Symantec President Moves to Business Objects

After a career at IBM and Symantec, new CEO John Schwarz comes to the BI company at a time of "rapid growth."

John Schwarz, who served as Symantec CEO John Thompsons right-hand man for almost five years, has taken a position as the CEO of Business Objects, according to a statement from the company.

Schwarz will replace Bernard Liautaud, founder of Business Objects SA, as CEO. Schwarz was brought to Business Objects to lead the business intelligence software companys "next phase of development" and attempt to grow the Paris-based firm into a multibillion-dollar company.

Liautaud will continue at the company as chairman of the board and chief strategy officer, the company said.

Schwarz had been sharing the president role at Symantec Corp. with Gary Bloom, the former CEO of Veritas Inc., since Symantec completed its acquisition of that company in July.

In that role, Schwarz managed Symantecs six lines of business, with Bloom responsible for Symantecs "go to market" strategy.

Schwarz spent 25 years at IBM before coming to Symantec from startup Reciprocal Inc., and had been rumored to be a possible successor for Symantec CEO John Thompson, himself a longtime IBM veteran.

However, after the Veritas merger was announced, industry watchers predicted that job-sharing with Bloom would drive one of the two men from Symantec.

"John Schwarz has a tremendous opportunity as the new CEO of Business Objects. We congratulate him on his appointment and wish him the best of luck," spokesperson Genevieve Haldeman said in an e-mail statement.

A Symantec spokesperson declined to comment on whether the company had had advance warning of Schwarzs move, but said Schwarzs resignation from Symantec was "effective immediately."

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read about Business Objects BI platform for Linux.

In the wake of Schwarzs departure, Bloom will continue to serve as president and vice chairman of Symantec and will assume responsibility for the companys lines of business in addition to his other responsibilities, the spokesperson said.

Schwarz oversaw tremendous growth during his time at Symantec, as a series of bold acquisitions and customer reaction to an explosion of malicious code caused the company to almost triple in size, from $853 million a year in revenue in 2001 to $2.53 billion in fiscal year 2005, which ended in March.

During his tenure, Schwarz helped Symantec seal a number of huge acquisition deals, including the recent acquisition of Sygate Inc., an endpoint security company, anti-spam companies Brightmail Inc. and TurnTide, security research firms @Stake Inc. and LIRIC Assoc. Ltd., Platform Logic and Veritas.

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead details here about Symantecs Sygate acquisition.

Mergers and acquisitions could play a big part in Schwarzs plan for Business Objects, which reported revenue of $925.6 million in 2004, Schwarz said in a phone conference.

Business Objects has headquarters in Paris and San Jose, Calif. Schwarz said he plans to serve the company from the San Francisco Bay area. Schwarz will help prepare Business Objects for rapid growth by broadening its management team and increasing the companys customer base, Liautaud said.

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