Top executive Art Gilliland has departed after leading Symantec through its tumultuous US$10.7 billion sale to Broadcom, the latest blow to what was once the world’s largest pure-play cybersecurity vendor.
“After a year with Broadcom and the successful integration of the Symantec Enterprise Security business, Art Gilliland has left to pursue other opportunities,” Symantec Enterprise Division chief marketing officer Karen Buffo said in an email. “We thank him for his contributions and wish him well.”
Buffo declined to comment on the exact timing and rationale for Gilliland’s departure, though Gilliland’s executive profile appeared on Broadcom’s website as recently as Sunday, according to cached Google search results. Gilliland’s second stint with Symantec began in November 2018, when the former Skyport Systems CEO joined to oversee the enterprise division’s product and engineering teams.
Once the Broadcom deal closed in November 2019, Gilliland became Symantec’s senior vice president and general manager, where he oversaw the development, delivery and support of all security products and services. Gilliland previously worked at Symantec from early 2006 to mid-2012, culminating in a 15-month stint leading the company‘s 1300-person enterprise information security business.
Going forward, Rob Greer, Adam Bromwich and Clayton Donley will lead Symantec’s Network and Information Security, Endpoint Security and Identity Security divisions, respectively. Bromwich has been with Symantec since 2003, while Greer joined Symantec from Forescout in June 2019 and Donley came to Broadcom through its 2018 acquisition of CA Technologies, where he oversaw the security practice.
None of the three Symantec partners CRN USA spoke to had been informed of Gilliland’s departure, though one said they weren’t surprised by Bromwich’s elevated role in the company. Neither Gilliland nor Bromwich responded to CRN USA requests for comment.
“Art did not have a feeling for the Symantec customer base, while Adam [Bromwich] had 16 years at the Enterprise level with Symantec,” said one Symantec partner, who didn’t wish to be identified. “Adam probably should have had the job from the beginning.”
A second Symantec partner, who also wished not to be identified, urged the company’s current leaders to engage with the solution provider community on a more consistent basis. “If they want to get back on track in this highly competitive market, they need to pay attention and focus more on their partners,” the solution provider said.
Broadcom CEO Hock Tan told investors in August 2019 that the company planned to focus on selling the Symantec portfolio to Global 2000 organisations since business with smaller enterprises and SMBs tends to be less sticky. Broadcom said at the time that it planned to achieve US$1 billion of cost synergies by November 2020 through cuts to Symantec’s sales, marketing, and general and administrative functions.
Symantec sales in the quarter ended 2 August 2020, were flat on a sequential basis at more than US$400 million as bookings growth in core enterprise accounts were offset by the transition out of smaller commercial accounts as Broadcom continues to rationalise the business, Tan said in September 2020. He expected Symantec sales for the quarter ended Nov. 1 to increase by 4 percent on a sequential basis.
Gilliland is at least the tenth high-ranking Symantec executive to leave the company in the fifteen months following the announcement of the Broadcom deal.
The first dominoes fell in September 2019 with the exits of Bryan Barney, SVP and GM of the enterprise security group, and Marc Andrews, SVP of enterprise worldwide sales, who later became RedSeal CEO and adviser to AlertFusion, respectively. A month later, Ameer Karim, VP and GM of network and IoT security, left Symantec to become Absolute Software’s EVP of product.
January 2020 saw four big departures from Symantec: Steve Tchejeyan, SVP of Americas sales and sales operations, later became CRO at Forescout; Nico Popp, SVP of cloud and information protection, became CPO at Forcepoint; Torjus Gylstorff, global channel chief, became head of worldwide sales at Thales; and Simon Moran, VP of cloud security, became VP of global business development for Ericom.
David Bradbury, SVP and chief security officer at Symantec, took the chief security officer position at Okta in April 2020. And Keith Weatherford, Americas channel chief, left Symantec in June 2020 and became Forescout’s global channel chief four months later.