Symantec's board votes to split the company in two

One company will focus on security and the other on information management

Security vendor, Symantec, is splitting into two companies, with one focused on security and the other on information management.

Its board of directors unanimously approved the plan to break into two independent, publicly traded companies, Symantec said on Thursday after the US stock market closed.

"It has become clear that winning in both security and information management requires distinct strategies, focused investments and go-to market innovation," said Michael A. Brown, Symantec president and CEO in a written statement. The separate companies will have more flexibility and be able to focus better on their respective areas, he added.

The security business, which had $US4.2 billion in revenue during fiscal year 2014, will include consumer and enterprise endpoint security; endpoint management; encryption; mobile; SSL certificates; user authentication; mail, Web and data center security; data loss prevention; hosted security; and managed security services.

The company's IM business had $US2.5 billion in revenue in fiscal 2014. The new company will include backup and recovery; archiving; eDiscovery; storage management; and information availability solutions.

Brown, who was named CEO on September 25 after serving as interim chief since March, will continue as Symantec president and CEO. Thomas Seifert will still be the CFO.

John Gannon has been named general manager of the new information company. He had been president and COO of Quantum and before that was the head of HP's commercial PC business.

Don Rath will be acting CFO of the IM company. He started at Symantec in August 2012 after working in senior tax and finance jobs at Synopsys, Chiron and Veritas.

The separation into two companies is expected to be completed by the end of December 2015. Separation and restructuring charges are expected.

Symantec is due to release its next earnings report Nov. 5.

Following the announcement, the company's share price rose slightly to $US23.65 in after-hours trading from its closing price of $US23.44.

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