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Symantec to Lay Off Workers; Issues First-Ever Dividend

Even as the Internet security company posts an increase in revenue for its third quarter earnings, concerns about redundancies persist.

Symantec issued four press releases Wednesday, and among them the company announced it would reorganize.

"The coming year will include significant transitions as we begin to improve our growth capabilities, establish a dedicated renewals team, refocus our direct field sales representatives on new business and eliminate duplicative organization and operating structures," said the release of the new strategy

The "elimination of duplicative organization and operating structures" means one thing—CEO Steve Bennett plans to cut jobs, possibly 1,000 jobs, according to Bloomberg News. The "reduction of the workforce" would be within the executive and middle management ranks and could be completed by the end of June 2013, the press release stated. The company has 20,500 employees worldwide.

"Symantec is a strong company with leadership products, brands and great employees," said Steve Bennett, Symantec president and chief executive officer. "Past leaders and employees of this company have left an outstanding legacy of assets for us to build upon as we move forward. The next step is to change things that allow us to adapt quicker to the marketplace, and in the end, continue Symantec’s tradition and high standards for delivering tremendous value to our employees, customers, partners and shareholders."

This announcement comes in addition to its third quarter earnings report in which the company reports an increase in revenue to $1.79 billion, up 4 percent year-over-year, and up 5 percent after adjusting for currency.

The Mountain View-based company also announced it would initiate a quarterly dividend to shareholders and a $1 billion share repurchase program. This would be the first time the company has ever paid out a dividend.

Another change for the Internet security company—the roles of chairman of the board and chief executive officer have been split, and now Dan Schulman will be the chairman, while Bennett remains as  president and chief executive officer.

After a shuffle in the executive team by a worried board of directors six months ago, Bennett took over the helm of the Mountain View-based company from ousted CEO Enrique Salem, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The board brought Bennett, the former CEO Intuit, to "re-energize" the company, explained the San Jose Mercury News.


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