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Symantec Announces Job Cuts Despite Positive Results

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As many as 1,000 Symantec employees could go

Although it beat analyst expectations in its results, Symantec confirmed yesterday evening it would be laying off a number of employees.

It’s been a year of change at Symantec, which showed its CEO Enrique Salem the door in 2012, and now plans to bring its chief financial officer, president of products and services, and chief operating officer into a new Office of the CEO.

It has also split the roles of chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Steve Bennett remains CEO and president. Director Dan Schulman has been made chairman.

Symantec job cuts could hit 1,000

Other restructuring  however, will result in job losses at the mid-management level, as Symantec wants to give more power to “front-line” employees. “There will be fewer executives and middle management positions, resulting in a reduction of the workforce. This process is expected to be completed by the end of June 2013,” a statement from Symantec read.

The company said its initial estimate for severance payments would hit approximately $275 million – hinting at significant job losses. A Bloomberg report suggested 1,000 workers – five percent of staff – were to be laid off.

Bennett added: “The next step is to change things that allow us to adapt quicker to the marketplace, and in the end, continue Symantec’s tradition and high standards for delivering tremendous value to our employees, customers, partners and shareholders.”

The announcements came as Symantec’s results beat analyst expectations, with record revenue in its fiscal third quarter. Revenue hit $1.79 billion, up four percent year-over-year.

McAfee decided to stick its oar in, following Symantec’s announcements. “We see Symantec is embracing the McAfee Security Connected strategy but they are four years behind us,” said

“Additionally McAfee has the backing of Intel and has shown how the combination of hardware and software security provides unique advantages which Symantec is in no position to match,” said Mike Fey, worldwide CTO at McAfee.

“Symantec has blinders on when it comes to their view of security and is missing a key part of the equation – network security. The lack of network security leaves gaping holes in an enterprise’s security and puts them at risk. McAfee has a comprehensive portfolio that crosses endpoint, network, the cloud, and mobile all with an integrated management console.”

Symantec had no response to the McAfee criticisms. Both firms have been slammed by smaller rivals for their inability to adapt to modern threats, relying too heavily on old methods for detecting malware.

Companies like FireEye and Palo Alto Networks believe their techniques, which rely more on sandboxing and real-time analysis, are far more capable than those still employed at Symantec or McAfee.

Yet they remain, respectively, the number one and two security companies in the world in terms of revenue.

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