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Symantec CEO: We Have Too Many Managers

Stocks in this article: SYMC GE INTU

Bennett declined to provide a figure during his interview with TheStreet but said the company will have fewer employees a year from now. "It will be material," he said.

As part of its restructuring, Symantec has also created a new office of the CEO, with a small team of executives including its CFO and COO, making decisions with Bennett on a daily basis. Sales-geography leaders will report direct to the CEO, as well as the chief officers in areas such as IT, marketing and communications.

The company split its CEO and chairman positions this week, with the board electing director Dan Schulman to the position of non-executive chairman. Previously, Bennett held both roles.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Todd Weller described the strategic overhaul as good for the company, citing a positive growth impact. Weller, however, expects limited upside for the company's shares in the near term, pointing to the risks involved in major organizational changes.

As a result, Weller downgraded the company to "hold" from "buy" this week.

The analyst noted that Symantec kept its focus on the same markets. "Likely to be viewed as somewhat surprising, Symantec is not making any significant changes (at least for the moment) with respect to its key market/product focus areas," he wrote in a note.

"We feel very comfortable about the markets that we're in and the assets we have ," Bennett told TheStreet. "I like the markets."

Symantec rolled out a new capital-allocation strategy this week, which, over time, will return about half of free cash flow to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. As part of this effort, the software maker announced its first ever-cash dividend, targeting a yield of about 2.5%. The initial dividend payment will be made in the June quarter.

The company comfortably beat Wall Street's estimates in its third-quarter results on Wednesday, helped by strength in EMEA and the company's information management business.

Symantec shares rose 1.3% to $22 during Friday trading.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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