Symantec’s Greg Clark Steps Down from Company

SYMANTEC – Antivirus software maker Symantec’s president and chief executive officer, Greg Clark, has just announced his departure from the company, effective immediately and on the same day that the company announced a profit warning.

Symantec said that it had chosen Richard Hill, a director at the company and a former CEO of Novellus, as interim president and chief executive while the company searches for a permanent replacement for Clark.

“As we enter into a new financial year, Greg and the board agreed that now is the right time to transition leadership, and we are confident in Rick’s ability to drive the company forward while we work to identify a permanent CEO,” said Symantec in a statement.

As for the reasons for Clark’s resignation, Mr. Hill cited personal issues.

“He has had issues with his father being ill. And the pressure is quite high that we want to continue to deliver strong financial results and also growth on the top line for shareholders, simultaneously,” Hill said.

Clark joined the company and took the helm as chief executive after its 2016 acquisition of Blue Coat, which was a security company that Clark led. He replaced Mike Brown, the CEO at that time. Brown had also exited without a replacement.

Further, Clark’s sudden departure follows a string of high profile resignations at Symantec late last year, including the departure of the chief marketing officer and chief operating officer.

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Meanwhile, the sudden resignation also had an impact on the group’s recent financial results, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

In its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, the company reported sales of $1.19 billion, 1.7 percent lower year-on-year, missing analysts’ estimates of $1.21 billion.

Earnings per share were at 39 cents in the quarter that ended on March 29, or 11 percent down with the previous year.

After Clark’s announcement, shares plummeted 13 percent in after-hours trading.

Symantec said it expects first-quarter profit to be between 30 cents and 34 cents per shares, lower than estimates of 40 cents per shares.

Revenue from enterprise security arm dropped to $584 million, which was lower than forecasts of $607 million. For the consumer security division, revenue was at $605 million, higher than estimates of $601 million.

“This is a disaster of epic proportions. The guidance combined with abrupt CEO departure will be a major gut punch to the Street. There are a lot of questions with minimal answers,” said an analyst.

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