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Symantec's John Thompson to retire as CEO

Will remain chairman of the board

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Symantec has announced that CEO John Thompson will retire in early April, at the end of the company's fiscal year.

Enrique Salem, the current chief operating officer, will take over as president and chief executive officer of the security, storage, and systems management software maker, and Thompson will remain chairman of the board.

"I am proud of our team's accomplishments over the past 10 years as we've transformed the company from a consumer software publisher to the leader in Internet security, data protection and storage management," reads a canned statement from Thompson.

"I've always believed planning for succession was a critical part of my role and, for the past two years, have been working with the board on a thoughtful succession plan."

Thompson, 59, joined Symantec in 1999, after a 28-year career at Big Blue during which he served as general manager of IBM Americas. Salem, 43, was appointed Symantec COO in January of this year.

He first joined Symantec in 1990 when the company acquired Peter Norton Computing. Following stints at Oblix, Ask Jeeves, and anti-spam outfit BrightMail, he returned to Symantec in 2004, when the company acquired BrightMail. He served as BrightMail's president and CEO. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

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