Symantec CEO John Thompson to Step Down Next Year

Symantec CEO John Thompson is stepping down as CEO next April. Thompson will be replaced by Symantec COO Enrique Salem.

After 10 years in the cockpit of Symantec, John W. Thompson is stepping down from his position as chief executive officer.

Effective April 4, 2009, Thompson will be replaced by Enrique T. Salem, Symantec's chief operating officer. Thompson, 59, will remain chairman of the board of directors.

"I am proud of our team's accomplishments over the past 10 years as we've transformed the company from a consumer software publisher to the leader in Internet security, data protection and storage management," Thompson said in a statement. "I've always believed planning for succession was a critical part of my role and, for the past two years, have been working with the board on a thoughtful succession plan. Through that process, Enrique emerged as the right person to lead the company and I am confident in his ability to continue to drive the success of our team."

Salem was appointed COO in January 2008, and has been responsible for the company's day-to-day operations, global product development, sales and marketing. Prior to being named chief operating officer, Salem held a number of positions at Symantec, including senior vice president of the security products and solutions group, group president of the consumer business unit and group president of worldwide sales and marketing.

In addition to serving as CEO, Salem will also get a seat on the board.

"Symantec has a history of innovation and a solid foundation for growth. I am confident in the team and our ability to execute for our customers," Salem said in a statement. "I am delighted to have this opportunity to lead a great company through its next phase of growth and shareholder value creation."