MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 – Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced a new strategy that will streamline and simplify the company so it can deliver significantly improved performance for customers and partners.
“Symantec’s strategy is clear: We want to enable people, businesses and countries to focus their energies and time on achieving their aspirations, instead of being consumed with how to keep their digital lives safe and protected,” said Steve Bennett, Symantec president and chief executive officer. “This is a story about more focus and better execution by Symantec to make things better and easier for our customers and partners. Our path is straightforward: Offer better products and services tailor made for customers, and make it easier for them to research, shop, buy, use, and get the help and support they need.
Symantec’s goal is to continue to improve its existing products and services, and at the same time develop new, innovative products and services that solve important unmet or underserved needs. Over time customers will have more and better choices that will continue to meet their evolving needs and deliver better value. Symantec is focusing on 10 key areas that combine existing products and services into new, innovative and comprehensive solutions that meet multiple customer needs with integrated and higher value offerings. The overall development process is estimated to take six to 24 months depending on the specific offering.
These future offerings are intended to align with meeting three key customer needs: Making it simple to be productive and protected at home and work; keeping businesses safe and compliant; and keeping business information and applications up and running. As such, Symantec is focusing on and considering the development of offerings in the following core areas: Mobile Workforce Productivity, Norton Protection, Norton Cloud, Information Security Services, Identity/Content-Aware Security Gateway, Data Center Security, Business Continuity, Integrated Backup, Cloud-Based Information Management, and Object Storage Platform.
“Customers will still be able to pick and choose the solutions they want to use, but from a broader menu of innovative products with higher value,” Bennett said. “We’re not offering packages that they have to take it or leave it. Customers can still decide what’s right for them and buy accordingly, but have the added option of migrating to new integrated offerings which provide added flexibility we know they will need to combat constantly evolving threats, particularly via mobile and the cloud.”
In order to continue delivering value to customers in the future, Symantec will increase its investment in research and development and homegrown innovation to better meet next generation needs. Symantec will also establish strategic partnerships where it can integrate what it does with others to add even more value for customers. This will help customers stay ahead of increasingly challenging information and protection challenges at the endpoint, network and data center levels.
“There is a huge set of underserved and unmet needs that customers are experiencing with regards to protecting, moving and managing their information on multiple devices,” continued Bennett. “With our resources and know-how, we are in a better position to meet those needs than anyone. We have the infrastructure to deliver real value to help customers and this new strategy will improve both our focus and execution. We also have the expertise to know and see what they’re going to need next. It’s a question of alignment and regaining focus on the current and future needs of customers via a renewed emphasis on innovation plus developing new technology.”
Operations and Organization
Symantec’s sales process will continue to rely heavily on the channel to manage current customers and free up Symantec’s sales force to focus on generating new business. Symantec will also enhance the marketing organization with more strategic resources and capability to accelerate focus and organic growth.
Symantec has created a new Office of the CEO. A small team of executives (chief financial officer, president of products and services, and chief operating officer) has been established to make collective operational and functional decisions with Bennett on a daily basis. Also reporting directly into the CEO are direct reports based on function (such as HR, Finance, Legal, etc.) and the sales geography leaders. A group of extended staff --including the chief officers of functions such as IT, marketing, communications, and technology – will be another group reporting into the CEO.
In order to make the company more flexible and able to adapt quicker to the needs of customers, more emphasis will be placed on giving front-line employees greater empowerment, input and discretion in addressing customers’ needs on a day to day basis. As such, there will be fewer executives and middle management positions, resulting in a reduction of the workforce. This process is expected to be completed by the end of June 2013.
“Symantec is a strong company with leadership products, brands and great employees,” said Bennett. “Past leaders and employees of this company have left an outstanding legacy of assets for us to build upon as we move forward. The next step is to change things that allow us to adapt quicker to the marketplace, and in the end, continue Symantec’s tradition and high standards for delivering tremendous value to our employees, customers, partners and shareholders.”
As we execute on our strategy and operational plan we are committed to deliver more than 5% organic revenue growth and non-GAAP operating margins better than 30% over the next two to three years.
The coming year will include significant transitions as we begin to improve our growth capabilities, establish a dedicated renewals team, refocus our direct field sales representatives on new business and eliminate duplicative organization and operating structures. As such, we expect organic revenue growth between 0% and 2% in FY14. However, we have identified many opportunities to drive efficiencies and redeploy resources which will remove duplication and complexity. As a result, we expect non-GAAP operating margins to increase by approximately 200 basis points in FY14. Our initial estimate for severance payments of approximately $275 million will impact cash flows in FY14.
After FY14, organic revenue is expected to build steadily driving a CAGR of more than 5% during the FY15–FY17 period as we execute on our plans. We expect to increase non-GAAP operating margins by another approximately 200 basis points in FY15. As such, we are targeting to reach 30% non-GAAP operating margins by the end of FY15.
Symantec has scheduled a Webcast from 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT to 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT today to discuss the Company’s strategic direction, operational plan, capital allocation strategy and financial results, including guidance. To listen to the live event and view the corresponding presentation, please go to http://www.symantec.com/invest at least 15 minutes early to register, download and install any necessary audio software. A replay of the webcast including presentation will be available within 24 hours after the event.
Symantec protects the world's information, and is a global leader in security, backup and availability solutions. Our innovative products and services protect people and information in any environment – from the smallest mobile device, to the enterprise data center, to cloud-based systems. Our world-renowned expertise in protecting data, identities and interactions gives our customers confidence in a connected world. More information is available at www.symantec.com or by connecting with Symantec at: go.symantec.com/socialmedia.
Forward-looking Statements: Any information regarding pre-release Symantec offerings, future updates or other planned modifications is subject to ongoing evaluation by Symantec and therefore subject to change. This information is provided without warranty of any kind, express or implied. Customers who purchase Symantec offerings should make their purchase decision based upon features that are currently available
This press release contains statements regarding our intention to execute a new strategy, implement operational and organizational changes and our projected financial and business results, which may be considered forward-looking within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws, including projections of future revenue and operating margin as well as projections of restructuring charges. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from results expressed or implied in this press release. Such risk factors include those related to: general economic conditions; maintaining customer and partner relationships; the anticipated growth of certain market segments, particularly with regard to security and storage; the competitive environment in the software industry; changes to operating systems and product strategy by vendors of operating systems; fluctuations in currency exchange rates; the timing and market acceptance of new product releases and upgrades; the successful development of new offerings and integration of acquired businesses, and the degree to which these offerings and businesses gain market acceptance. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements in this press release. We assume no obligation, and do not intend to update these forward-looking statements as a result of future events or developments. Additional information concerning these and other risks factors is contained in the Risk Factors sections of our Form 10-K for the year ended March 30, 2012 and our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on June 11, 2012.
USE OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL INFORMATION: Our results of operations have undergone significant change due to a series of acquisitions, the impact of stock-based compensation, impairment charges and other corporate events. To help our readers understand our past financial performance and our future results, we supplement the financial results that we provide in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, with non-GAAP financial measures. The method we use to produce non-GAAP results is not computed according to GAAP and may differ from the methods used by other companies. Our non-GAAP results are not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for comparable GAAP measures and should be read only in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP. Our management regularly uses our supplemental non-GAAP financial measures internally to understand, manage and evaluate our business and make operating decisions. These non-GAAP measures are among the primary factors management uses in planning for and forecasting future periods. Investors are encouraged to review the reconciliation of our non-GAAP financial measures to the comparable GAAP results, which is attached to our quarterly earnings release and which can be found, along with other financial information, on the investor relations’ page of our Web site at www.symantec.com/invest.