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Symantec CEO Thompson to retire

John Thompson will retire in April, but will remain chairman of the board. Company COO Enrique T. Salem will take the helm.

John Thompson
Symantec's John Thompson plans to retire from the CEO post in April. Symantec

Symantec Chief Executive John Thompson will retire in the spring, according to a press release from the company on Monday. Thompson, who ran the company for the past 10 years, will continue as a non-executive chairman of the board.

Enrique T. Salem, Symantec's current chief operating officer, will replace Thompson at the helm effective April 4 and will also join the board of directors.

In a press conference, Thompson said: "I always thought 10 years was about the right amount time for any CEO at any company."

Enrique Salem
Enrique T. Salem will become CEO of Symantec in April. Symantec

In January, Salem was named Symantec's chief operating officer. Thompson said he has been working with the Symantec board of directors on a succession plan for about the last two years. He said Salem's appointment was an integral step in the overall succession process.

No external candidates were considered.

Salem is no stranger to Symantec. From 1990 to 1999 he worked in the security business unit at the company before rejoining the company in 2004 with Symantec's acquisition of Brightmail, an antispam company. There, Salem had served as Brightmail's president and CEO. Prior to that, Salem spent a year at Oblix as senior vice president of products and technology, and two years as vice president of technology and operations at Ask Jeeves.