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CGI Group (NYSE: GIB) gets the nod. The parent company of the contractor, CGI Federal, responsible for butchering the rollout of the Obamacare enrollment website, Healthcare.gov, definitely earned this nomination.
It's almost impossible to overstate just how big of a dud this one was. The website was an epic fail from jump street as millions of Americans were either unable to register for health care benefits at all or forced to suffer through ridiculous delays and interruptions that kept total enrollment figures at embarrassingly low rates for months.
Even after all the outrage and legacy-damaging press, the site is still riddled with security holes and pathetic shortcomings such as links for the Spanish version that take users to an English-language form.
It's the kind of debacle that can forever taint a president's legacy. If the good news is that Accenture will take the reins once the CGI contract expires at the end of February, the bad news is that it's going to cost millions more to right the ship – at least $90 million more for the next year alone.
Worse, it's still unclear just how much this Hindenburg-like disaster has cost so far. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, no David O. Russell to be sure, told Congress her agency spent $319 million on the website through the end of October and has allocated a total of $677 million and counting.
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), just like its big-screen doppelganger, is all about artistic and technical beauty and anyone holding its stock for the past year definitely appreciates what it feels like to come crashing back to earth as the stock lost about 25 percent of its value by mid-summer. Then again, those who managed to hold and let the debris field pass also know what it's like to once again rocket through the stratosphere.
But in both cases, one key question comes to mind: Now what?
With their charismatic, experienced leaders no longer of this earth, how will those left behind carry on and find the next new thing to inspire us all?
She is the captain now.
After years of aimlessly turning circles out in the middle of the ocean, Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO)might finally have the right person at the helm. It's clear Marissa Mayer isn't shy about shaking things up or reversing course on the fly. She even managed to avoid a mutiny after requiring all hands to actually show up on deck.
High-profile media hires and less-than-universally-loved makeovers of some of its most popular apps might generate some buzz and buy you some time, but until Yahoo can start generating some organic growth – hello ad sales – it will continue to be viewed by some as nothing more than a convenient way to invest in the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.