The Skinny

The Skinny

WRAL TechWire Publisher and Editor Rick Smith dishes out tidbits from the local technology sector.

Updated 8:06 a.m. yesterday

AT&T, CenturyLink, trade groups won't cave to FCC net regulation

Fiber optic network                    In a new court brief, Internet providers including AT&T, CenturyLink and several trade groups are refusing to give up their fight against Internet regulation as a utility that the FCC imposed earlier this year. AT&T made concessions to FCC demands to win approval for its DirecTV buy, but the brief shows lingering concern about what the FCC is doing.

Updated 2:16 p.m. Thursday

Global tablet sales falter - including Lenovo despite hiring Ashton Kutcher

Some local media are trumpeting Lenovo's growing market share in the global tablet market. Don't be mislead. Lenovo is in trouble just like Apple, Samsung and others. In fact, Lenovo sales are down sharply from just six months ago despite all the hype surrounding Ashton Kutcher.

Ashton Kutcher touts a Lenovo tablet Ashton Kutcher touts a Lenovo tablet

2:25 p.m. Wednesday

Premium Lock Is GSK open to a merger? 'A big issue to cross,' CEO says

In a conference call, GlaxoSmithKline's top executive is asked if he would consider "pairing up" with another drug company. Back in May, an analyst started talk of a "PfizerKline" merger. GSK's CEO Andrew Witty notes a merger would be a "big issue to cross."

Andrew Witty      Andrew Witty

11:31 a.m. Wednesday

Ex-GSK employees facing layoffs at Parexel; firm won't comment

Layoffs        As many as 200 former GlaxoSmithKline employees who were transferred to life science services firm Parexel earlier this year are reportedly being laid off today. However, the Boston-based company which has a large presence in the Triangle, isn't talking.

July 23

Survey: More Triangle startups to cut spending, reduce hiring

State of the economy Layoffs have recently hit several large high-tech firms in the Triangle with Qualcomm becoming the latest to announce job cuts on Wednesday. Now a new survey finds optimism among the Triangle's booming startup community is cooling with more firms planning job cuts and less hiring.

Updated July 22

San Francisco firm acquires Raleigh-based social marketer Expion

Raleigh-based Expion, a five-year-old social marketing firm with a high-profile list of clients and offices in the U.K. as well as China, has been acquired by San Francisco-based Sysomos. In an exclusive interview, Expion founder and CEO Peter Heffring discusses the deal.

A sample of Expion's work A sample of Expion's work

Updated July 21

IBM layoffs? Top finance exec sees more 'workforce rebalancing'

IBM layoffs     Reports continue to trickle out that IBM continues to cut jobs in the Research Triangle, but Big Blue seldom if ever talks publicly about cuts. However, in a conference call Monday to discuss IBM's 13th straight quarter of losing revenue, its CFO conceded that "workforce rebalancing" continues.

July 21

Tech giants keep spending big on lobbying in DC

Dollar sign      Money talks in Washington, D.C., and technology giants keep spreading around the cash as it lobbies for everything from tax breaks to more business. AT&T stepped up its lobbying, for example, as it continues to try to win approval for its DirecTV deal. But the communications giant has plenty of company when it comes to investing in D.C.

July 6

Premium Lock 'Humbled' veteran Quintiles exec gears up for new role as Q2 CEO

Q2 Solutions, the new life science services subsidiary launched by Quintiles and Quest Diagnostics, has a familiar face leading it as CEO: Costa Panagos, who has worked at Quintiles for the past 15 years. So why give up corporate security to take the new job? How does he feel about it? And what does Q2 offer in terms of improving healthcare? WTW Insiders get the exclusive details.

Costa Panagos Costa Panagos

Updated July 3

Premium Lock Will there be layoffs as well as new jobs as Quintiles' Q2 launches?

DNA      Quintiles' new joint venture with Quest formally launched Thursday with a work force of some 2,000 people. But will there be layoffs due to any overlap in job functions? Might there also be new jobs created? Let's take a look.

Updated July 1

Premium Lock The Startup Factory takes its first step toward going statewide

Chris Heivly and Dave Neal are taking the first step in expanding The Startup Factory accelerator across North Carolina with a "boot camp" in Winston-Salem. In a Q&A with WTW, Heivly talks about the expanded mission and how TSF hopes to make money. Plus, he says, TSF is not taking its eyes off the ball of its primary mission.

