Feeds

Big Yellow loses its head... again: Symantec, we need to talk

Enormo security firm needs to get serious about acquisitions

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Comment Symantec recently fired Steve Bennett, its second CEO in two years. As a previous chairman of the board, Bennett was part of the team that shifted off the previous CEO. Apparently now, new blood is needed to "act aggressively to capture a growing share of this market," in the words of the new chief, Michael Brown.

Steve Bennet, ex-Symantec CEO

Steve Bennett, ex-Symantec CEO and president

The new board chairman, Daniel Schulman, has spent less than two years in the post, although he has been a board member since 2000. He said Symantec’s Q4 fiscal 2014 business projections remained in place:

  • Revenue of $1.615 to $1.655bn, compared to $1.748bn in the year-ago period,
  • GAAP diluted earnings per share between $0.29 and $0.31 as compared to $0.27 in the year-ago period.

Profits up but revenue down. Clearly financial engineering and cost-cutting is not the answer to the “How will we raise revenues?” question the board is asking. Yet that same board thought it had already answered that very question by appointing Bennett as CEO in July, 2012, replacing Enrique Salem.

At the time we wrote: “Salem, we think, got the bullet for failing to conquer the mobile security market, his handling of the Backup Exec outrage, and ... humdrum financial performance."

Bennett got the bullet against the background of the firm's continuing failure to conquer the mobile security market and revenue-decreasing financial performance.

At the time of his appointment Bennett said: "I’m looking forward to working with the team to build upon the significant assets in place to help Symantec accelerate value creation for all of its stakeholders.”

Seven of the nine Symantec board members were in place when Enrique Salem left. Now, in what would appear to be an astonishing display of impatience, they have turned on Bennett and ousted him before his turnaround plan had time to run its course.

Shulman said of Bennett's ousting: "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. This considered decision was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety."

It's still about leveraging Symantec's assets, then: same old, same old, same mistaken wrong old.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: +Comment

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
VMware vaporises vCHS hybrid cloud service
AnD yEt mOre cRazy cAps to dEal wIth
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.