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By | Team Register 18th July 2008 10:23

Symantec COO infuriates US channel

Big foot in mouth

Enrique Salem needs some media training before he's let out in public again. Or a lesson in diplomacy. The Symantec chief operating officer has provoked furious reaction in the US channel - for dissing them behind closed doors.

Last month he told financial analysts in a supposedly private conference that Symantec wanted to sell more direct, to bypass two tier distribution to bigger dealers, and to claw some more margin for the company.

That's the kind of thing that analysts want to hear. But in pleasing this audience, Salem showed that he had a tin ear for the concerns of the company's dealers and disties. And unfortunately for him, a transcript of his statements landed at the door of CRN, the veteran US channel rag.

Now Julie Parrish, Symantec's channel chief, is saying that Salem's comments were misinterpreted. eWeek's Channel Insider has helpfully - for the reader, if not for Symantec - produced this table, called Symantec's He said - She said.

Parrish may be a good spin doctor, but Salem's comments are very difficult to explain away. ®

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