Critical Infrastructure Security, Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

Symantec to lay off employees amid faltering economy

Symantec this week announced it will trim 4.5 percent off the budget it earmarks for employees, resulting in an unspecified number of layoffs.

The cut in its "headcount budget" includes the salaries and benefits that Symantec pays to its approximately 17,800 current employees across 40 nations, Cris Paden, a company spokesman, told on Friday.

"None of them (employees) will are targeted specifically, [but] the layoffs will occur everywhere," Paden said, adding that he expected them to begin in the next month or so.

Amid an anticipated decline in revenue, Symantec's Chief Financial Officer James Beer announced the job cuts Wednesday in a quarterly earnings call.

"We are in the process of implementing a reduction in force, as well as carefully managing the replacement of ongoing attrition," he said. "In addition, we are focusing on our travel expenses as well as all other discretionary purchases. We estimate that these actions will allow us to maintain our quarterly operating expenditures."

Paden said the headcount reduction is a proactive measure given the darkening global economic outlook.

"You just got to put yourself into a position to be prepared for anything," he said. "You don't know when things are going to turn around. This is more of a concern of what's coming over the next few weeks or months than it is over what's already happening."

The last round of layoffs at Symantec occurred in March 2007, when the company reduced its workforce budget by five percent, a Symantec spokeswoman said. Those firings were related to recent acquisitions, Paden said.

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