Symantec sharpens axe as 1,700 awarded the Order of the Boot - report

Bennett follows through with middle-management cull promise


Up to 1,700 workers at Symantec face the axe over the next six weeks as the consequences of a corporate restructuring plan announced in January 2013 begin to bite, according to a recent report.

Around 1,000 jobs will go in June before the head count gets reduced by a further 700 next month, a source told AllThingsD.

If the total number is correct, it represents one in 12 workers (8 per cent) of the security and storage software giant's global workforce of 21,500 employees.

Steve Bennett, who joined Symantec as chief exec 11 months ago, previously vowed to sweep away layers of middle management.

Back in January, The Register reported Bennett had promised to start a “revolution” by, among other things, cutting staff numbers.

In a statement relating to today's news, Symantec confirmed that the job cuts will be taking place, without specifying which roles or business units are being targeted for pruning, nor giving any details on numbers of staffers who will get the chop:

Symantec is in the midst of a company-wide transformation. As part of this effort, we are engaged in a company-wide reorganization. As a result, some positions are being eliminated. This action is a reflection of our new strategy and organizational simplification initiative announced by Symantec’s executives on Jan. 23rd, 2013.

One of the goals of Symantec’s reorganizational effort is to make the company’s employee reporting structure more efficient and support the company strategy moving forward. We have no additional details to provide at this time.

Symantec reported sales of $6.9bn for fiscal '13, which ended in March. Storage and server management segment brought in $2.5bn, or about 36 per cent of sales. Security software for consumers put $2.1bn in its coffers, with the remainder coming from enterprise-focused security software and services.

Net income for the fiscal year 2013 was down to $765 million, from $1.17bn in FY 2012 but Symantec said that this was an expected consequence of its sale of the Huawei Joint Venture business during the period.

In a financial filling (10-k annual report), Symantec said it expected "significant restructuring charges as we eliminate duplicative organisation and operating structures".

"These restructuring activities are expected to be completed in fiscal 2014 and we expect to incur total severance and benefit costs between $220m and $250m," it added. ®

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