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Symantec follows HP down breakup path

The divorce rate for IT vendors spiked this week. Hewlett-Packard and Symantec said they are separating into pieces, and it might take a marriage counselor to keep EMC together.

Symantec today confirmed it is splitting off its information management business from the security business. The security company will keep the Symantec name, while the Information Management company has no name yet. The split is scheduled to complete by the end of 2015.

The Information Management arm will be a storage vendor, with products in backup and recovery, archiving, eDiscovery, storage management, and information availability solutions. John Gannon, who retired as Quantum COO in 2005 and also led HP’s personal computing division, becomes general manager of the new storage company.

Michael Brown, named Symantec’s permanent CEO last month, will continue to run Symantec.

“We’re confident this is the right thing from a strategy standpoint,” Brown said.

Brown said Symantec’s leadership team decided it was too difficult to remain a market leader in security and data management, and that led to the breakup decision. The security and storage companies came together in 2005 when Symantec acquired Veritas for $13.5 billion, but there have been intermittent rumors that the backup business would be spun off or sold for years.

The security part of the business has been the bigger piece of Symantec, with $4.2 billion of revenue in fiscal year 2014 compared to $2.5 billion for information management.

So, does anyone think they should call the new information management company Veritas?

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