Symantec CFO Steps Down


Symantec said Monday that CFO James Beer is stepping down to take on a new role at drug distributor and health-care IT provider McKesson.
Beer has served as CFO since 2006 and was instrumental in extending Symantec's presence in information security and management, the company said.

"James is a talented executive and we thank him for his many contributions during the past seven years," said Steve Bennett, president and CEO of Symantec, in a statement. "I appreciate the leadership he displayed this past year in helping to create, implement and drive significant progress in our transformation."

[Related: 10 Questions For Symantec CEO Steve Bennett]

In a statement, Beer said Symantec has a solid financial foundation and is well positioned for improvement. He said he is confident in the company's "rich opportunity as a leader in protecting and managing information."

Symantec said Andrew "Drew" Del Matto, Symantec's senior vice president and chief accounting officer, will serve as the company's acting CFO while it considers internal and external candidates for the role. Del Matto has held senior finance leadership roles with Inktomi and SGI.

Mountain View Calif.-based Symantec in January unveiled a two-year strategic plan, dubbed Symantec 4.0, which includes a complete reorganization and layoffs of redundant positions. In an interview with CRN at the time, the company said its channel program would be retooled and increasingly relied on for sales growth and that it was reassessing every product in its portfolio.

Symantec identified 10 areas of importance, including mobility, Norton protection, Norton cloud, information security services, identity and content security gateway, data center security, business continuity, integrated backup, cloud-based information management, and object storage.

Bennett said Symantec will stay out of the network security appliance market, telling Gartner analysts at the research firm's conference in June that it will seek partnerships with networking vendors. The goal, he said, is to streamline the product portfolio from at least 150 point solutions to make it easier for customers to integrate their security technologies. Symantec is now finalizing its integrated product road maps.

Symantec has a lot of potential if it effectively reorganizes its strong product portfolio, said Jon Oltsik, a longtime security industry consultant who serves as senior principal analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group. Oltsik said the company has always lacked a networking security presence, leaving it out competing with McAfee and other companies with more complete portfolios.

"They have been losing a lot of executives," Oltsik said. "It's not yet entirely clear where they are going with their portfolio and if their strategy is succeeding yet."

Symantec recently made changes to its licensing process, including improvements in demo software and fulfillment experience. It also recently suspended new sales of Symantec Security Information Manager in a move to focus on more modern technologies. In addition to embracing the channel with a new go-to-market strategy, Symantec is creating a renewals team and focusing its field sales people to be better skilled on specific technologies, the company said.

PUBLISHED OCT. 1, 2013