Symantec To Split CEO, Chairman Jobs Ahead Of New Strategy


Symantec announced that it is splitting its chief executive and chairman jobs ahead of a scheduled meeting to discuss its strategic direction.

The Mountain View Calif.-based security vendor named independent director Dan Schulman to the position of non-executive chairman, replacing Steve Bennett, who remains CEO and president.

"As CEO, Steve has a vision for where he wants to take the company and help it reach its fullest potential," Schulman said in a statement. "I look forward to working with him, the board, and everyone at Symantec to help transform the company to deliver greater value for employees, customers and shareholders."

[Related: Symantec: Android Malware Bilks Contacts, Infects Thousands]

Symantec plans to share more information about its go-to-market strategy later this week, following reports that it may sell off of its Symantec Altiris unit. Industry experts told CRN that selling off the unit may not signal any significant changes for the channel. The company purchased Altiris for $830 million in 2007 and has built out the Altiris client management suite with support for virtual desktops, laptops and mobile devices.

Bennett, who replaced Enrique Salem as CEO in July, has said to expect a new Symantec strategy that would re-sharpen its focus and make it a better business partner. He said the management changes will help executives focus on the company strategy and is in the best interest of shareholders. It builds better communications and relations between the board, the CEO and senior management segments of the company, he said.

"Separating the positions of chairman and CEO allows me to focus on executing the company's strategic plan and managing the company's operations and performance," Bennett said in a statement.

Symantec, on Wednesday, reported a profit of 45 cents per share, excluding items, for its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 28, beating the average analyst estimate of 38 cents, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Bennett said in a statement the appointment would boost oversight of the senior executive team and give him more time to focus on managing the business and executing the new plan.

From May 2000 until May 2001, Schulman was president and chief executive officer of Priceline.com, after serving as president and chief operating officer from July 1999. Previously, Schulman was president of the AT&T Consumer Markets Division of AT&T Corp., a telecommunications services company, and was appointed to the AT&T Operations Group, the company's most senior executive body.

PUBLISHED JAN. 23, 2013