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Competitors have crowed about stealing accounts and robbing market share
away from Symantec. They say they’re slowly chipping away at Big Yellow’s
dominance in the security industry because Symantec has become distracted by
its adventures in storage and systems management. And many solution providers
say they are switching away from Symantec because of poor products and

Enrique Salem, Symantec’s chief operating officer, is unfazed by the
charges, and glibly says that many of his rivals’ combined revenue couldn’t
equal Symantec’s security software sales, which last year topped more than $1.7

“It’s frustrating to me when I hear, ‘Hey, there’s that Enrique, the guy
from the anti-virus company,’” he says. “We’re a company with $6 billion in
revenue; there’s a lot more that we do than just anti-virus.”

While rivals and critics are quick to agree with Salem’s
statement about Symantec being more than just a security company, they
typically mean it in a derogatory sense. Under CEO
John Thompson’s leadership this past decade, Symantec has grown from an anti-virus
company to a multibillion-dollar software powerhouse with more than one-half of
its revenues coming from storage management software acquired by Veritas.

Under Thompson’s watch, Symantec has acquired nearly three dozen companies,
each time adding new technologies, products and capabilities to its mix.
Integrating these technologies has been a logistical nightmare and has caused
numerous missteps. But Thompson achieved his goal of creating a company that is
first and foremost about information management.

Salem, who will succeed Thompson
next month as chief executive, has no plans to respond to his critics or alter
the course Thompson set Symantec on. Rather, he plans to hone Symantec even
tighter on the three pillars of the company: security, storage and systems

“You have to focus on what matters, and it’s not the disks and it’s not the
PCs. It’s information,” Salem says
in an interview with Channel Insider. “Our company needs to be focused on
security and the management of information. Don’t expect us to get into the
firewall business; it’s not what we do.”

Salem is an executive who has
spent much of his career at Symantec in various positions. The most significant
job he’s held outside Symantec was CEO of
Brightmail, an anti-spam service provider that Symantec acquired in 2004 for
$370 million. Thompson last fall chose Salem
to succeed him as CEO; Thompson is retiring
but will remain on the board of directors. Thompson declined requests for