Symantec Layoffs 2016: 1,200 Job Cuts, 10% of Staff

Symantec Corp. has confirmed layoff plans -- cutting about 10 percent of its workforce -- or about 1,200 positions. The Symantec layoffs come amid a weak revenue forecast from the struggling security software company.

After a lost decade and failed effort to blend security with storage, Symantec sold its Veritas business in 2015 to double down on security. But the company largely missed the mobile, cloud and subscription services waves.

> Related: Symantec Buys Blue Coat

> Related: Veritas, the former Symantec Business, Also Starts Layoffs

> Related: Will Tech Job Cuts Impact Channel Partner Programs?

Although Symantec works with large managed security services providers, the company has largely failed to gain traction with smaller MSPs that support SMB customers. Intel has, from time to time, suffered similar challenges with its McAfee security business.

Meanwhile, emerging rivals like Cisco's OpenDNS, Sophos and Webroot (among others) have thriving MSP partner programs.

Symantec Layoffs vs. New Products

The latest signs of trouble at Symantec surfaced in April 2016, when CEO Michael Brown disclosed plans to resign once a replacement could be found.

During an earnings call on May 12, 2016, Brown tried to focus the conversation on innovation and forthcoming cloud solutions -- rather than layoffs.

In fiscal 2017, he asserted, Symantec will launch:

"...additional new and organically developed offerings, which leverage our unified security strategy: first, Symantec Unified Endpoint Protection, a fully SaaS based endpoint security and management solution aimed at small and midsize enterprises; second, Data Center Security .cloud, a fully cloud-based solution to discover and automatically secure cloud workloads on AWS and Azure; and third, the next version of Symantec Endpoint Protection or SEP, which will include further enhancements in areas such as cloud-based detection, proactive exploit protection, and machine learning."

Still, there's no denying that Symantec's core business is under pressure amid the worldwide move to cloud, managed and mobile subscription services. For its Q4 results, announced yesterday, today revenues declined 6 percent to $873 million.

Symantec Layoffs vs Sales, Channel Investments

In response to the revenue weakness, Symantec plans to "remove layers of management, consolidate operations, and rebalance some positions to lower cost regions," CFO Thomas Seifert said during an earnings call yesterday. "These changes to the organization will result in just under $100 million in savings and reduce our net head count by approximately 1,200 positions."

Also, CEO Michael Brown said, "M&A is clearly not the solution to getting Symantec growing again," though the company will look at M&A opportunities that potentially emerge.

Symantec has also added 20 more "quota carrying" sales team members. ChannlE2E does not know if those sales professionals have incentives to work with channel partners. But Brown mentioned an ongoing channel commitment.

"We are also continuing to focus on channel partners with more security expertise through our award-winning Secure One program that certifies our partners on our products and provides better rewards for those partners that focus on Symantec," Brown said.

Technology Industry Layoffs

Symantec isn't the only technology company making job cuts. Other firms laying off workers this year include EMCIntel, HP Inc.IBM and VMware. Among the companies on that list, VMware seems to be performing best -- having recently disclosed growing sales of its NSX and VSAN platforms.

ChannelE2E is checking to see when the Symantec layoffs will occur.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.