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Symantec layoffs coming

Security firm plans a 4.5 percent cost savings in its workforce budget and will cut jobs to achieve that goal, spokesman says.

Symantec will lay off an undetermined number of workers before the end of the year as part of a cost-cutting move in the economic downturn, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

The company, which gave guidance on Wednesday that was short of analyst expectations, plans a 4.5 percent cost savings in its workforce budget and will reduce the headcount enough to accomplish that, said spokesman Cris Paden.

Paden said he did not know how many employees would be laid off as a result, but said the layoffs will be global, will vary across geographies, and that no specific business units were being targeted.

"We are shooting for a specific (cost savings) figure. So whatever gets us to that figure" will be done, he said. The goal is to maintain soundness of Symantec's financials "given how unpredictable the economic environment is right now."

Symantec will start alerting employees within the next month, according to Paden.

The move is separate from an initiative started over a year ago but which is ongoing to outsource the IT operations to EDS, Paden said.

The workforce budget includes costs for salaries, bonuses, and benefits for the company's 17,500 employees worldwide.