Going back to 1998, Symantec was best known for Norton utilities and Norton anti-virus, says Thompson. When he arrived in 1999, right after windows 1998 was launched. Symantec had had a bad series of quarter. In his first 100 days, he looked at the company product portfolio and found products that were not of strategic value. The brightest star was Norton anti-virus. Symantec had viewed itself as a consumer oriented desktop software company. Coming from IBM, Thompson decided that Symantec would be an enterprise security company. He went about acquiring technologies around the security theme. Symantec used these acquisitions to retool the company. However, the market was not mixed enough and they couldn't get the enterprise multiple. At this point, Symantec decided to do a billion dollar transaction that became the catalyst for changing all the business processes. It finally moved to being an enterprise focused security company.
May 23, 2003