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What Symantec Got Wrong About Data Protection

On June 24, 2005, in the face of analyst skepticism, security giant Symantec's "wary investors" finally approved it's merger with storage giant Veritas in an all-stock deal valued at 13.5 billion dollars. Symantec CEO John W. Thompson's rationale, as reported in the New York Times, was to "create a convenient one-stop shop for customers seeking computer security software, which Symantec sells, and data storage software, which Veritas sells".

Ten years later, Symantec sold off the Veritas assets it acquired to private investors led by the Carlyle Group for 8 billion, implying that the assets had lost 40% of their value under Symantec's stewardship.

At the time, the split was justified by Symantec Chief Product Officer Matt Cain, who CRN quoted as saying "When we did a strategic analysis of the company, it became obvious quickly that the focus on data management and security were diverging quickly." CRN editorialized that "Ironically, the fact that the legacy Symantec and legacy Veritas business never really did merge appears to be making the process to split the two easier than it might have been."

Allow me to translate. At the time of the merger, Symantec saw this:

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