Symantec Corporation (SYMC) Fires CEO Bennett, Stock Falls After Hours

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) announced that Steve Bennett has been terminated from his position as president and chief executive officer of the company today. The board of directors of the company appointed its member, Michael Brown to lead the company in an interim basis effective immediately.

The stock price of Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) closed at $20.91 per share, up by more than 1%, but the shares of the company declined after hours. The shares of the company fell nearly 7% to $19.47 per share around 5:45 P.M. in New York.

According to the board of Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC), a special committee with the assistance of leading executive search firm will immediate start looking for an executive who will serve as permanent CEO.

Daniel Schulman, chairman of Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) said, “We recognize Steve’s contributions to Symantec, including developing and leading a series of successful initiatives focused on organizational realignment, cost reduction and process effectiveness. These changes have helped establish a solid foundation for Symantec’s future.”

Finding the right leader a priority

“Our priority is now to identify a leader who can leverage our company’s assets and leadership team to drive the next stage of Symantec’s product innovation and growth. This considered decision was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety,” added Schulman.

On the other hand Brown said, “With recent key hires, we have a leadership team in place that is capable of accelerating our growth and I look forward to working closely with them to help execute the next phase of the company’s transformation plan.”

As interim president and CEO, Brown will work with the executive team of Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) to ensure an orderly transition of the company’s leadership while overseeing its ongoing transformation. He will remain a member of the board of directors, but will no longer serve on the compensation and leadership development committee and nominating governance committee.

Company reaffirms business outlook

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) reaffirmed its previously announced targets of more than 5% organic revenue growth and better than 30% non-GAAP operating margin by 2017.  For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, the company expects to deliver revenue in the range of $1.615 billion to $1.655 billion and non-GAAP diluted earnings of around $0.40 to $0.42 per share. The company estimates its non-GAAP operating to be in the range of 24.5% to 26%.