3) Juniper CEO exits ignominiously
The year started well for new Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) CEO Shaygan Kheradpir. Only days into his new job in January, Kheradpir announced a new direction for the company, the "Integrated Operating Plan." (See Juniper CEO Preps New Roadmap.)
Ten months later, Kheradpir was out on his keister, following a "review by the board of directors of his leadership and his conduct in connection with a particular negotiation with a customer." (See Turmoil at Juniper as CEO Quits.)
The board gave the job to Rami Rahim, a 17-year Juniper employee, previously executive vice president and general manager of Juniper Development and Innovation. Rahim will be paid up to $14.5 million for the job. Kheradpir was eligible for up to $34.8 million. (See New Juniper CEO Can Be Thankful for $14.5M.)
Hopefully, Rahim will stick around long enough to at least hang some family photos on the walls of his office.
2) Aero crashes on the runway
Aereo Inc. could've disrupted the video business in a big way with its business of delivering a personalized DVR in the cloud. But it bet everything on a single court ruling -- and lost.
This is Aereo's business arc, metaphorically:
The US Supreme Court crashed Aereo when it ruled the company's system of using dime-sized antennas to capture over-the-air (OTA) TV signals and then deliver them to consumers as individual online streams was equivalent to creating a public performance. The court said Aereo needed to pay retransmission fees to broadcasters, just like any cable TV, satellite TV or telco TV provider. (See Supreme Court Halts Aereo's Flight.)
That pretty much finished off Aereo. The company halted service to subscribers the week after the decision. (See Aereo Presses Pause… for Good?.)
In a struggle to survive, Aereo sought and was denied status as a cable operator and sought status as a pay-TV operator. (See Aereo's Cable Status Denied by Copyright Office and Aereo Seeks Pay-TV Operator Status.)
Aereo finally went into Chapter 11 in November. Unlike Family Guy and Futurama, we don't expect this canceled program to come back to life. (See Last Chapter (11) for Aereo.)
1) Cisco sues Arista Arista Networks Inc. gets the weirdest lawsuits.
The 10-year-old company took its time filing for an IPO, building up a solid networking business among service providers, cloud providers, hyperscale data centers and the biggest of the Fortune 500. Arista built an impressive customer base -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Facebook , Citigroup , Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), ESPN Internet Ventures and Rackspace among them.
Arista's conservative approach to an IPO is refreshing in this era when kids barely old enough to shave are in a rush to cash in with silly social media apps.
But Arista's IPO filing in March revealed a legal threat from OptumSoft Inc. , which claimed "breaches of confidentiality and use restrictions" pertaining to Optumsoft products.
The weird part: Optumsoft was founded and still owned by Arista Co-Founder David Cheriton, who quit the Arista board a few weeks before Arista filed for IPO. The David R. Cheriton irrevocable trust, set up by Cheriton for his children, was still Arista's biggest stockholder at the time of the IPO.
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