Bags are packed: A Symantec boss is coming to town near you

Shake-up sees EMEA boss Bridgen leave chair, new UK chief en route

The shake-up at Symantec will see EMEA boss John Brigden move back to the US to be replaced by veep for Northern Europe Matt Ellard, The Channel can reveal.

Brigden was senior veep at Veritas and retained the same position when it was acquired by Symantec back in 2005. A year later he was made senior veep for EMEA.

Sources told us the moves are taking place currently. Meanwhile, Simon Moor, senior director enterprise sales and strategics partners, will be plonked into the UK country manager's chair.

The software giant revealed last week it is overhauling the management structure, rejigging the portfolio and cutting the number of direct line reports leading to job cuts among mainly middle but also exec management.

"Our view is that Symantec has got too many products and not all are integrated - it's a complicated line-up," said one channel source close to the vendor.

The global consumer group president Janice Chaffin is leaving the company as the standalone consumer business is disbanded, CEO Steve Bennett confirmed last week when outlining its new strategy.

He plans to split the business into 10 focus areas and integrate the portfolio so that it becomes less complicated for customers and partners.

The plan is to build closer links with buyers in the national public sector and with telcos so that Symantec can integrate its software with their services; bolster its enterprise team to "hunt" rather than "farm" new business; and have a self-contained channel unit.

"We're going to work together to win in the marketplace, and we'll split the economics in some way that's fair," said Bennett.

In terms of SMEs and consumers, Symantec is going to "come up with more web services ... and sell them through our e-commerce engine".

An e-commerce engine already existed for Norton but will be rolled out across the entire business.

"Small businesses couldn't buy from us through any kind of e-commerce capability, and I think that's one of the root causes why we've not performed well over the last few years in small business," said Bennett.

A renewals team will also be created, Symantec confirmed. "Our renewals performance is below industry norms and our costs are way above industry norms," the CEO added.

Among the changes will be a winnowing of Symantec's current 31 price lists and 41 licence meters, which make it "difficult for us to deal well with our customers and partners", the firm said.

CFO James Beer said on the same conference call last week that the firm operates 23 distinct sales channels across the biz, and that there was an opportunity to align.

"Right across the company we have a situation where we have expanded over time the number of layers that we operate within the organisation," said Beer.

"We've narrowed the spans of control that managers look after, and not only has that created a relatively high cost environment but also an environment which is conducive to rather slow decision making," he added.

Symantec refused to comment further. ®

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