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Symantec terminates CEO Steve Bennett

March 20, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Security software maker Symantec fired President and CEO Steve Bennett’s employment and named director Michael Brown as his temporary replacement.

It’s the second time in less than two years that Symantec has fired its CEO. Bennett became president and CEO in July 2012, when Enrique Salem was fired after three years in charge of the company. The Mountain View, California, company behind Norton Antivirus software did not cite a precise reason for Bennett’s ouster Thursday.

“This considered decision was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety,” Symantec Chairman Dan Schulman said in a press release.

Symantec Corp. shares fell $1.43, or 6.8 percent, to $19.48 in after-hours trading. The stock is trading near 52-week lows and is down about 15 percent over the past year.

Symantec has been going through a reorganization that includes cutting executive and middle-management jobs, splitting its sales force and focusing on the most promising products.

The company backed its outlook for the fiscal fourth quarter, which ends this month.

Brown, who is temporarily taking over as CEO, has been on Symantec’s board since July 2005. He is the former chairman and CEO of data backup company Quantum Corp.

Bennett, meanwhile, has resigned from Symantec’s board.

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