Another Symantec CEO Bites the Dust — What’s Next?

Less than two years ago, Steve Bennett signed on as CEO of Symantec with a song and a lot of praise. Now, heEUs on his way out the door. The network security and anti-virus company just gave Bennett the boot. Yes, Bennett was fired and has resigned from the board, in what one analyst called a "jaw-dropping" surprise.

Symantec board member Michael Brown will immediately fill his seat as interim president and CEO. Symantec is now on the hunt for a permanent CEO and has engaged an executive search firm to lead the charge.

"We recognize Steve's contributions to Symantec, including developing and leading a series of successful initiatives focused on organizational realignment, cost reduction and process effectiveness,EU Symantec's board chairman Daniel Schulman said. EUOur 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.EU

Wall Street Shocked

Schulman acknowledged that the changes Bennett implemented have helped establish a solid foundation for Symantec's future, but that didnEUt secure BennettEUs future with the company. Apparently, the board felt it needed a change in order to reach its commitment to greater than 5 percent organic revenue growth and better than 30 percent non-GAAP operating margin targets by fiscal year 2017. Schulman was clear that, EUThis considered decision was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety.EU

The stock took a hit on the announcement, which surprised Wall Street. Daniel Ives, analyst at FBR described the news as "jaw dropping" in a note to clients. Shares were down $2.60 to $18.30 in afternoon trading. "While we believe the company was slowly heading in the right direction," Ives says. "Last night's announcement leaves a major black-eye on Symantec."

Interim CEO Brown, former CEO of Quantum Corp.,...

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