies will provide each company with its own, more focused equity currency, and investors with the opportunity “to invest in two companies with compelling and unique financial profiles well suited to their respective businesses”.

The split is expected to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2015 and HP shareholders will own shares of both Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc.

Symantec to split into security, information management businesses

Antivirus maker Symantec plans to spin off into two publicly traded companies, with one focused on security and the other zeroing in on information management, by the end of next year.

The decision by Symantec’s board of directors to divide the company comes after an extensive business review of Symantec’s strategy and operational structure.

Two standalone businesses will allow each organisation to maximise investments and growth opportunities, reduce operational complexity, and drive greater value for shareholders, the company said.

Indian tech start-ups woo laid off Yahoo! employees

Tech entrepreneurs in India’s burgeoning start-up ecosystem may benefit from internet giant Yahoo! having laid off 400 employees in Bangalore, at its largest engineering facility outside its California headquarters.

Indian blog NextBigWhat last week reported news of the layoffs at Yahoo!’s Software Development Centre as part of the company’s efforts to consolidate operations, and comments following the story openly court the laid off employees.

The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter, reported the number of layoffs, which make up nearly one-third of Yahoo!’s staff in Bangalore. Some senior executives have been offered positions at Yahoo!’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.

NextBigWhat also reported on the number of jobs cut, but overstated the size of the layoffs, according to the person familiar with the matter.

In a statement, Yahoo! said it would continue to have a presence in Bangalore.

Microsoft to acquire Israeli text analysis company Equivio

Software giant Microsoft has signed a letter of intent to acquire Israeli text analysis vendor Equivio.

That’s according to Bloomberg sources, who said if no other bidders enter the fold, the agreement should be concluded in a matter of weeks.

Equivio develops software to analyse legal documents and corporate information. Microsoft’s move for the start-up has been seen as way for it to focus more on data analysis after launching new tools last April to help organisations scan and scrutinise their own information.

Paul Wright appointed BT Ireland CIO

BT Ireland has appointed Paul Wright the company’s new chief information officer (CIO). The Dubliner will take up the role next month.

Wright will be departing his role as global head of technology engineering at NYSE Technologies. He also served as site head for the NYSE Centre of Excellence in Northern Ireland.

“Paul, a senior technology leader with significant exposure in both managing and supporting technology in the capital markets industry, brings with him a wealth of engagement in all phases of technology and solutions delivery, from business strategy through technical architecture, implementation and on-going support,” said BT in a statement.

Financial results this week

Major tech companies are scheduled to release their third-quarter financial results this week. Chip giant Intel is set to report its earnings tomorrow, while online auction giant eBay and video-streaming service Netflix are to report their results on Wednesday. 

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