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The Ides of March

3:20 PM -- Lawsuits, layoffs, and resignations scattered across Silicon Valley this week typify the Ides of March -- though they've created more malaise than madness.

To wit: The SEC's stock options backdating investigation has ensnared many companies in technology and storage. But a shareholder lawsuit filed last month against Network Appliance may end up revealing more details than the SEC probe. According to the San Jose Mercury News, executives had a headstart on more than $400 million in stock proceeds, and the company changed how options grants got reported once the Sarbanes-Oxley Act took effect.

CEO Dan Warmenhoven, openly testy on this week's Network Appliance analyst call, may have fresh reason to be "really pissed off." (See NetApp Stokes Competitive Fires.)

Symantec also began layoffs yesterday, after promising earlier this year it would cut costs by $200 million. (See Layoffs Begin as Symantec Cuts $200 Million in Costs and Symantec Struggles Continue.) In January, the vendor indicated continuing problems with the integration of Veritas; whether that unit is affected by the cuts is unclear, but it seems unlikely.

In its 10-K filing this week, Juniper revealed that its CFO and the head of its enterprise unit had both left. (See Juniper Loses More Execs Juniper Completes Restatement.) The company characterized the departures as mutually agreeable, reflecting no dissatisfaction with Juniper.

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