Symantec boss axed after revenue takes tumble

Symantec treats boss like malware

Troubled anti-virus maker Symantec has fired its second CEO in two years for failing to turn around the company.

Steve Bennett, who has been lauded to assist President Barack Obama sort out his cyber security policy, was unable to do anything of note at Symantec since he took over in July 2012.

A former General Electric executive and Intuit chief executive, Bennett had replaced Enrique Salem as the company's fortunes slumped. He was given the job of retooling Symantec to compete with a new generation of cybersecurity companies.

But Bennett couldn't reverse falling revenues and hadn't yet delivered on new products.

One source complained to the Wall Street Journal that Symantec was not making enough progress in product innovation or revenue growth.

Brain drain of top executives

There were dark mutterings that Bennett was not an effective leader and rarely heeded advice from colleagues. This resulted in five senior executives leaving the company since last July.

Board member Michael Brown will take over as interim CEO, and the board would begin a search for a permanent successor.

Symantec's revenue has declined in the last six months. In the period ended December 27, revenue fell 4.8 per cent to $1.7 billion.

Net income rose 31 per cent, primarily because of cost cutting. Symantec said revenue in the current quarter would be $1.62 billion to $1.66 billion, down from $1.75 billion a year earlier.