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Norton Axe Entire Support Team In OZ

By Kate Castellari CRN | Friday | 05/07/2013

Security software vendor Symantec, which loves spruiking fear and is the owner of the Norton Virus protection brand, has axed its complete Australian tech support team and outsourced the positions to India.

The move comes as Symantec embarks on a company-wide "organisational simplification initiative" foreshadowed in January.

At the time, Symantec explained it would reduce executive and middle management positions and reorganise its sales department.

This week's Australian retrenchments were confirmed by a local spokesperson, but the person declined to reveal numbers involved or their positions.

With the advent of new Windows 8 computers, which come embedded with Norton software, many consumers complain that they are struggling to get rid of 30-day trial offers of Norton software or software spruiking upgrades to cloud storage.

ITNews claims that so far, 35 staff in Symantec's Australian tech support teams - not management - have been told they no longer have a job.

Symantec did not offer the affected workers redeployment opportunities beyond sending them a list of vacant jobs in sales and advising them to apply if they wanted to continue working for the company, according to ITNews.

The international "organisational simplification" was put in place by new Symantec CEO Steve Bennett, who joined the company in 2012 after former CEO Enrique Salem was let go following poor earnings results. Bennett said at the time around 30-40 percent of management positions could be affected.

A Symantec Australia spokesperson said: "Symantec is in the midst of a transformation . As a result, some positions have been identified for redundancy. 

"The reorganisation effort is company-wide and global in nature. We cannot give specifics about individual teams or locations and we are not confirming any specific numbers. The specifics around individual employees remain confidential; however we are in the process of determining whether we may be able to redeploy some of our staff into different roles within the company.

"We are still in the process of designing the organisation and notifying impacted employees. Our reorganisational efforts are scheduled to be completed by the end of July.

"There is potential for additional adjustments and impacts, as the company continues to reorganise past July, but we have no additional details to share at this time."

US reports say Symantec will let go 1700 workers globally - just under 8 percent of the 21,500 employees Symantec had in March.
Kate Castellari

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