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Symantec fires CEO as the hunt for growth continues

Simon Quicke

Symantec has fired its CEO as it looks for fresh leadership to try and lead the company, which has been hit by the ongoing declines in the PC market, making it the second time in two years it has parted company with its top executive.

Symantec announced the end of Steve Bennett's time as CEO with board member Michael Brown taking over as interim president and CEO immediately with the vendor kicking off the search for a full-time replacement.

Bennett had been in the role less than two years after coming in to replace another short term boss Enrique Salem, who left in 2012 after just three years in the job because he had not managed to improve the performance at the firm.

The decision to part with Bennett was described by the vendor as something that had come about after a review of the situation rather than a knee jerk reaction to the most recent set of financial results, which showed that the business was still struggling with a 5% decline in revenues for its third quarter.

"This considered decision was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety," said Symantec board chairman Daniel Schulman.

Under Bennett's leadership the firm underwentseveral major changes to improve its fortunes, including making revisions to its partner programmes, making changes to the sales team, splitting into renewals and new business and changing the direct sales outfit to focus on information management or security.

The firm followed that up by taking the wraps off a global channel strategy last November that was based around reseller competencies rewarding those that delivered value to customers by developing their skills.

Schulman said that Bennett had made some positive changes to the way the vendor operated, improving efficiencies and reducing costs but it had to bring on board someone who could improve its fortunes.

"These changes have helped establish a solid foundation for Symantec's future, and we remain committed to our previously announced greater-than 5% organic revenue growth and better-than 30% non-GAAP operating margin targets by FY17. Our priority is now to identify a leader who can leverage our company's assets and leadership team to drive the next stage of Symantec's product innovation and growth," he said.


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