Symantec Shares Tumble on CEO’s Departure, Downbeat Forecast


Greg Clark, CEO and president of Symantec, has "stepped down" suddenly and with no permanent replacement lined up, just as his predecessor did. Symantec director Richard Hill, a former chairman and CEO at Novellus Systems, will take over until a permanent CEO is found. Symantec also appointed a new CFO.

Not long ago, Clark clarified that he needed to spend more time with his father. Hill additionally said that "for anybody, and surely somebody with the pride of Greg, he doesn't care to see the outcomes that occurred in the final quarter".

The software company also said it expects first-quarter profit between 30 cents and 34 cents per share, below estimates of 40 cents per share.

In the earnings call, the company said it stood at 39 cents in earnings per share. Turnover of United States dollars 1.20 Bn was simply under the USD 1.21 Bn gauge. Revenue came in a bit below analyst estimates, the outlook for fiscal 2020 fell short of expectations, and the company announced the abrupt resignation of its CEO.

"When you're at the highest point of the pyramid, occasionally things occur", said Hill, 67. The stock had gained 17% this year on optimism that Symantec was gaining ground in enterprise security products and that its 2016 acquisition of Blue Coat Systems LLC - the deal that brought Clark to the company - was paying off. Prior in his career, Clark was an official at IBM after it purchased Dascom, a security organization Clark had founded.

In 2016, at the time that Symantec declared that Brown, who had served as the CEO for under two years, would step down, it didn't yet have a substitution.

Symantec did not consider Art Gilliland and Samir Kapuria, who are now heading Symantec's Enterprise and Consumer organizations, for the CEO position. Clark got United States dollars 17.3 Mn in compensation in the 2018 financial year. Following that, the company said, Clark made a decision to sacrifice an equity award for the 2019 FY and decided that none of its named executive officers would see a increase in base salaries.

Also on Thursday, Symantec named Vincent Pilette as its executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), who is to replace Nicholas Noviello following the latter's departure that was announced on January 31. Mr. Pilette's appointment follows a comprehensive search process initiated in connection with Nicholas Noviello's departure as EVP and CFO as announced on January 31, 2019.