At a glance.
- Investor firm looks to replace Jack Dorsey as CEO.
- Maersk is laying off employees who responded to NotPetya.
- Have I Been Pwned will remain independent.
- More tech conference cancellations over COVID-19 concerns.
Mergers and acquisitions.
Xerox is moving forward with its attempted hostile takeover of HP, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company is offering HP's shareholders $24.00 per share. HP maintains that it's open to a potential combination, but argues that Xerox's offer is too low.
UK-based semiconductor maker Arm has sold its cybersecurity unit Trustonic to London-based private equity firm EMK Capital for an undisclosed amount, the Telegraph reports. Trustonic is a smartphone security company that was founded as a joint venture by Arm and Gemalto. City A.M. notes that while Trustonic had many clients, it had consistently failed to make a profit each year.
Northern Ireland-based network intelligence and security company Titan IC has been acquired by Sunnyvale, California-based Mellanox Technologies, a company that provides interconnect products for servers and storage. According to Mellanox's press release, "Titan IC’s world class team in Belfast, Northern Ireland will become the center of advanced network intelligence research and development for Mellanox." The Irish News notes that Mellanox itself is being acquired by Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia for $6.8 billion.
Thoma Bravo has completed its acquisition of British cybersecurity firm Sophos for $3.9 billion. The deal took Sophos private, and the company's stock is no longer being traded on the London Stock Exchange. Sophos's CEO Kris Hagerman stated, "Sophos is excited to work with Thoma Bravo as we begin our next chapter of growth and success, continuing in our mission to deliver the world’s most effective next-generation cybersecurity technology. Our transition to become a fully next-gen cybersecurity leader continues to rapidly progress....With Thoma Bravo as a partner, we believe we can accelerate our progress and get to the future even faster, with dramatic benefits for our customers, our partners and our company as a whole."
Investments and exits.
Pleasanton, California-based smart security camera company Deep Sentinel has received investments from Nationwide and other undisclosed investors that have brought its Series A round up to $24 million, though the exact amount invested by Nationwide wasn't disclosed, VentureBeat reports. Nationwide's vice president of commercial underwriting and product Tony Fenton stated, "Technology and protection products like Deep Sentinel support small business owners in safeguarding their livelihood, which is critical to operational success. Nationwide is proud to have spent the last 90 years empowering and protecting small business owners, which aligns well with the capabilities of Deep Sentinel."
Elliott Management Corp., which Ars Technica describes as an "activist investor firm," in February acquired approximately four percent of Twitter's shares and is now seeking to have Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey replaced with one of four potential candidates. The Verge has an account of Elliott's past successes in ousting CEOs which might give Dorsey cause for concern.
Israeli investment firm Elron has appointed Yaron Elad as its new CEO. Elad was previously Elron's Chief Financial Officer.
SoftIron has appointed Mark Chen, one of the company's co-founders, as Chief Security Officer. Chen is returning from a professional sabbatical, and he previously worked as SoftIron's Chief Scientist.
Security companies in the news.
Maersk is laying off 150 employees from its command-and-control center in the UK, the Register reports. These employees were largely responsible for Maersk's recovery from the NotPetya attack in 2017.
Troy Hunt, the owner of Have I Been Pwned (HIBP), has decided against selling the service after a potential deal with the best candidate fell apart. In a blog post, Hunt explained that "[a]fter many months of exclusivity with a single organisation and going through crazy amounts of due diligence, the effort involved in scrolling back to the September time frame and starting it all again with another organisation would have been enormous. I also didn't want a situation where I compromised my own principles; the organisation we'd identified as the best possible fit was precisely that - the best possible fit - and all other candidates would mean making concessions I simply couldn't justify."
Facebook has cancelled its F8 developer conference over coronavirus concerns, CNET reports. F8 was the Facebook's largest event of the year, and was slated to take place in San Jose, California on May 5th and 6th. Facebook's director of developer platforms and programs Konstantinos Papamiltiadis stated, "This was a tough call to make -- F8 is an incredibly important event for Facebook and it's one of our favorite ways to celebrate all of you from around the world -- but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on."
Google followed suit and called off its own developer conference, I/O, which is also Google's largest annual event, according to the Verge. The company told the Verge that "[d]ue to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre."
Twitter, meanwhile, released a statement "strongly encouraging all employees globally to work from home if they’re able....to lower the probability of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus for us - and the world around us."
The Wall Street Journal observes that at least 440 conferences and trade shows around the world have been called off in response to the coronavirus.