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Symantec fires CEO Steve Bennett

Board member Michael Brown will serve as interim CEO while maker of Norton antivirus software hunts for its second chief executive in two years.

Carrie Mihalcik Senior Editor / News
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Steve Bennett

After less than two years in the top job at Symantec, Steve Bennett has been fired.

The security software firm announced Thursday that Bennett had been terminated as the company's president and CEO, and he has resigned from the company's board of directors. Board member Michael Brown will take over as interim president and CEO, effective immediately.

"Our priority is now to identify a leader who can leverage our company's assets and leadership team to drive the next stage of Symantec's product innovation and growth," said Daniel Schulman, chairman of Symantec's board, in a statement. "This considered decision was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety."

Symantec said a special committee of the board will immediately begin a search for new CEO.

Bennett replaced ousted CEO Enrique Salem back in 2012 as the company, which makes Norton antivirus software, attempted to reverse falling profits. Bennett joined Symantec's board of directors in the beginning of 2010 and became chairman in 2011. Previously he was president and CEO of Intuit for seven years, and before that he worked for General Electric for 23 years.

Brown joined Symantec's board in 2005 following the company's merger with Veritas Software. He previously served as chairman and CEO of Quantum.