Saying it was the board’s judgment that it was in the best interests to make a change in the CEO position, Symantec today said that Enrique Salem, president and CEO, has stepped down effective immediately and would be replaced by Steve Bennett who will take over the role as president and chief executive officer, in addition to his continued role as chairman of the board.
“The board’s decision to make a leadership change was not based on any particular event or impropriety but was instead made after ongoing consideration and a deliberative process,” said Dan Schulman, Symantec’s newly-appointed lead director.
“Enrique Salem has been a significant contributor during his 19 years’ associated with Symantec, including the last three years as CEO,” said Bennett. “While progress has been made over the last three years in many areas, it was the board’s judgment that it was in the best interests of Symantec to make a change in the CEO.”
“My view is that Symantec’s assets are strong and yet the company is underperforming against the opportunity,” Bennett said. “I’m looking forward to working with the team to build upon the significant assets in place to help Symantec accelerate value creation for all of its stakeholders.”
Bennett joined Symantec’s board of directors in February 2010 and became chairman in 2011. He previously was president and chief executive officer at Intuit from 2000 to 2007. Bennett joined Intuit after a 23-year career at General Electric. During his career at GE, he held a variety of key management roles in numerous areas of the business, including GE Capital e-Business, GE Capital Vendor Financial Services, GE Electrical Distribution and Control, GE Appliances, GE Medical Systems and GE Supply. He currently serves on boards at American Airlines and parent company AMR Corporation, along with Qualcomm. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate.
“We are fortunate as a board to be able to name Steve as CEO and achieve continuity in leadership,” Schulman said. “Steve understands the company well, had a great track record at Intuit and General Electric and is a perfect fit for moving the company forward.”
The news comes the same day that company reported the results of its first quarter of fiscal year 2013, ended June 29, 2012. The company reported GAAP revenue for the fiscal first quarter of $1.668 billion, up 1 percent year-over-year and up 4 percent after adjusting for currency.