Boston Tech Watch: Akamai, Zuckerberg, Firecracker, Luminoso & More

March 10, 2018

Here are some of the latest headlines from the Boston-area tech scene:

—Wolters Kluwer Health said it reached a deal to acquire Firecracker, a Boston-based company that sells software that helps medical students prepare for exams. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. Nine-year-old Firecracker has 16 employees, according to a press release.

—Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM) named former Amazon chief information security officer Tom Killalea to its board and said it plans to bring on another independent board director at a later date. The additions are part of new “value creation initiatives” Akamai said it devised in collaboration with activist investor Elliott Management. Akamai’s board is also forming a financial operating committee and has set a goal of achieving 30 percent operating margins by 2020.

The moves follow last month’s announcement that Akamai had laid off about 400 people as it cut back on research and development efforts that hadn’t translated into commercial success.

—In other activist investor news, Praesidium Investment Management disclosed in an SEC filing that it had sold off most of its shares of Progress Software (NASDAQ: PRGS) stock and now owns less than 1 percent of the Bedford, MA-based company. At the time of the filing earlier this week, Progress’s stock price had risen about 50 percent since August 2017, when Praesidium said it had purchased a 9.1 percent stake in Progress—and began pushing for changes at the company.

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