Symantec eyes breakup into security, storage companies

October 8, 2014, 9:29 AM UTC
CeBIT Technology Fair
The logo of Symantec Corp., is displayed at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover, Germany, on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. Microsoft Corp. Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner said its upcoming Windows 8 operating system may be its most important platform to date, he told an audience at the CeBit technology fair. Photographer: Michele Tantussi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Michele Tantussi — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Security software group Symantec–known principally for its Norton antivirus software–may become the latest company to split itself up, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Management at the Mountain View, Ca.-based company is looking at the possibility of carving two companies out of the current one, effectively reversing the course of diversification it took when it bought data-storage group Veritas in 2005 for $10 billion.

As such, one of the successor companies would concentrate on security programs and the other on data storage.

If the divorce goes through, Symantec (SYMC) would follow Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and Ebay Inc. (EBAY) in trying to rediscover value for shareholders by concentrating on a more focused range of activities.

Symantec had fired its previous chief executive, Steve Bennett, in March in response to slowing sales growth, a symptom of the company’s struggle with new trends in the security software market, especially through the slowdown in demand for PCs. Bloomberg said the newly-installed CEO, Michael Bell, is in favor of a split.

Symantec didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment early Wednesday in Europe.

Symantec’s chairman is Dan Schulman, who is also president of PayPal, the payments service that Ebay decided last week to spin off.