Security Advisor

Symantec Labels CEO as Virus, Removes From System

The move was made due to Symantec's underperformance.

The security software company has given the boot to CEO Enrique Salem this week and is handing the reins to Chairman Steve Bennett.

Speaking on why the company made the move, the new head honcho said the following: "My view is that Symantec's assets are strong and yet the company is underperforming against the opportunity."

And when there's no clear answer why a company isn't performing to its ability, the burden usually ends up resting at the top.

In the short-term, it looks like the move was the right one -- Symantec stock finished 17 percent higher today – and it was only his first day!

Many analysts, including Forbes columnist Richard Stiennon, believe that the company's poor showing in the security market shouldn't have called for a change of leadership, but a change in the way the company operates.

Stiennon points out that the moment that Symantec purchased Veritas, a storage management company, its focus was taken off the market that it has had success in – security.

"The primary driver is the threatscape which evolves continuously," wrote Stiennon. "New threats and new threat actors drive innovators to create new products and services. Symantec took their eye off the ball when they acquired Veritas. 2005 was way too early for a software security vendor to attempt to mature into a tech holding company like IBM or HP."

Did Symantec extending its reach cause it to lose its footing? How have you seen the company change over the years?

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for and

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Jul 26, 2012 Kevin Pennsylvania

I have at least 5 product lines/services deployed and have been using Symantec products for more years than I can count. The trend to quickly rebrand aquired product lines without any enhancement has led to a lack of innovation. The company is hot to make the sale but is not flexible on terms with their clients which leaves a bad taste.

Thu, Jul 26, 2012 eddacker Derbyshire Dales

I, too, have used their products. I did notice some fall-off of quality in their enterprise security suite during 2008 - 2010. This made me want to search for alternatives. However, I have also noticed an improved product for 2011. the changes to the interface were confusing, but overall quality was returning. McAfee has improved their management console, Kaspersky and new players like GFI are there for any misstep. I hope Symantec continues to improve and that they listen to their loyal clients suggestions: the user is your friend.

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 Dan Canada

After reading glowing reviews I purchased the suite and after installing it (which went well I must admit) and configuring it (I agree with tucsonmtb - it's too flashy) my system would no longer boot. After restoring my system (thank god for Acronis) I went back to MS Security Essentials.

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 TucsonMTB Arizona

We have been using the anti-virus and system health utility products for years. Not sure if the rest of the product line suffers from the same issues but, the each new version of the anti-virus product is more frustrating than the last. The user interface tries to be flashy but is awkward to use as a result. Option settings to help keep the processes running invisibly seem to have been dropped from the product. Hey, it should be a reliable, unobtrusive system utility, not a showboat seeking user attention. And don't get me started on the pricing structure and the way existing customers are expected to pay full retail. It's usually easier and cheaper to find it on sale than extend. That can't be helping the bottom line. It's so irritating that I have started moving machines to the Micro$oft alternative. Not something I ever expected to do. Color me disappointed.

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