Symantec Appoint Michael Brown As CEO

Following the firing of Steve Bennett in March the cyber security company has been under the stewardship of Brown. Bennett was given his marching orders in March, after barely two years on the job.

Symantec Antivirus

That was the second time Symantec had dumped a CEO in less than two years, as the company struggles with declining sales of its core antivirus software due to a shift from personal computers to mobile devices.

Putting faith in continuity

Sources have claimed that Brown distinguished himself among the candidates, despite initially ruling himself out of the running for the post. The new CEO is expected to share a strategic plan with shareholders, customers and employees within 30 days.

“This company has had enough change,” said Patrick Walravens, an analyst at JMP Securities. “I think continuity is a good thing.”

Symantec’s stock has risen 14% since Brown took over as interim chief. The stock, which barely changed in extended trading, dropped 1.7% to $23.73 when markets closed in New York.

Kristen Batch, a spokeswoman at Symantec, stated that Brown is “the right leader to take Symantec into the future.” He was selected “because of his deep technology knowledge, experience growing a large public company and his track record for building strong leadership teams,” she continued.

A challenging market

Although Symantec was a pioneer in cyber security, it has been struggling to keep up with developments in the industry of late. Previous CEO Bennett wanted to revamp Symantec in order to compete with the new generation of rivals.

More details on Brown’s strategy will presumably be released in the next 30 days, although he did say “we are focusing our investments in businesses where demand is greatest and improving operational efficiencies to grow revenue and operating margin.”

Activist shareholders have been pressuring Symantec to separate its security and data storage businesses, as well as lift revenues. According to a Bloomberg News report from April, Symantec has hired JPMorgan to analyze its strategic options.