Symantec Is on the Lookout for a New CEO


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 3:03 p.m. ET

Symantec’s board formed ‘office of the president’ while it searches for new CEO

Symantec (SYMC) has announced that the company is searching for a new CEO (chief executive officer) after its current CEO Michael Brown stepped down. Brown will continue in his position until a new CEO comes on board. During this transition, Symantec’s board has created an “office of the president,” which will be collectively led by Ajei Gopal, Thomas Seifert, and Scott Taylor.

Gopal, who is currently an operating partner at Silver Lake, will join Symantec as interim president and COO (chief operating officer). Prior to this role, Gopal was part of Symantec as its executive vice president and CTO (chief technology officer) from 2004 to 2006. Seifert is Symantec’s CFO (chief financial officer), and Taylor is its executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary.

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Symantec is focused on improving operating margins and cost control

Symantec’s three interim leaders will be focused on achieving $400 million through cost control by fiscal 4Q18. Moreover, the company is focused on improving its operating efficiency within its Enterprise Security segment. For more information, read Why Enterprise Security Is a Key Focus for SymantecSymantec leads the DLP market with a 47% market share. Endpoint protection and DLP (digital light processing) support Symantec’s Enterprise Security.

According to the 451 Group, Why Enterprise Security Is a Key Focus for SymantecSymantec leads the DLP market with a 47% market share, as the above chart shows. It’s followed by Intel’s (INTC) McAfee with an 18% market share and EMC (EMC) with a 4% share. Technology behemoths Microsoft (MSFT) and IBM (IBM) are trying to enter this rapidly growing market. Later in the series, we’ll see how the fall in DLP revenue impacted the company’s Enterprise Security segment.

In its fiscal 4Q16 guidance call, Symantec shared that the company expects to attain a 30% run rate operating margin at the beginning of fiscal 2018 and approximately a 33% operating margin for fiscal 2018.

Investors who wish to gain exposure to Symantec can consider investing in the PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ). QQQ has an exposure of ~27% to application software. It invests ~0.3% of its holdings in Symantec.


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