Symantec ousts CEO Bennett

Symantec ousts CEO Bennett

Summary: Symantec said Michael Brown, a director on the company's board, will be the interim CEO until a replacement is found.

TOPICS: Security

Symantec said Thursday that it has terminated Steve Bennett as CEO and will replace him with Michael Brown, a director at the company, on an interim basis.

In a statement, Symantec said Bennett has also resigned from the board of directors. Brown joined Symantec's board after the merger with Veritas Software in July 2005. Brown had been CEO of Quantum.


The company noted that it will begin a search for a new CEO immediately. Symantec Chairman Daniel Schulman said the decision to swap out Bennett was "the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety."

Nevertheless, Bennett was well along with Symantec's restructuring and refocusing. Symantec said that it still plans to meet its 5 percent annual growth revenue growth target by fiscal 2017 with non-GAAP operating margins topping 30 percent.

While it's unclear why Bennett was terminated, Symantec indicated that its guidance for the fourth quarter remained unchanged. Symantec sees fourth quarter non-GAAP earnings of 40 cents a share to 42 cents a share on revenue of $1.61 billion to $1.65 billion, down from $1.75 billion a year ago.

Earlier this month, Symantec named Thomas Seifert chief financial officer. Seifert had been CFO at Brightstar and Advanced Micro Devices.


Topic: Security

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  • That was quck!

    Not even two years.
  • Still the Leader in Antivirus Protection

    Although I have had some issues with Symantec I still consider them to be the leader in protection against virus infections. We have up to 4 computers on-line and have had nly one infection in the last 4 years and that may have been our fault.
  • He was too much of a bean counter

    I worked for Symantec for almost 14 years. The group I worked in was one of the most profitable in the company. The money our group earned was used to finance all kinds of projects that did not bring in any revenue or lost money. Still it was not enough and as part of Symantec 4.0 my group was downsized away last summer (some of the work went to India and some back to CA). In the long run it was the best thing to happen to me, I took my package and had work almost immediately. It was still bothersome to realize that we were downsized because we din't make enough money even though we had made or exceeded all our numbers for the last 6+ years.
  • Michael Brown, eh?

    I'm sure you're gonna do a heck of a job, Brownie!
  • no mobile - do not proceed

    SYMC lacks a mobile strategy [when the world is mobile-centric] & Bennett steadfastly focused on the desktop/enterprise. Is this a surprise?
    • Well, no

      Where was Symantec going to go in the mobile field? In order for Symantec to do what it does, you need root access. That narrows the number of devices their antivirus can run on to...the few hundred thousand that have been rooted by users sufficiently technical to not need Symantec Mobile to begin with.

      Yes, there are companies like ESET and Lookout who have mobile antivirus applications for Android...but I have Lookout Premium as a service from my carrier, and ESET as an extension of my subscription for my desktop. Symantec could try to compete for those carrier contracts, but since most people see their Norton programs as more of a nag than a helpful utility, carriers would be wise to exercise caution with trumpeting "Protected by Symantec" as a selling line. Such wisdom is likely compounded by the fact that Lookout's big selling point is "find your lost phone", whereas Symantec's is "stop viruses"...associating the need for virus protection with a mobile platform is not going to do Android, Symantec, or smartphones in general any good.

      Now yes, I know that there is malware on the Android platform...but it's a balancing act that primarily lies with weeding out the sketchy offerings from Google Play more than anything else.

  • Finding right place in changing IT world

    Is a hard thing. Symantec was nothing, then they bought Norton and immediately became top security and utility company, then Veritas came as a top backup... But things are changing and backup and archive SW and AV protection are all of the sudden included in OS up to a certain point and riding this wave can not last forever. Not to mention a decade of awful protection software, bad practices, ugly trials that forced people to reinstall OS becuase they were not able to uninstal that THING, hogging and nagging computers...
    • Live Update

      My favorite was that for years (maybe still) you had to go to Symantec's site to download an out-of-band utility to remove Live Update from your system. Their uninstallable freeware that comes on new systems provided no end of headaches (easier just to format and reinstall). And BE 2012? The less said about that hot mess the better...