Symantec Names Former Cisco Exec As New CIO


Symantec has named Sheila Jordan, a former Cisco Systems executive, as its new chief information officer.

The security firm said Jordan would build and lead the Symantec IT strategy. Jordan served nine years at Cisco, serving more recently as senior vice president of IT, communication and collaboration at the networking giant. Symantec said Jordan brings expertise in driving enterprise collaboration.

Jordan replaces Marty Hodgett, who served as senior vice president and CIO of Symantec. He left the company to take the CIO role at San Bruno, Calif.-based clinical research firm Cord Blood Registry.

[Related: 10 Questions For Symantec CEO Steve Bennett]

Jordan will report to Symantec Chief Operating Officer Stephen Gillett. "Sheila is a dynamic leader with the experience to build and lead the Symantec IT strategy,” Gillett said in a statement. "She will drive the strategy forward by ensuring we have the right talent, staying ahead of technology trends and maximizing the value we get out of our technology investments.”

Symantec said Jordan is a frequent speaker about collaboration, mobility, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) issues and women's leadership. Jordan serves as a director for NextSpace, a provider of physical and virtual infrastructure for entrepreneurs, and sits on the CIO Advisory Board for SnapLogic. She also held leadership roles at The Walt Disney Company and Martin Marietta.

“My goal is to drive increased productivity, better efficiency and strategic business partnerships, through simple and intuitive experiences for our global workforce,” Jordan said in a statement.

At Cisco, Jordan recently hosted the 2013 Cisco Collaboration Summit to discuss the intersection of mobile, video, apps, social and content. In a blog post about the event, Jordan said security has become increasingly important in collaboration deployment as enterprises are impacted by cloud deployments.

Symantec has had a spate of executive changes in recent months associated with internal changes at the company that included layoffs. Symantec CEO Steve Bennett is entering the second year of the company's two-year strategy redesign. In addition to streamlining redundant positions, Bennett is overhauling the company's go-to-market strategy and streamlining its product portfolio.

Symantec CFO James Beer left Symantec in October. The company recently shut down its managed firewall and managed endpoint services business following the departure of some key executives over the summer.

Symantec partners tell CRN they are watching the company closely as it pulls together a tightly integrated product line across storage and security, overhauls its sales channel and builds out a more cohesive mobility and cloud strategy. Symantec appears to be bringing in someone talented in leading an organization within a large global company, said Rick Jordan, director of sales and strategic alliances at Toronto, Ontario-based solution provider Tenet Computer Group.

"This appears to be someone who has been through the trenches and been able to see new opportunity in BYOD and mobility," Jordan said.

PUBLISHED JAN. 27, 2014