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.