Symantec layoffs start today

Mass layoffs are coming today and tomorrow at Symantec, according to a confidential HR document seen by a Valleywag source. The job-slashing exercise even has its own codename, "Project Xpress." Which areas are going to get hit the hardest? Clues can be found in the anodyne patter of Symantec CEO John Thompson during last quarter's earnings call:

... we have not met our planned new business targets.... We continue to optimize our sales leadership team around the globe to improve execution.... we are focusing our hiring efforts within the sales operation on the faster growing emerging market ... we will continue our strong focus on controlling our costs with specific targets for each operating unit for the second half of the fiscal year.
Sales, in other words, is taking it on the chin, especially in the U.S.

Also at risk: Nontechnical employees at Vontu, the recently purchased San Francisco security startup, in the usual post-acquisition purge. In fact, anyone who worked at a company Symantec bought in the past few years should watch out: "Going forward, we will continue to evaluate our portfolio to ensure that we focus our investment efforts on a few key strategic areas that drive long-term revenue growth," Thompson also said in the earnings call. Translation: If your business unit is not producing the gusher of cash your VCs promised Symantec when they sold the company, you're outta here.