Symantec reportedly in talks to split into storage and security units

The reported plans are in line with similar strategies announced by Hewlett-Packard and eBay

Taking a cue from Hewlett-Packard and eBay, Symantec is said to be in talks to carve out the company into two entities.

One of the entities will focus on storage while the other will address the security business, reported Bloomberg, citing people who asked not to be identified because the conversations are private.

An announcement of the split, which is supported by CEO Michael Brown, could be made in a few weeks, according to the report.

Symantec's spokesperson, Kristen Batch, said via email that the company does not comment on rumors.

Brown, who was Symantec's interim president and CEO since March this year, was appointed last month to the CEO position. After he took over, Symantec has returned to year-over-year revenue growth and has consistently exceeded its revenue and operating margin guidance, the company said. Symantec had in March fired its former CEO and president Steve Bennett, the second CEO to go in less than two years.

The Mountain View, California, company has explored and dropped the idea of a split in the past, according to Bloomberg, which quoted a person with knowledge of the matter.

Symantec reported in August that revenue in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2015, ended July 4, 2014, was $US1.7 billion, up 2 per cent from the same quarter last year. Net profit at $US236 million was up 50 percent in the quarter. Symantec's information management business, focused on backup and recovery, archiving, storage and high availability solutions, accounted for 37 per cent of revenue. The balance of revenue came from its information security, and user productivity and protection businesses.

Recent moves by tech companies suggest that they are looking at having nimbler operations, focused on specific businesses. HP, for example, plans to split by Oct. 31 next year into two companies, one addressing its printer and PC business, and the other addressing the enterprise market.

EBay said last month its board had approved a plan to split the company by the second half of next year into its eBay and PayPal businesses.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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John Ribeiro

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