Symantec ousts CEO Bennett

Symantec said Michael Brown, a director on the company's board, will be the interim CEO until a replacement is found.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

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.


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