Chris Heivly, left, and partner Dave Neal Chris Heivly, left, and partner Dave Neal

Updated June 29

Premium Lock State to add 105,000 jobs this year, jobless rate to fall says NCSU economist

N.C. flag      North Carolina employers will add 105,000 jobs this year, with most of those coming in the Triangle and other metro areas, and the state's unemployment rate will drop to 5.5 percent, says N.C. State economist Dr. Michael Walden in a new analysis.

Updated June 29

Premium Lock A nearly $2B IPO adds to legacy of Lenovo's founder

When does legend become fact? In the case of Lenovo and its founder Liu Chuanzhi, the fact is the company and Liu are bona fide entrepreneurial success stories dating back to humble beginnings in 1984. A big IPO for Lenovo's parent adds to a remarkable legacy. And Liu shares some advice for others to emulate.

Liu Chuanzhi Liu Chuanzhi

Tags: Lenovo
Updated June 25

Premium Lock Remembering Triangle's first 'disruptors' from 2007 - and warnings still relevant today

The late Neal Page, Ryan Allis, Jud Bowman, Bob Young and their companies (Inlet, Broadwick, Motricity, Red Hat) were branded among the original "disruptors" by Business 2.0 magazine in 2007. WTW takes a look back at them in light of Cisco's new "Digital Vortex" report on the latest "disruptor" trend.

Ryan Allis, left, and Jud Bowman: "Disruptors" Ryan Allis, left, and Jud Bowman: "Disruptors"

Updated June 25

Premium Lock Is your firm headed into a 'Digital Vortex" or sending competitors into a spiral of destruction?

Cisco CEO John Chambers recently predicted that digital disruption was going to put a lot of companies out of business. A new Cisco report says he's right with more than 40 percent of existing leaders are going to be "displaced" by the "Digital Vortex." Where does your company stand? And despite being aware of the threat the "Vortex" poses, many execs say it's "not worthy of board-level attention." Oh, really?

Cisco asks: Why should you care about disruption? Cisco asks: Why should you care about disruption?

Updated June 24

Premium Lock Mobile apps showdown: Red Hat-Samsung vs. Apple-IBM

Red Hat        Red Hat wasted no time in capitalizing on news about its mobile apps suite based on FeedHenry technology acquired last year. Tuesday evening, just hours after announcing it's going mobile, Red Hat disclosed a partnership for apps with Samsung, taking direct aim at the Apple-IBM partnership in the same arena.

Updated June 23

Premium Lock Exclusive: Google Fiber ready for Triangle competition, top exec says

Google Fiber formally disclosed launching the construction of its Triangle network today, but it's starting from behind. However, J. Erik Garr, the head of Google Fiber for the Triangle, says the company is ready to take on competition such as AT&T and Frontier, which have a big head start in the gigabit Internet market. He also talks about a wide number of issues in a Q&A with WRAL TechWire.

Google Fiber going in the ground in Triangle Google Fiber going in the ground in Triangle

Updated June 23

Premium Lock Google Fiber is here: Construction begins across Triangle

After years of lobbying for Google Fiber then waiting for service once the Triangle was picked as a site, the news many Triangle residents and businesses have hoped for is official: Construction of a 5,700 mile fiber-optic high-speed Internet and entertainment network by Google is finally getting under way.

Google Fiber installation underway in Triangle Google Fiber installation underway in Triangle

Updated June 23

Premium Lock In the name of hype, Lenovo launches a 'Killer' campaign

In light of the recent massacre in Charleston, a company in the U.S. would be well advised to stay away from a "Killer" campaign. But Lenovo is hyping what appears to be a new smartphone "Killer" in India and is offering a contest in which smartphone users can "bury" their old devices. Smart? Distasteful?

Lenovo's "Killer" teaser at Twitter Lenovo's "Killer" teaser at Twitter

Updated June 22

Premium Lock Red Hat pays hefty price for new CFO: $4M signing bonus, $9M in stock, $500,000 to move

How badly did red Hat want Frank Calderoni, the former chief financial officer of Cisco, to become its new CFO? Try $13.5 million in cash and stock - plus an annual salary of $685,000 and an annual bonus potentially matching that salary.

Frank Caldceroni Frank Caldceroni

Tags: Red Hat