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Of Veritas and Vista
Symantec CEO John Thompson, a veteran of more than three decades in the software industry, has no illusions about the challenges facing his company. He knows that Microsoft is seriously attempting to make third-party antivirus software obsolete by building its own virus and spyware protections into Windows Vista. He knows that IBM, the company where he spent more than 20 years and whose culture of discipline he has brought to Symantec, is making noise in the security market with its recent acquisition of Internet Security Systems. And, he knows that critics in the financial community, his customer base and most of the security industry are convinced that the Veritas deal was a huge mistake, one that could prove to be as crippling to Thompson and Symantec as the HP acquisition of Compaq was to HP's then-CEO Carly Fiorina.

Thompson, a supremely confident man who leaves little to chance, has no patience for such criticism. (See "

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This was first published in November 2006

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