NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Symantec (SYMC) has shocked Wall Street, announcing the surprise exit of president and CEO Steve Bennett, marking its third CEO change in just over five years.

Shares are spiraling on the news. By midafternoon, the stock is down 12.3% to $18.33.

Trading volume of 43.7 million is more than six times its three-month daily average.

Bennett held the position since 2012 and led the charge in a turnaround plan which involved targets of more than 5% organic growth and over 30% adjusted operating margin by fiscal 2017.

The firm said Bennett's termination was a result of an ongoing deliberative process rather than any event or impropriety.

Until a permanent replacement has been found, board member Michael Brown will act as interim president and CEO.

Over the last few quarters, the company has struggled with declining PC sales dampening the take-up rate of its Norton antivirus software. Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec reiterated its fourth-quarter guidance of revenue between $1.615 billion and $1.655 billion and adjusted earnings of 40 cents to 42 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters anticipate quarterly revenue of $1.644 billion and earnings of 42 cents a share.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates SYMANTEC CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

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