Symantec Mired In Management Team Issues

The well-known cybersecurity company continues to perform, however, below expectations, which has led to the resignation of CEO Greg Clark. In fiscal year 2018, the company generated $4.7 billion in revenue, a decline of $100 million from the year prior. It seems that the cause of Symantec’s lackluster growth has been due to the inability of management to figure out how to sell more of its products to the business community.

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In its fourth quarter, non-GAAP revenues for the company’s enterprise segment was $590 million as compared to $606 million a year prior. While the consumer segment was not much better, it did show growth – generating $605 million vs. $590 million the year prior. Operating margins declined for both segments, down to 49.4% from 53.4% for consumer and 8.1% from 17.6% for enterprise.

Greg Clark is actually the fourth CEO at Symantec to exit in the last seven years. He was appointed to the post when the company acquired Blue Coat in 2016. In the interim, Richard Hill will serve as Symantec’s CEO while a formal CEO search ensues. Richard was formerly the CEO of Novellus Systems, a semiconductor company, which provided him heavy experience in enterprise sales – the exact area where Symantec has been struggling.

For the CFO slot, the board has hired Vincent Pilette, who is replacing Nick Noviello. Vincent previously served as CFO of Logitech and was a former VP of finance for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Server.

Greg’s exit follows two other high profile exits, those of Symantec’s COO and CMO last year. From the outside, one could view these sequential exits as a sort of “cleaning house”, however, the cleaning has been happening for some time and in quick fashion. Michael Brown was the CEO prior to Greg and he lasted from September 2014 to April 2016. Before Michael, it was Steve Bennet, who served in the post from July 2012 to March 2014. And before Michael, Salem Enrique was CEO from June 2009 to July 2012.

According to people close to Greg, he has been struggling with his father’s sickness, which has in part taken his attention way. He will be spending the near term tending to his father.