Symantec Names New COO Stephen Gillett

Symantec appointed Best Buy vet Stephen Gillett as its new chief operating officer, rounding out an extensive executive shuffle as the security and storage vendor preps for its comprehensive product and strategy realignment at the end of January.

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[caption id="attachment_20778" align="alignright" width="259"]Stephen Gillett Stephen Gillett[/caption]

Symantec Corp. is ending the year with a new chief operating officer, rounding out a nine-month executive shuffle at the Mountain View, Calif.-based security and storage firm as it preps for a massive realignment in January.

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The company appointed Stephen Gillett as Symantec executive vice president and chief operating officer. Gillett will report to CEO Steve Bennett starting Friday.

Gillett, who will work out of the company’s Mountain View, Calif. headquarters, will be responsible for overseeing marketing, communications and IT functions. Additional roles will likely be added with the company’s comprehensive strategy announcement, slated for late January.

"Great companies are defined by their market position, customer base, brand awareness, the quality of their products and by the type of industry they're involved in," said Gillett. "Symantec is strong in all of these areas. I look forward to working with everyone at Symantec to help the company achieve its full potential."

Gillett isn’t a stranger to Symantec. He was a member of the company’s board of directors since January 2012. Before coming on board Symantec, he was president and executive vice president at Best Buy Digital, Global Marketing and Strategy, where he oversaw the company’s digital, e-commerce, marketing, IT, customer insights, enterprise strategy and channel design functions. Prior to Best Buy, Gillett served as chief information officer and executive vice president at Digital Ventures at Starbucks, and held executive roles at Corbis, Yahoo and CNET.

"Stephen is the perfect fit for the direction we are taking Symantec," said Steve Bennett, Symantec's chairman and CEO. "He has been deeply involved in the transformation of a number of high profile companies at the executive level and is highly respected in the CIO community worldwide. Stephen's appointment will ensure that Symantec is well-positioned for addressing our consumer and business customers' needs. He will have an immediate impact due to his familiarity with the company from his tenure on the board. His arrival is timely as we continue to finalize our strategic direction and operational plan to be announced in late January."

This latest appointment closes out a year defined by executive turnover at the security and storage firm.

In March, Symantec's longtime channel chief Randy Cochran departed the company to “pursue other opportunities,” being replaced by John Eldh, who oversaw the company’s cloud services.

In July, the firm ousted its former CEO Enrique Salem for Steve Bennett, who had been Symantec's board president and served leadership roles at Intuit Inc. and General Electric.

With much of its new leadership in place, Symantec can turn its attention to product strategy and market growth in 2013. The security and storage vendor has been developing its realignment strategy for much of the past year, with a stated focus on partner engagement, customer satisfaction and go-to-market strategy.

Its efforts will culminate in a comprehensive reboot and revised strategy for the company, scheduled for the end of January.

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