Symantec chief executive John W. Thompson is to step down next spring.


After a decade in the job, Thompson will be replaced by chief operating officer Enrique Salem. He claimed that the move was part of a long-planned transition and he will continue to serve as non-executive chairman of Symantec


Symantec announced last month that it would make unspecified job cuts after Thompson told analysts that he saw ‘a pause in IT spending' by some customers in September.


A prominent supporter of US President-elect Barack Obama, Thompson has denied he is interested in a government post, though speculation has gathered that he may be considered for the position of chief technology officer in the Obama administration.


Speaking to the Mercury News, Thompson said: “The only thing I have in mind is a chaise lounge on the beach, and a mai tai. My personal aspirations are just to relax and spend more time with my family.”