Symantec to Cut Staff, Trim Product Lines

Symantec has announced a new strategy to streamline its product offerings, remove middle management positions and refocus its direct sales force on new business.

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Symantec Corp., as expected, has announced a new strategy to streamline its product offerings, remove middle management positions and refocus its direct sales force on new business.

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The security and storage giant announced last night it will collapse its products into 10 key integrated solution areas in a process that will take up to 24 months.

Middle managers and executives holding duplicate roles will be in the firing line as Symantec trims its 17,000-strong workforce between now and June. The cull will result in estimated severance payments of $275 million, said Symantec officials in Mountain View, Calif.

The reorganization, dubbed Symantec 4.0, is designed to make things easier for customers and partners, upon whom Symantec said it would continue to rely heavily to manage current customers. However, it will "refocus" its direct sales staff on new business.

The 10 key solution areas Symantec earmarked are as follows: Mobile Workforce Productivity, Norton Protection, Norton Cloud, Information Security Services, Identity/Content-Aware Security Gateway, Data Center Security, Business Continuity, Integrated Backup, Cloud-Based Information Management and Object Storage Platform.

Symantec chief executive Steve Bennett emphasized these areas would not be presented to customers as packages they must take or leave: "Customers can still decide what is right for them and buy accordingly, but have the added option of migrating to new integrated offerings which provide added flexibility we know they will need to combat constantly evolving threats, particularly via mobile and the cloud."

Symantec says the strategy will accelerate its growth. It's committed to delivering more than 5 percent organic revenue growth and non-GAAP operating margins of more than 30 percent over the next two to three years. Its fiscal 2014 will be a year of transition in which organic growth hits just 0 to 2 percent.

For its fiscal third quarter of 2013, which ended on Dec. 28, Symantec saw revenue rise 4 percent to $1.79 billion. Non-GAAP operating margin stood at 26.5 percent.

Symantec has also created a new Office of the CEO, in which a small team of executives make collective decisions with Bennett on a daily basis. Front-line employees will be given "greater empowerment" to make Symantec more flexible.

"This is a story about more focus and better execution by Symantec to make things better and easier for our customers and partners," Bennett said. "Our path is straightforward: Offer better products and services tailor made for customers, and make it easier for them to research, shop, buy, use and get the help and support they need."

For more UK channel coverage from CRN, visit

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