Cupertino, Calif. April 14, 1999 - Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced that John W. Thompson, a career executive at International Business Machines Corporation, and general manager of IBM Americas, a $37 billion business unit, has been appointed president and chief executive officer and will be appointed chairman of the Board of Directors of Symantec. Carl Carman, Symantec's current chairman, will remain on the Board of Directors.
Thompson, 49, brings to his new position nearly three decades of experience at IBM, much of it in customer and partner relations, management, and high-level marketing. His 30,000 employee organization worked with corporate customers, national and local government agencies, and small business owners in the United States, Canada, and Latin America to help them move their businesses and services to electronic commerce.
"Symantec has been a software leader for well over a decade and my focus will be to strengthen this leadership in three key areas," said Thompson. "First, I'll continue directing our great people and technology on meeting customers' needs; second, I'll work to aggressively execute our Internet strategy which will allow us to extend our leadership from the PC computing area to serving a connected world; and third, I'll work to maintain strong financial health and return on investment for shareholders."
"Symantec is extremely fortunate, and obviously very pleased to have someone of John's experience and ability to lead the Company to the next phase," said Gordon Eubanks, former president and CEO of Symantec. "I look forward to seeing a continuation of great successes from Symantec into the next millennium."
In January this year, Eubanks, who has headed Symantec since 1983, announced that he would step down as the company's president and chief executive when a successor was appointed. He will now become CEO of Oblix Inc., an enterprise software start-up company based in Mountain View, CA and will leave Symantec's Board of Directors.
The IBM Americas business accounts for 10 percent of all information technology spending in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America. As general manager, Thompson significantly improved profitability for each of the last two years. According to major polling services, IBM garnered the highest percentage of satisfied customers among computer companies in the Americas during Thompson's tenure. In addition, employee morale at IBM Americas reached record levels under Thompson, according to a formal IBM opinion survey.
Previously, Thompson was general manager of IBM's personal software products division and general manager of a marketing department that supported a diversified software company within IBM. Prior to that, he was head of marketing of IBM's U.S. operations.
Symantec is the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing. Symantec products and solutions help make users productive and keep their computers safe and reliable anywhere and anytime. Symantec offers a broad range of solutions and is acclaimed as a leader in both customer satisfaction and product brand recognition. Symantec is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol SYMC. More information on the company and its products can be obtained at www.symantec.com.
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