back to article Veritas insiders: Job cuts? There will be blood

Veritas Technologies has hired a corporate restructuring specialist in the face of business difficulties. El Reg was told by Veritas insiders that CEO Greg Hughes has engaged Alix Partners to look at the company structure. He discussed cost pressures, initiatives and possible actions being considered at a 15 February all-hands …

  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    bonuses and merit-based salary rises being looked at

    How to keep your best staff motivated.

  2. unredeemed

    This is really unfortunate for them and the employees, but equity firms are about profit and run rate, and then selling the businesses.

    Or worse, taking out loans and making acquisitions and paying themselves and letting the company flounder and go bankrupt.

    I had a good run working for Symantec, but saw the writing on the wall based on how product management saw my ideas to product improvement. To them if it wasn't Sun, Unix and FC; it wasn't enterprise. And this wasn't that long ago!

  3. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Is Veritas loosing money?

    It doesn't seem so. People will be fired only for investors to get more money. Short term view that will lead to demotivated workers, service quality going down, best talents going away....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is Veritas loosing money?

      "Short term view that will lead to demotivated workers, service quality going down, best talents going away...."

      So the IBM business model?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is Veritas loosing money?

        and the DXC model and every other IT outfit run by beancounters for CEO's waiting on the multi million $ bonus!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alix Partners

    Alix Partners handled Symantec's post-divestiture cost-cutting project (euphemistically titled Project Ascent) to the tune of a $400M operating budget reduction, with another $150M tacked-on to address "synergies" incurred with the acquisition of Blue Coat Systems.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alix Partners

      Yeah, project Ascent.... A good marketing spin for stock holders. Total stupidity for operations. For example, closing offices with no regard to the value they bring to the company. I watched them close an office that had a sales org with a $100M annual pipeline, all so project Ascent could save $100K/mo in rent. They have yet to be able to rebuild that sales pipeline, but hey, rent expenses are down!

      Short term gains at the expense of long term ability to generate revenue. The executives don't care. They know their career is measured in quarters & single digits. They will be gone before the long term effect of their decision comes home. Cut, cut, cut, get a few executive bonuses, and then parachute out leaving someone else holding the bag.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The funny thing is that when I worked there pre-Symantec, Gary Bloom seemed to be doing everything in his power to destroy the stock price, and position it for acquisition by a large company. Then Symantec sold it, now maybe it gets sold again. How many times can you pick at the bones before they're clean? I guess as long as the C-levels can pat each other on the back about another good acquisition/sale, and get that payout, that's all that matters.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Veritas Support being destroyed

    They got rid of the Frontline and Advanced Support Engineers from Sydney and left it months before actually replacing them in to India.

    This was done at the same time they replaced the Case Management system everyone used which caused 6 months of chaos for Support and constant pressure with a slow system and lack of Support Engineers. Management keep squeezing support to do more with less.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Veritas Support being destroyed

      It took several months in that instance, but I genuinely think that was a shock move dictated to support leadership. This time look at the Indian teams and tell me they haven't grown recently AFTER the Sydney numbers are covered, seems to be strategic IMO.

      The cynical me thinks why have we just got a senior director in India for support who now has remaining APJ support reporting to him? How long until that's EMEA too or EMEA reporting to US since the US will be needed for federal customers - EMEA is a small, expensive fish... much like Sydney was; Sydney proved that India could maintain the CSAT.. not that they'd mind taking a hit to save the big bucks.

      Let's hope it goes as well as it can for as many as it can (not just support). It is pretty clear it's going to be brutal.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Greed is Good'

    The latest all staff - para phrased.... "Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for money, you mark my words, will make Carlyle executives and our EVPs and SVPs at VERITAS very very rich. Thank you very much"

    Revolving doors of VP's being paid out million $ handshakes for failure. Americas elite country club friends - it is like an episode of 'fake news' with the company spinning so much they have lost sight of reality- the company has confirmed they are removing the bonus pool as 30% profit margins are not strong enough to warrant paying the worker bees who have worked relentlessly & shouldered the burden of a complete lack of leadership and pain since setting sail from Symantec.

    You only need to review Glass Door to take a temperature on moral. In an age where companies recognise the value of a workforce and the brand they deliver it is simply staggering the CEO & his leadership team believe they can operate in this way. They delivered a strong message this week - if you are not in sales then you are worthless, we see no value in you, in fact we are not even going to listen to you as we want to spend millions $ on 3rd party consultants while they learn what you know.

    One thing is clear - sell off, break up, fire sale - the flag at VERITAS is half mast & the employees are walking in one direction. A big win for Carlyle & VERITAS - will save them even more money.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    they've stopped paying commission to sales staff for renewals.

    the renewal rate has gone through the floor. sales staff arent interested. which is shit in itself, but hey, sales i guess.

    but, if a renewal doesnt go through, and the customer comes back...BING! new business! commission!

    1. Pistolero

      "they've stopped paying commission to sales staff for renewals."

      ...which is exactly how (nearly) every single other vendor does it, whether it's Dell/HPE/VMW/Oracle/anyone else.

      The real problem is their sales teams are being told to harass existing customers for license true-ups (non-renewal) from people who they think are under-licensed, à la Microsoft. Too bad they don't realise that they operate in probably the most painful part of the datacentre (where all products are shit, but in different ways), and don't have a monopoly. I think it was either Gartner or IDC who recently highlighted this in a report naming Veritas specifically? Maybe they should have been clued up at that point.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death spiral

    I've seen this kind of thing happen before, it means the company is in a death spiral. The big question is whether they can pull out before hitting the ground - and plenty do.

    Being spun out of Symantec a few years ago and now focusing on legacy products means they have nothing new and is a typical indication of management just riding the bus to the end of the line.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    stupidity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results

    A team made an offering for openstack...it crashed and burned. They worked for 5 years and at the end they had 0 customers. Company sponsored many openstack conferences. Flew many senior/star(manager's favorite) employees to Australia, Vegas etc. all that investment is now wasted.

    Now the same team (same technical directors, managers, PMs, project managers, architects and same senior developers/QA who travelled the globe) have been tasked with the new rubrik clone product's development.

    Higher ups are never held answerable...that is the cause of failures.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SVP of whatever he calls his sales division decides on a strategy; let's audit our loyal customers in the most poorly handled way possible, screw the customers and what they think, let's get some quick cash... that'll work out well in the long run as they run to other providers in an effort to not deal with us again.

    Expense and travel all but stopped, auditing customers fast and hard... desperate measures to make the margin up quickly but will take them nowhere near that rule of 40, we all know what's coming next...

    Brace yourself boys & girls... it's nearly time. Mackenzie partners and Alix partners collaborating for something big, ugly and fast to hit that number for FY19.

  12. CM2010

    Corporate Use Case

    Another company 'raided' by mismanagement and executives grabbing all they can prior to the company's demise. Carlyle is a numbers company. However the inability to translate that thru the technologies that Veritas creates and maintains is hampered by the 'numbers company' not being able to choose the right executive management. This moves downstream throughout the organization whereby in key positions, you have the wrong people. Coupled with flawed and a constant wavering strategy along with undermining execution a sell off is at best their outcome. The marketing arm has done the best to keep this from the customers, market and underwriters. Those executives are gifted at managing up to Carlyle and Board, which is how it was acquired and the subsequent multiple financial shortcomings. This continues. Bloodletting is inevitable and the rank and file employees, clients and technology will bear the cost.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Final push to acquisition...

    My prediction is that Veritas won't be around in six months. Good news is their technology (or what's left of it) will likely be in the hands of a technology company (versus Carlyle, the financial company). So perhaps someone will build or integrate into their technologies.

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