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Symantec’s Announcement of Its CEO’s Departure Shook Investors


May. 14 2019, Published 2:02 p.m. ET

CEO resigns

Symantec (SYMC) lost investors’ confidence when it announced on May 9 that its CEO, Greg Clark, would be leaving the company effective immediately. Clark, who had been CEO since 2016, was the fifth top executive in the past six months to leave the cybersecurity company. Though Symantec didn’t disclose the reason for Clark’s departure, Richard Hill, who will become the interim CEO until the company finds a new one, said that Clark was leaving to take care of his sick father.

The news of Clark’s departure came along with weak fourth-quarter results that fell short of revenue expectations and a warning on first-quarter profits due to soft Enterprise Security segment results.

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Management changes

Symantec has also appointed Vincent Pilette, CFO of Logitech International and former vice president of finance for Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s server, storage, and networking business, as the executive vice president and CFO of Symantec. During the last quarter, on January 31, the company announced that its CFO, Nicholas Noviello, would be stepping down from the position to pursue other opportunities.

Symantec also saw the departures of key executives COO Michael Fey and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Williams last year amid an investigation by US regulators related to an accounting irregularity.

According to Credit Suisse analysts, the new executives have disrupted the company’s growth and have limited software industry experience, but according to Morningstar analyst Mark Cash, the turnover could reverse the company’s ongoing weakness in fiscal 2020 amid the challenges in the enterprise space.


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