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Fri 29 Dec 2000 04:00 AM

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Symantec CEO addresses concerns after Network Associates' losses

Thompson says woes of one company do not reflect state of the market; that network security industry is sound.

Thompson says woes of one company do not reflect state of the market; that network security industry is sound.

Following news of impending losses and executive departures at rival Network Associates, Symantec's CEO spoke out to say all is well both at his company and in the security space overall.

"The problems of one company's execution are not indicative of the entire industry segment," said John Thompson, president and CEO of Symantec. "We believe the Internet security opportunity represents tremendous potential for long-term growth. We are excited about our future and the possibilities it will bring for our customers and our shareholders."

Thompson addressed concerns over the Internet security software market following news Tuesday that Network Associates said it expected to lose between US$130 million and $140 million on revenue of $55 million to $65 million. Thompson addressed potential shareholder concerns in a statement late on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Network Associates shares tumbled significantly in late Wednesday trading, falling 63% to $4.41. This is from a 52-week high of $37.19 per share. In addition to the losses, Network Associates said chairman and CEO Bill Larson, president Peter Watkins and CFO Prabhat Goyal will all be stepping down.

Yet "we have never been more confident in our future," Thompson said, noting that "Symantec continues to gain momentum in the enterprise security business where [industry leaders] such as Oracle, Cobalt, Yahoo and EarthLink have recently chosen Symantec's security technology."

"Global leaders in industries ranging from automotive, telecommunications and financial services are showing increasing confidence in our products and our company," Thompson said. "In addition, our recently completed merger with Axent Technologies makes Symantec the largest Internet security company in the world."

Indeed, "Symantec's revenue recognition policy continues to reflect end-user demand and is well-aligned with recognition requirements as outlined by generally accepted accounting practices," Thompson said.

Also, Symantec enjoys "strong relationships" with its channel partners, "helping them build successful businesses around our products and technologies," Thompson said.

From a CRN United States report by Darryl K. Taft.

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