Symantec fires second CEO in less than two years

21 Mar 2014

Steve Bennett, former CEO of Symantec

Computer security company Symantec has fired its second CEO in less than two years, with the dismissal of Steve Bennett in the wake of drooping revenue and falling shares.

Bennett replaced Enrique Salem as CEO in July 2012, with the goal of positioning Symantec to compete with a new generation of security companies, The Wall Street Journal reported.

However, Bennett had reportedly yet to deliver on new products.

“We weren’t making enough progress in product innovation,” The Wall Street Journal reported a person close to the board as having said. “We were not seeing revenue growth.”

Symantec has appointed board member Michael Brown as interim president and CEO as it begins its search for a permanent CEO.

“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,” company chairman Daniel Schulman said in a statement.

“This considered decision was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety.”

Schulman also acknowledged the work Bennett has done for the company.

“We recognise Steve’s contributions to Symantec, including developing and leading a series of successful initiatives focused on organisational realignment, cost reduction and process effectiveness,” Schulman said.

“These changes have helped establish a solid foundation for Symantec’s future, and we remain committed to our previously announced greater-than 5pc organic revenue growth and better-than 30pc non-GAAP operating margin targets by FY17.”

Symantec’s revenue sank 4.8pc to US$1.7bn in the period ended 27 December. Yesterday, the company said revenue in the current quarter would amount to US$1.62bn to US$1.66bn, down from US$1.75bn a year earlier. Shares fell nearly 7pc in after-hours trading yesterday. Previously, they were down nearly 15pc over the past 12 months.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic