The computer security company's board of directors has appointed Enrique T. Salem, 43, currently Symantec's COO, to the position of president and CEO, effective April 4.
The company said Thompson will remain as chairman of the board and that Salem will join the board.
In a statement, Thompson, who joined Symantec in 1999, expressed pride in the company's accomplishments over the past 10 years and confidence in Salem as his replacement. "I've always believed planning for succession was a critical part of my role and, for the past two years, have been working with the board on a thoughtful succession plan," he said. "Through that process, Enrique emerged as the right person to lead the company, and I am confident in his ability to continue to drive the success of our team."
Salem was appointed to be COO in January. He served previously as senior VP of Symantec's security products and solutions group, group president of the consumer business unit, and group president of worldwide sales and marketing. He was CEO of anti-spam company Brightmail when Symantec acquired the company in 2004.
Thompson ranked 77 out of 175 on Forbes' CEO Pay Performance Rankings. His tenure coincided with an annualized total return of 29% through April, when the Forbes list was published, and 11% over six years. He took home an average of $23 million in compensation per year over six years, according to Forbes.
Symantec's stock was trading at $17 per share in April. It closed at just over $12 per share Monday.