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10 Things To Watch For From Symantec's Interim CEO Richard Hill

Here's a deep dive into why Symantec CEO Greg Clark left abruptly and how interim CEO Richard Hill plans to address challenges around channel performance, closing deals, and the company's enterprise security pipeline.

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2. Hill Hopes To Slow The Bleeding From The Blue Coat Proxy Hardware Business

The company's Blue Coat hardware proxy bundle business has fallen off more quickly than Symantec anticipated, resulting in a smaller-than-expected refresh cycle, Hill said. Blue Coat Systems was acquired in August 2016 by Symantec for $4.65 billion, but the move to the cloud resulted in the company being behind with its product offering.

The company's proxy offering is back with superior performance and is gaining share from competitors, Hill said, but is growing from a much smaller base. As a result of product improvements to the core Blue Coat business, Hill said Symantec is now in a much better position to retain its key customers in the cloud.

Nonetheless, Hill said the biggest contributor to Symantec's sales slump has been the faster-than-expected drop in the company's Blue Coat hardware business. Symantec still anticipates further declines going forward, Hill said, but not at the rate the company saw in the last couple of quarters.

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1. Hill Said Symantec Needs To 'Improve' The Performance Of Its Channel

Hill said Symantec needs to expand how quickly it gets products out to address a wider cross-section of business opportunities. The company also wants to lower costs by shifting more expenses to a variable structure in the channel, although Hill didn't elaborate on what that meant.

The loss of lots of small to midsize business was specifically called out by Hill as part of the reason Symantec has a sales hole to fill in its enterprise security segment. Hill said Symantec needs to "rebuild that base core" so that coming up short on a few large opportunities doesn't result in missed projections or lowered forecasts.

"How our channel is working has to be improved," Hill said. "We've got to accelerate what we get across the entire channel. … And I think we have effective plans in place today that are going to take us there."

 
 
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