Symantec confirms split into IT, security companies

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Symantec confirms split into IT, security companies

Plans separation by end of 2015.

Information security giant Symantec has confirmed it will split into two public companies focused on security and information management by the end of next year.

The company today confirmed the long-rumoured plan, and said its decision came after an internal review found growth and shareholder value would be increased by operating as two business.

Symantec's Information Management business - which generated revenue of $2.5 billion in the 2014 financial year - will include backup and recovery, storage management, archiving, and information availability solutions.

A new standalone Security business will offer encryption, endpoint security, user authentication, data loss prevention, hosted and managed security, Secure Socket Layer (“SSL”) Certificates, and security for mail, web and data centre. The security division brought in revenue of $4.2 billion in FY2014.

Symantec has for several years operated in two distinct market spaces - its security business bolstered by the acquisitions of the Norton product line, MessageLabs, Altiris and Verisign's authentication unit; while its information management business grew predominantly out of the US$13.5 billion buy of Veritas in 2004. 

Symantec CEO Michael Brown said succeeding in both security and information management would require distinct strategies and investments.

"It has become clear that winning in both security and information management requires distinct strategies, focused investments and go-to market innovation,” he said in a statement.

“Taking this decisive step will enable each business to maximise its potential. Both businesses will have substantial operational and financial scale to thrive.”

A Symantec Australia spokesperson could not confirm how the split would affect the local business and employees.

"As we’ve just announced our plan to split the company, we are still early in the planning process and are not ready to provide this level of detail. We will be in a position to share more information with you over the coming months," she said.

Brown will continue as Symantec's CEO and will serve as the head of the new Security business.

John Gannon, who was a former chief operating officer at Quantum and head of HP's PC business, will become the general manager of the Information Management business.

Fellow technology giant HP similarly announced earlier this week its intention to separate its PC and enterprise businesses.

Online auction company eBay also last week revealed it would spin off its electronic payment service PayPal.

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