Symantec acting CEO urges channel improvement

Symantec acting CEO urges channel improvement

Vendor lost business in SME segment

Credit: Dreamstime

Symantec's new interim boss has signalled a major overhaul to its channel partnerships following a $1.21 billion dip in sales for the fourth quarter.

Richard Hill, who stepped in for the outgoing CEO Greg Clarke last week, called for improvements to its channel operations in terms of speed to market and the opportunities being tackled.

Addressing analysts during its earnings call last week, Hill said the company had “effective plans in place” to do this, but did not specify these further.

After saying the “entire Symantec team” was “striving” to improve the company’s overall customer, employee and shareholder satisfaction, Hill added: “We also though had really got to expand how quickly we get these products through a wider cross-section of business opportunities. I think that's extremely important.

“So I can't say enough about how our channel is working has to be improved. We've got to accelerate what we get across the entire channel, whether it's targeted at small business, medium business or the high-end enterprise business itself.”

Hill told the call that the anti-virus software maker had lost a lot of business in the mid-to-small segment by “hunt[ing] elephants”.

“We really have to rebuild that base core so that the big elephants that fall don't overwhelm on the downside our forecast to you in the market,” he said.

Last week, Symantec reported fiscal fourth-quarter sales of US$1.19 billion, down from US$1.21 billion a year ago and below analysts' estimates of US$1.21 billion.

The security vendor posted net income of US$34 million in the reported quarter, compared with a loss of US$59 million a year earlier.

Australian-born Clark took over as Symantec CEO in 2016 after it bought Blue Coat Systems for US$4.651 billion, where he already held the top role.

His replacement Hill was formerly CEO of semiconductor maker Novellus Systems, giving him experience in enterprise sales, an area where Symantec has faltered, having fallen to $584 million, below estimates of $607 million.

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