New Symantec CEO Aims for Relevancy

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Posted 2009-03-29 Print this article Print

Enrique Salem will become chief executive officer at Symantec on April 6, succeeding John Thompson who has held the post for a decade. Thompson's primary focus was growth. Salem is taking a different tact: making Symantec relevant.

Enrique Salem is no stranger to Symantec. Over the past 20 years, Salem has held several executive positions at the security and storage software vendor, and currently serves as chief operating officer. Next week, Salem will move into the corner office, succeeding John Thompson as chief executive officer.

While Salem has worked with Thompson for many years, his view of the world and what Symantec needs to do differs from his colleague.

Thompson, who came out of the IBM ranks, was all about growth. When he arrived at Symantec in 1999, it was still less than $1 billion business primarly focused on antivirus software. Ten years and nearly two dozen acquisitions later, Symantec is the world's fourth largest software vendor with lines in security, storage and systems management.

Except for a stint as CEO of Brightmail (a company Symantec bought), Salem has been at Symantec for much of this growth period. While he credits Thompson for the successes Symantec has had in becoming a $6 billion software powerhouse, he believes the next stage in Symantec's evolution will depend on its relevancy to the marketplace. Relevancy--or being a necessary component of customers' operations, is where he says he'll place his attention after becoming CEO on April 6.

>> Click here to hear what Enrique Salem has to say about relevancy, in his own words.


Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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