Executive holdovers from Veritas are growing fewer and farther between at Symantec, following the disclosure by Symantec in an SEC filing this week that Kris Hagerman, president of the Data Center Management group, has left the company. According to a Reuters story on the departure, Symantec has also confirmed that senior vice president James Socas has also left. Socas was senior vice president of Corporate Development, leading the mergers & acquisition practice.
These departures are the latest in a general exodus of former Veritas officials from Symantec since the companies merged in December 2005. Veritas CEO Gary Bloom and head of the data management group Jeremy Burton also left Symantec before Hagerman. Beyond saying “a number of factors contributed” to the departure of Hagerman, Symantec declined to specify a reason Hagerman walked away.
Symantec has been keeping up with frequent updates to its Veritas products, especially the “meat and potatoes” backup software products, Backup Exec and NetBackup. But its sales numbers and ranking in the market have continued to decline. On its most recent earnings call Symantec CEO John Thompson said the company would begin pruning back its Data Center products, but did not give specifics as to which products would get the axe:
Earlier this year, we started an active review of our product portfolio to ensure many of the investments made over the years are meeting our return expectations. During the September quarter we identified some non-strategic assets in the Data Center Management Group that have not met those expectations. As a result, we are taking an $87 million writedown of some assets in the data center management group acquired by Veritas during the 2003/2004 timeframe. Going forward, we will continue to evaluate our portfolio to ensure that we focus our investment efforts on a few key strategic areas that drive long-term revenue growth.
Meanwhile, what had been a vibrant brand in Veritas has started to fade from the market, according to analysts. “Since the acquisition, Veritas has not been as visible in the industry as it was–they used to be a very engaged company and took a leadership position with technology,” according to Taneja Group founder Arun Taneja. “After a year of hiatus following the acquisition, Symantec is keeping up with products, but they’re not providing leadership like Veritas used to.”