Symantec appoints Lacter comms leader

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Symantec has hired former Waggener Edstrom Worldwide EVP Colleen Lacter as its communications chief.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Symantec has hired former Waggener Edstrom Worldwide EVP Colleen Lacter as its communications chief.

Lacter started in the CCO role on Monday, overseeing internal and external communications, trade analyst relations, CSR, and event communications for the IT security company. She is based in Mountain View, CA, and is reporting to EVP and COO Stephen Gillett.

Lacter has replaced Harry Pforzheimer, who left the company in May after less than a year as its communications leader. He told PRWeek at the time that his departure was part of a “planned transition.” Pforzheimer had reported to Symantec CEO Steve Bennett, the former chief executive of Intuit. Bennett joined the software company last year as chief executive.

The company is also searching for a CMO, Lacter said.

Earlier this month, AllThingsD reported that Symantec may lay off as many as 1,700 employees, or 8% of its global workforce, as part of a company-wide reorganization. A Symantec spokesperson said at the time that the reshuffle would streamline the employee-reporting structure. 

In a May 7 conference call with analysts, Bennett said the company would eliminate between 30% and 40% of its management positions by the end of July.

Previously, Lacter worked at Waggener Edstrom for 20 years with Microsoft as a client. She left the agency in January 2012.

Lacter said she began considering the role at Symantec after a former colleague put her in touch with Gillett, who was previously EVP and president of digital, global marketing, and strategy at Best Buy and CIO and EVP of digital ventures at Starbucks.

“There's a big transformation happening here at Symantec,” Lacter said. “I'm focused on listening, learning, and formulating ideas to determine how we can build a world class team.”

Earlier this year, Symantec promoted senior director Lorraine Hamby to VP of global PR and senior director Yvonne Thomson to VP of internal communications. In December, Symantec hired Gillett as EVP and COO, overseeing marketing, communications, and IT and reporting to Bennett.

Last year, Symantec selected Edelman as global AOR for its consumer business unit. The assignment expanded the work done by the agency since 2008 for Symantec's Norton computer antivirus software in multiple markets. Weber Shandwick is the company's corporate AOR.

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