CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced that John W. Thompson, chairman and chief executive officer, will retire as CEO at the end of the fiscal year. The board of directors has appointed Enrique T. Salem, Symantec's chief operating officer, as president and chief executive officer effective April 4, 2009. Following the transition, Thompson, 59, will remain chairman of the board and Salem, 43, will join the board of directors.
"I am proud of our team's accomplishments over the past 10 years as we've transformed the company from a consumer software publisher to the leader in Internet security, data protection and storage management," said Thompson. "I've always believed planning for succession was a critical part of my role and, for the past two years, have been working with the board on a thoughtful succession plan. Through that process, Enrique emerged as the right person to lead the company and I am confident in his ability to continue to drive the success of our team."
"Over the past 10 years, John has led the effort to diversify Symantec's customer base and has grown the company's revenue tenfold. The board appreciates all he has done for Symantec and his leadership in driving the succession planning process," said Robert S. Miller, lead independent director of Symantec's board. "We are grateful that John will remain chairman of the board and work with the team to ensure a smooth transition."
Salem has been an integral part of the Symantec leadership team and has worked closely with John the past few years to set the company's strategic direction. In January 2008, Salem was appointed chief operating officer responsible for the company's day-to-day operations, global product development, sales and marketing. His appointment to chief operating officer was a critical step in the succession planning process. During the past year, he leveraged R&D investments to enhance integration across the portfolio and established a common set of metrics to improve execution and drive results.
Salem will continue in his current role as chief operating officer until the end of the fiscal year.
Prior to being named chief operating officer, Salem held a number of important roles at Symantec, including senior vice president of the security products and solutions group, group president of the consumer business unit and group president of worldwide sales and marketing.
"Enrique is a strong leader with extensive knowledge of our business and great relationships with our customers and employees," said Miller. "His breadth of experience throughout his career and the depth of his knowledge about Symantec uniquely qualify him to lead the company in its next stage of growth."
"Symantec has a history of innovation and a solid foundation for growth. I am confident in the team and our ability to execute for our customers," said Salem. "I am delighted to have this opportunity to lead a great company through its next phase of growth and shareholder value creation."
Enrique Salem's Background
Salem has more than 20 years of experience in sales, product delivery and operations. Before returning to Symantec in 2004, Salem was president and chief executive officer of Brightmail, the leading anti-spam software company that was acquired by Symantec in 2004. As senior vice president of products and technology at Oblix Inc., he spearheaded corporate strategy and development, leading the company's engineering, product management and technology groups; and at Ask Jeeves Inc., he led the engineering group and IT operations. Salem first joined Symantec in 1990 when the company acquired Peter Norton Computing. He held a variety of positions during that nine-year tenure including chief technology officer and vice president of the security business unit.
Salem was named 2007 Corporate Executive of the Year by Hispanic Net as well as 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year of Northern California by Ernst and Young.