Veritas CEO promises Symantec buy will be kind and gentle

The workers are safe

Veritas CEO Gary Bloom assured nervous customers that the proposed merger between his company and Symantec will not result in massive layoffs or massive drops in support.

"It is not about cuts," Bloom said, during a product launch for BackUp Exec 10 here in New York. "We have been very clear about that."

Symantec has proposed a $13.5bn all-stock buy of Veritas that is still dependent on shareholder and regulatory approvals. Should the buy go through, Bloom promised that it won't look like another software merger - that of Oracle and PeopleSoft - in which 5,000 staffers were sent packing. Bloom will become vice chairman and president of the new company.

"We've talked about $100m in cost-saving synergies in the first twelve months," he said. "That $100m is mostly in back office functions."

It's rare to see a CEO try and play down potential savings of a large merger. Both Symantec and Veritas, however, want to assuage fears that product support will drop off as the two companies merge.

"We want to raise those service levels," Bloom said. "You will see very, very few layoffs."

Should all go according to plan, the deal will close in the second quarter.

A number of analysts have voiced concerns of the all-stock nature of the acquisition and have complained that the combined company might have meager growth rates. The companies counter saying they will grow faster than the world's other software giants. ®

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