June 25, 2015
With Symantec (SYMC) barreling down on the target date to separate its cybersecurity business from its Veritas information management operation by the end of this year, the vendor has lined up a number of new, “much stronger products,” according to chief executive Michael Brown.
Brown said Symantec is fighting the perception that rivals such as Palo Alto Networks (PANW) and FireEye (FEYE) are more in tune with today’s security issues, slowing the company’s growth and hampering its future prospects. In a Wall Street Journal interview, Brown addressed a number of hot topics surrounding Symantec in addition to the split, including new products, sales, market positioning and perception.
Here are some highlights:
On sales growth:
We have a number of things we’re trying to sort through. Much stronger products are coming in the pipeline.
On the split:
The company was very complex and we weren’t executing. And the markets were not that synergistic. The separation is really an outcome of the strategy work that we did.
Operational separation, when we’ll be basically operating as two companies, will be by October 3. Legal separation, when Veritas will trade as its own public company, January 2, 2016.
On selling Veritas:
If there are offers that come up for the Veritas business of course we’ll take a look at that.
On competitive positioning:
We’re the world’s largest security company, consumer and enterprise, with total revenue more than any other player out there. Some of the newer players are much smaller and don’t have as much experience. We’ve got access to more data about threats than anybody else.
[Financial analysts] like to portray us as big, lumbering, nothing new is coming from us, we’re shrinking. We’re trying to tell our customers it’s time to take another look at Symantec.
According to researcher Gartner’s latest figures, Symantec continues to lead the $21 billion worldwide security market, although its market share position has slipped noticeably. For 2014, the vendor held 17.2 percent of the market, Gartner said, down 1.3 percent from the prior year, due mostly to a slide in consumer security software sales, which comprise more than half of Symantec’s overall revenue.
Intel Security (INTC) has 8.5 percent of the market, nearly double its position from last year, followed by IBM (IBM) at a 6.9 percent share and Trend Micro at 4.9 percent, according to Gartner.
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