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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.

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11 Comments

Comments

    Anonymous:

    Symantec has laid off people recently hired in lower cost regions and retained expensive Senior Directors and Vice Presidents in USA. Fresh teams are being recruited to move operations to Mountain View, CA. Not sure how laying off low cost workforce and spending money on hiring an expensive workforce will add value to the bottom line. Quickly laying off resources hired recently has also created a reputation as an unstable employer for Symantec.

      Joe Panettieri:

      Hey Anonymous: Feel free to email me privately if you have more alleged details to share: Joe@AfterNines.com. While I don’t know if your claims are true, I can certainly share some “general” feedback about typical layoff processes. Alas, I had to handle layoffs in 2000 and 2001 at a major media company. Our HR team asked me to justify who was staying and who I had to cut — the ‘why’ of it all. Frankly, I didn’t want to cut anything but needed to balance a budget that was handed to me. I suspect Symantec has done the same.

      And there is some irony in your statement. You’re criticizing the company because it’s allegedly cutting low-cost hires and retaining expensive talent. On the flip side, we often hear companies criticized for cutting high-priced talent to more greatly emphasize lower-cost workers. Either way, there is no easy way to navigate layoffs.

      -jp

        Symantec Ee:

        Hey Joe. How do you know the details are alleged. You are not a Symantec employee so you need to pull your head in on that comment. Anonymous may be as s/he wants to be anonymous! I am an employee and anonymous too!
        Companies do have to cut when they are struggling. Symantec wants to cut $550 million in costs.
        There is no irony in saying Senior Directors/VPs get to stay while mostly senior middle managers get cut and folk lower down on the Totem Pole. That is what happens, dude, where have you been for the last 20 years or so?

          Joe Panettieri:

          Hi Symantec Ee: It’s alleged unless Symantec directly confirms it or a source contacts me directly and proves it to me. My email is Joe@AfterNines.com if you’ like to contact me directly and show me the evidence. I will keep your identity on background if needed. Thanks.
          -jp

    Anonymous:

    Hey Joe: You should try to verify claims by contacting Symantec. Not sure why someone should prove it to you. It is for you to investigate.

    The salary all the employees laid off in the low cost regions may be a fraction of the salary of a single director in USA. Symantec Ee is right in saying “There is no irony in saying Senior Directors/VPs get to stay while mostly senior middle managers get cut and folk lower down on the Totem Pole.”

    Agreed that there is no easy way to navigate layoffs but, not sure why Symantec has been laying off resources hired recently. Why was the hiring done? Is there no accountability? These knee jerk reactions make Symantec a very unstable employer to work for.

      Joe Panettieri:

      Hi Anonymous: We’ve reached out to Symantec for comment. If we hear anything I’ll be sure to post a follow-up comment. Thanks.
      -jp

        Anonymous:

        Hi Joe, I have plans to join Symantec, but reading all these reviews i’m thinking whether i need to join or not. Normally any employee look for job security, if it is not there then why should we need to join such organization.

        And i see you have posted on July 11th 2016
        “”We’ve reached out to Symantec for comment. If we hear anything I’ll be sure to post a follow-up comment ”
        Did you get any on that?

          Joe Panettieri:

          We never heard back from Symantec. There are some promising developments at the company amid the Blue Coat acquisition and associated changes. In terms of job security I don’t think any company — not one — offers that these days.
          -jp

            Symantec ee:

            There is another wave happening this week.

    lll:

    and then another and another…. Want to have fun come to Symantec to work. For the last 2 yeas are only layoffs, oining company now is just like gambling on shares…

    Anonymous:

    Since December and after the blue coat acquisition they have laid off thousands and more are coming… especially now they have acquired yet another company. They are laying people off in batches, so as not to have to report it – quite smart really. Its ruthless especially with the bluecoat employees at the helm (different mentality) – I’ll never go back there again, the family has gone.

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