Two months after the departure of Vice Chairman and President Gary Bloom, Symantec has shuffled its executive ranks and undergone a corporate reorganization aimed at simplifying the company’s operations. The changes, confirmed Tuesday, include the departure of three senior executives and the appointment of a new chief technology officer, Ajei Gopal.
These changes, which occurred last month but had not previously been publicly disclosed, are part of the company’s ongoing efforts to manage its 2005 acquisition of storage software vendor Veritas Software. Over the past few months, a number of senior Symantec executives have departed, including Bloom, formerly chief executive officer of Veritas, and former Chief Financial Officer Greg Myers.
As part of the reorganization, Symantec has now halved the number of business units it operates, and streamlined sales operations in order to improve performance, the company said. “This is just what you’d expect when you’re going through a merger,” said spokesman Cris Paden.
The most high-profile change is the company’s selection of a new chief technology officer (CTO). Gopal replaces previous CTO Mark Bregman, who has moved to a technical sales role within the company’s Worldwide Sales and Services organization.
Gopal now finds himself in a familiar position. He had been CTO before losing his job to Bregman following the Veritas buy. Prior to the acquisition, Bregman had been Veritas’ CTO.
The senior executives who departed in the past month include Steve Leonard, senior vice president for the Asia Pacific and Japan region; Lindsey Armstrong, the company’s senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Don Frischmann, who served as senior vice president, communications and brand management.
Leonard has been replaced by Bill Robbins, and Armstrong’s job is now being handled by John Brigden. Frischmann’s communications responsibilities have been assigned to Chief Marketing Officer Janice Chaffin, Symantec said.
With the new corporate structure, Symantec has now reduced the number of business units it operates from six to three. The three units are the Consumer Products and Solutions group, headed by Enrique Salem; the Enterprise Security and Data Management, headed by Jeremy Burton; and the Data Center Management group, run by Kris Hagerman.
The changes will not affect the branding of Symantec’s products, but some customers will notice a difference on the sales side. As of April 1, the company’s sales structure has been streamlined so that customers will no longer deal with separate representatives for the company’s Veritas and Symantec products.
The reorganization changes will “add clarity to the business,” said Rob Owens, vice president and senior research analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, a technology investment bank in Portland, Ore. “They’ve leveraged their sales force to go deeper with accounts and not to have two points of contact with Symantec anymore.”
To date, Symantec has had an uphill battle convincing Wall Street of the wisdom of its Veritas acquisition. Though the merger of the storage and security companies makes sense “from a vision standpoint,” the company “hasn’t really met with street expectations and management expectations for the last couple of security quarters,” Owens said.
-Robert McMillan, IDG News Service
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