Symantec names new interim CEO, CFO, delivers mixed Q4 and weak Q1 outlook

Symantec said its enterprise unit delivered weaker than expected bookings, but thinks its overall strategy works. Nevertheless, it's time for a leadership change.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Symantec has a new CEO and CFO as its fourth quarter results were roughly in line with estimates, but the first quarter outlook was below expectations. Symantec said that its enterprise security unit delivered weaker than expected sales.

The company said that it has appointed Richard S. Hill interim CEO effective immediately. Greg Clark stepped down from the role and Symantec said it will start a search for a permanent CEO. In addition, Symantec said it has appointed Vincent Pilette, CFO of Logitech, as its new CFO starting May 21. Symantec had been searching for a new CFO.

According to a statement, Symantec said it needs to boost its enterprise and consumer sales. Clark and Symantec "agreed that now is the right time to transition leadership."

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In the fourth quarter, Symantec said its enterprise unit missed revenue targets "due to lower than expected bookings." Hill said the company is confident in its integrated cyber defense strategy and will look to make its enterprise business more efficient and grow the consumer unit. Symantec has a long track record in security, but faces competition from a bevy of next-gen companies such as Palo Alto Networks as well as startups and larger players such as Cisco. 


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Symantec reported fourth quarter earnings of 5 cents a share and 39 cents a share non-GAAP on revenue of $1.9 billion. Wall Street was expecting Symantec to report fourth quarter revenue of $1.21 billion with non-GAAP earnings of 39 cents a share.

The company reported fiscal 2019 revenue of $4.73 billion, down from $4.83 billion the previous year with earnings of $31 million, or 3 cents a share.

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For the first quarter, Symantec said it is expecting revenue between $1.71 billion and $1.2 billion with non-GAAP earnings of 30 cents a share to 34 cents a share. Wall Street was looking for first quarter revenue of $1.2 billion with non-GAAP earnings of 40 cents a share.

Symantec projected revenue of $4.75 billion to $4.89 billion with non-GAAP earnings of $1.65 a share to $1.80 a share for fiscal 2020.   

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