Economy

Symantec CEO Greg Clark resigned amid sales drop

Symantec CEO Greg Clark resigned amid sales drop”

Analysts on average expected Symantec to report adjusted earnings of 39 cents a share on sales of $1.21 billion.

Clark's shock departure on Thursday came along with a gloomy set of quarterly results that fell short of expectations on revenue and a warning on profit, sparking a 17 percent slump in the company's shares in trading before the bell.

Mr. Clark, who has served as CEO since Symantec's acquisition of Blue Coat in 2016, said, "It has been a privilege to lead this great organization and I am proud of all that the team has accomplished in almost three years".

A slew of key executives including Chief Operating Officer Michael Fey and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Williams, have exited the company since late past year.

The miss in revenue comes as better-than-expected performance of its consumer business, which includes Norton-branded security services and LifeLock identity protection products, failed to offset declines in its enterprise unit.

"We achieved company revenue in the fourth quarter in line with guidance and generated strong cash flow from operating activities", said Richard S. Hill, Symantec Interim President and CEO.

That erased all of Symantec's gains this year and at least six brokerages cut their price targets on the stock, leaving just one of 27 brokerages with a "buy" rating, two with a "sell" and 24 on "hold".

Mr. Hill, who has served as a Director since January 2019 and who has been named Interim President and CEO of Symantec, said, "I'd like to thank Greg Clark and the full team at Symantec, who have done an outstanding job of building a strategy and solutions that defend enterprises and consumers from the ever increasing cyber threat landscape".

Hill said that last October, he began to work as an adviser to Clark as well as Symantec's board.

Following the executive changes, the size of Symantec's board has decreased from 13 to 12 members, including 11 independent members. "The board subsequent to that event. asked the board for volunteers from the board, who could step into the role, while a thorough search was conducted for a permanent CEO".

"Greg Clark had issues with his father being ill".

"When you're at the highest point of the pyramid, occasionally things occur", said Hill, 67.

The board also announced that Vincent Pilette has been appointed as the new chief financial officer of Symantec, following the departure of Nicholas Noviello, who announced his departure in January. Pilette has been CFO of Logitech and formerly served as the vice president of finance for Hewlett Packard Enterprise's server, storage and networking business. The Securities and Exchange Commission launched a formal investigation.

Symantec posted revenue of $4.762 billion in fiscal 2019 as compared with $4.960 billion in fiscal 2018. As a company moves up the chain to "hunt elephants", Hill said that can result in a thinning out of the herd. Hill additionally said that "for anybody, and surely somebody with the pride of Greg, he doesn't care to see the outcomes that occurred in the final quarter".



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