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Symantec Fires CEO Steve Bennett

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Security company announces ‘transition’ as it now prepares for third CEO in two years

Security provider Symantec, the company behind Norton antivirus, has terminated the contract of its CEO, Steve Bennett.

Bennett leaves Symantec after only 18 months in the job as part of a major shake-up by the company’s board of directors, which has appointed Michael Brown, board member and former head of Veritas Software, as interim president and chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Brown will now oversee a transistion period till an executive committee can appoint a new CEO, a company statement said.

steve bennett symnatec

Ongoing process

Symantec chairman Daniel Schulman thanked Bennett (pictured) for his guidance and work during his tenure. Although some commentators have expressed surprise, Symantec is giving nothing away, praising the outgoing boss and denying anything untoward.

“We recognise Steve’s contributions to Symantec, including developing and leading a series of successful initiatives focused on organizational realignment, cost reduction and process effectiveness,” Schulman said.  “These changes have helped establish a solid foundation for Symantec’s future.

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

Bennett,60, had been CEO since July 2012, when he replaced Enrique Salem, having initially joined Symantec as chairman. He formerly worked at General Electric and Intuit, where he was chief executive.

The interim CEO, Brown, joined Symantec’s board of directors following the company’s merger with Veritas Software in July 2005, and also previously served as chairman and chief executive officer of Quantum Corporation. Under his leadership, Quantum saw a large increase in revenues, and established itself as a major player in the data back-up and archiving sector.

Symantec also released the guidance for its fourth quarter results, indicating that these remained unchanged despite Bennett’s departure.

It’s a topsy-world for tech CEOs!