Governance & Ethics
Symantec’s Board of Directors has a duty to oversee all significant business issues, including strategy and long-term business plans, product issues, corporate responsibility, legal and ethical compliance, executive selection and compensation, and Board conduct. To enable the Board to successfully perform these duties, Symantec adheres to corporate governance best practices, particularly as they relate to Board independence:
- Our eight-member Board is composed of seven independent directors and Symantec’s Chairman and CEO.
- Only independent directors serve on the Audit, Compensation, and Nominating Committees.
- We strive to maintain a diverse Board composition so as to accurately reflect the concerns of stockholders.
To align the directors’ interests with the long-term interests of the company, independent directors receive a mix of cash and equity-based compensation for their service. This is the only remuneration they receive; during their tenure, they cannot be paid any consulting, advisory, or other compensatory fees from the company. Symantec does not pay employee directors any additional compensation for Board service. Further details on director compensation are available in Symantec’s Annual Reports
In evaluating director candidates, the Nominating and Governance Committee considers the extent to which each candidate contributes to the range of talent, skill, and expertise appropriate for the Board, as well as the candidate’s integrity, business acumen, diversity, (including race, ethnicity, and gender specifically), availability, independence of thought, and overall ability to represent the interests of Symantec’s stockholders. Symantec stockholders, current directors, and company management can nominate candidates to serve on the Board.
The Nominating and Governance Committee bears primary responsibility for corporate responsibility issues. It receives regular briefings on Symantec's corporate responsibility objectives and performance and oversees the company’s compliance with legal requirements and ethical standards.
In determining compensation, we work hard to appropriately balance the interests of all our constituencies—our executive officers, our employees, our stockholders, our business partners, and our community. The Board’s Compensation Committee undertakes a rigorous review of proposed executive compensation packages to ensure that 1) they are fair and sufficient to secure experienced, talented leaders, 2) they tie compensation to both current and long-term company performance; and 3) they do not create risks that are reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on the company. The review process includes a comprehensive performance evaluation, comparison with other companies’ practices, and consultation with compensation experts.
The very nature of our business—assuring the security, availability, and integrity of our customers' information—requires a global culture of responsibility. Ethics and integrity are the building blocks of Symantec’s business success.
The Symantec Code of Conduct
The Office of Ethics and Compliance acts to ensure that our interactions with all of our internal and external stakeholders reflect Symantec’s core values and the highest standards of ethical behavior in the global marketplace. These core values and standards of behavior are outlined in the Symantec Code of Conduct (PDF)
.The code aligns our business practices and policies with our values and provides a foundation for good governance. When necessary to provide more guidance, we supplement the Code of Conduct with detailed policies, for example: anticorruption, non-discrimination, and non-retaliation policies.
The Code applies to all Symantec directors, officers, employees, subsidiaries, and entities world-wide and requires compliance with the provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other global anti-bribery and anticorruption laws even if no equivalent local laws exist.
The Code of Conduct is not a static document; it evolves as our understanding of issues develops. Accordingly, training is on-going. Employees are required to read the Code of Conduct, complete on average three to four hours of training per year (topics include Code of Conduct overview, Records Management, Promoting Appropriate Behavior, Anti-Bribery, and Privacy), and sign a statement acknowledging that they have received, read, and agree to abide by it. Continuing employees receive training on the Code of Conduct and recertify their agreement to comply with its provisions.
Employees are expected to report any Code of Conduct or human rights violations to their manager, anyone in their management reporting chain, a Human Resources representative, or the Office of Ethics and Compliance (at email@example.com
Employees may also report anonymously any concerns to an external, independent third party online through Symantec's EthicsLine
. EthicsLine is also available by phone and is toll free within the United States/Canada 1-866-833-3430 and at the following International Dialing Options
. Customers, suppliers, partners, shareholders–any stakeholder–may also use the EthicsLine to inform Symantec of suspected ethics violations.
Reports from EthicsLine are forwarded to the Office of Ethics and Compliance. The Office of Ethics and Compliance ensures that the complaint is addressed by the most appropriate Symantec office or department (for example, Human Resources, Corporate Risk Assurance, or Customer Teams). Matters may also be discussed with line managers or senior managers. In addition to investigating reported concerns, the Office of Ethics and Compliance monitors and audits employees’ compliance with the Code of Conduct. The Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer has direct access to Symantec’s CEO and the Board’s Audit Committee so that matters of concern can be escalated quickly.