Symantec Appoints Michael Fey As President, COO After Blue Coat Acquisition

Symantec is lining up its roster of executives for as it nears the closing of its blockbuster Blue Coat Systems acquisition, naming Michael Fey as incoming president and COO of the combined companies.

Fey currently serves as president and COO at Blue Coat.

The appointment comes in the heels of Symantec's announcement last month that it intended to acquire Blue Coat for $4.65 billion. The security giant also named Blue Coat CEO Greg Clark as the incoming CEO of Symantec, replacing outgoing executive Michael Brown.

[Related: 10 Things Partners Can Expect From Symantec's Acquisition Of Blue Coat]

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Fey's appointment will become official upon the closing of the acquisition, which is expected to take place in the third calendar quarter of 2016.

Fey is widely known and respected in security circles, having helped transform Blue Coat's strategy to an open-platform approach with technology alliances partnerships since 2014. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president and CTO at McAfee (now Intel Security).

"Mike has a proven track record of driving and maintaining profitable growth while achieving operational excellence at scale. This, along with substantial go-to-market expertise, will be instrumental as we complete the Symantec-Blue Coat transaction. Mike has been deeply involved in the integration planning and will continue to work closely with planning teams from both companies to ensure a thoughtful and seamless transition," incoming CEO Clark said in a statement.

Fey will now look to bring that history of transformation to Symantec, where he told CRN he has been charged with spearheading the integration of the companies' technology and personnel.

"I'm very excited. There aren't that many opportunities you get the chance to define the future of an industry and I believe Symantec has that opportunity," Fey told CRN. "It's a great opportunity. I'm personally very excited and I can't wait to get through the waiting period so I can truly engage."

After the integration, Fey said he will focus on delivering what he called "exceptional performance" around the go-to-market strategy of the combined companies.

"It's a vote of confidence from a lot of different angles, but more importantly…that this is not a momentary transition. We are making a long-term commitment here and we are genuinely excited about the opportunity in front of us," Fey said.

In particular, Fey said he hopes his appointment brings "clarity" to the company's channel vision as it puts two channel advocates at the top executive levels of Symantec.

"I think it removes a lot of ambiguity as to what might occur. You have the security professional that understands the importance of the channel and the value of the channel and a CEO that does the same… We hope to operate well and leverage the trust [we've built separately] and deliver on that trust and expand on the gains we've all felt together," Fey said.

Jason Eberhardt, vice president of strategic alliances at Chicago-based Conventus, said he was happy to see Symantec following up on its "fantastic acquisition" of Blue Coat by "bringing in the serious executives who helped Blue Coat become what it is today." Eberhardt said he hopes Fey uses his extensive experience to bring a different perspective to Symantec.

"I'm excited about him because not only are they putting leaders in place who are security and technology focused, but who are also good and proven leaders," Eberhardt said. "It just shows that they're moving forward and putting the right people in the right positions."

Symantec said it's continuing to work to determine the executive lineup of the combined company.

"We're involved in a very thoughtful process on that point," Fey said, though he said the company will also work with "purpose and speed" to avoid a "long, drawn-out affair." In addition to Clark and Fey, Symantec has announced that CFO Thomas Seifert will continue in his role after the closing of the deal.