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Symantec CEO To Step Down In Abrupt Departure As Company Warns On Profit

Symantec Corp’s chief executive officer stepped down unexpectedly on Thursday, the same day the antivirus software maker issued a profit warning, sending the shares plunging in after-hours trading.

Symantec said CEO Greg Clark will be replaced by director Richard Hill on an interim basis. Hill was formerly CEO of semiconductor maker Novellus Systems, giving him experience in enterprise sales, an area where Symantec has faltered.

Symantec reported fiscal fourth-quarter sales of $1.19 billion, down from $1.21 billion a year ago and below analysts’ estimates of $1.21 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The software company also said it expects first-quarter profit between 30 cents and 34 cents per share, below estimates of 40 cents per share.

“This is a disaster of epic proportions. The guidance combined with abrupt CEO departure will be a major gut punch to the Street. There are a lot of questions with minimal answers,” Daniel Ives, analyst at Wedbush said.

When asked about Clark’s sudden departure by analysts on a call after the earnings announcement, Hill said: “He (Clark) has had issues with his father being ill. And the pressure is quite high that we want to continue to deliver strong financial results and also growth on the top line for shareholders, simultaneously.”―New York Times

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