July 25 (Reuters) - Symantec Corp unexpectedly replaced its chief executive, naming current chairman and former Intuit Corp CEO Steve Bennett to run the world's biggest maker of security software.
The company said in a statement on Wednesday that Enrique Salem stepped down, effective immediately, ending a three-year term during which he and the company had been criticized by Wall Street analysts and investors for a string of financial disappointments.
"It was in the board's judgment that it was in the best interests of Symantec to make a change in the CEO," Bennett said in a statement. "My view is that Symantec's assets are strong and yet the company is underperforming against the opportunity."
The company had not disclosed that it was considering replacing Salem.
Reporting By Jim Finkle; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick