Symantec has reorganized a key part of its operations, elevating Enrique Salem, formerly group president, worldwide sales and marketing, to chief operating officer. The restructuring is intended to move Symantec away from a business unit-based business model, Symantec chairman and CEO John Thompson said in a conference call announcing the reorganization.
The restructuring also is intended to improve the company's ability to integrate its diverse products and develop more productive go-to-market strategies, Thompson said.
In related announcements, Symantec named Gregory W. Hughes, who most recently served as group president, Symantec global services, to head its chief strategy office and said it plans to consolidate its services business into its IT organization. Hughes will be responsible for corporate development and strategy.
As COO, Salem's responsibilities include product development, sales, services, marketing and information technology (IT) activities. Previously, Salem was Symantec's senior vice president of security products and solutions.
Before joining Symantec, Salem was president and CEO of Brightmail, an anti-spam software vendor acquired by Symantec in 2004. He also worked at Oblix and the Ask Jeeves search engine.
"The appointment of a chief operating officer will enable us to better leverage our broad portfolio of technology and services to best meet the needs of our customers while also ensuring we maintain our focus on the long-term strategy of securing and managing the world's information," Thompson said in a prepared release. Salem "is a strong leader who has proven to me and the board that he is ready to assume broader responsibilities within our company."
Symantec's COO position had been vacant for several years since the departure of previous COO John Schwartz.
By operating with a COO, everyone at Symantec "will know the top two or three things we're doing," Salem said in the conference call. "We can develop a common set of metrics to look at as an executive team, remaining mindful of two things: taking care of the customer and aggressively measuring customer loyalty. We will continue to make sure the customer is our No. 1 priority."
"One of the opportunities we now have is we can now make sure the whole company aligns around a clear set of business priorities," Thompson said. It will help the company better integrate products acquired during mergers, he noted, pointing to the Altiris product suite's integration with the company's end-point management software as an example.
"The combination of Altiris and Symantec's endpoint products is a dynamic solution no one else can offer, and it's uniquely positioned to do that," he said.
After the restructuring, the company's various business unit leaders will report to Salem. These include Thomas Kendra, who remains as group president of the security and compliance group, which Symantec previously called its security and data management group; Gregory Butterfield, who continues as interim group president for the storage management group and as group president of the Altiris business unit; and Janice Chaffin, who remains group president of the company's consumer business unit.