Symantec CEO to Retire Insider Named as Successor

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Posted 2008-11-17 Email Print this article Print


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IT security giant Symantec's chief operating officer Enrique Salem will assume the role of CEO when Symantec's current CEO John Thompson, an IBM veteran who has led Symantec for the past 7 years, retires in April 2009.

John Thompson, Symantec’s chief executive officer for the last seven years, announced his plans to retire early next year.

According to a press release issued by the company, Thompson will turn over the CEO post to Enrique Salem, the current chief operating officer, effective April 9, 2009. Thompson will retain his position as chairman of the board.

An IBM veteran who once ran IBM Global Services, Thompson took over Symantec in 2001 when it was the leading security software vendor and earning a little more than $1 billion annually. He vowed at the time to grow the company into an industry powerhouse.

During his tenure, Thompson has done just that. Today, the company boasts more than $5 billion in annual revenue. Thompson accomplished this through organic growth and dozens of acquisitions, including the merger with storage management software vendor Veritas in 2005.

"I am proud of our team’s accomplishments over the past 10 years as we’ve transformed the company from a consumer software publisher to the leader in Internet security, data protection and storage management," Thompson said in a statement. "I’ve always believed planning for succession was a critical part of my role and, for the past two years, have been working with the board on a thoughtful succession plan. Through that process, Enrique emerged as the right person to lead the company and I am confident in his ability to continue to drive the success of our team."

Salem is also a veteran of the IT and security industries, having served with Symantec in the early 1990s. He returned to Symantec through the company’s acquisition of Brightmail, where he served as CEO. He also held executive positions at Oblix and Ask Jeeves.

Symantec is one of the largest channel-centric vendors with a worldwide partner community of 60,000 resellers, service providers and ISVs.

Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.


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