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Symantec Fires CEO In Surprise Move

Analysts question security and storage giant's turnaround after the board fires its second CEO in two years
In a surprise move, Symantec's board of directors announced Thursday that CEO Steve Bennett had been terminated, effective immediately. In his place, board member Michael Brown has been installed as interim president and CEO. "This considered decision was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety," according to a statement released by Symantec.

A number of information security industry watchers reacted with surprise to Bennett's ouster after just 18 months on the job, not least because in recent quarters Symantec's revenue has often exceeded expectations.

"I was very surprised by this," said Forrester analyst Rick Holland, speaking by phone. "I just don't think it's the right time for a company that's not seen as innovative, that's been struggling to rebound, to have a leadership change. If you count the interim CEO, this makes three CEOs in less than two years' time. That has an impact on morale."

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