Polycom Brings In Fresh Blood To Ward Off Cisco Threat


Polycom on Monday said CEO Robert Hagerty has resigned and has been replaced by Andrew Miller, the former CEO of one of its biggest rivals.

The move comes as Polycom finds itself facing a formidable videoconferencing foe in the form of Cisco Systems, which has been steadily increasing its grip on the market.

Miller, who joined Polycom in July 2009 as its executive vice president of global field operations, is a former CEO of Polycom archrival Tandberg and will fill the CEO role effective immediately.

"As the leading independent company in the fast-growing unified collaboration space, I believe Polycom is uniquely positioned to capture this significant market opportunity," said Miller in a statement. "Polycom has unbelievable employee talent at all levels of the organization, an amazing customer base and a strong array of strategic and channel partnerships."

Miller was CEO of Tandberg from 2002 to 2006, and before that spent more than 11 years at Cisco. Cisco acquired Tandberg for $3.4 billion earlier this year and now poses the biggest threat to Polycom in the videoconferencing space.

Hagerty, a 13-year Polycom veteran, has stepped down and is also resigning from Polycom's board of directors, according to a statement from Polycom. Polycom confirmed Hagerty will be staying on as an advisor to Miller and the board during the transition phase.

"Andy is the perfect successor to lead Polycom through its next phase of growth. I am truly proud of what we have achieved this far, and I believe Polycom has a tremendous opportunity in the exciting collaboration market," Hagerty said in a statement.

In a follow-up comment e-mailed to CRN, Miller said that Polycom's "next phase of growth" will come from building on the foundation Hagerty has laid.

"Bob and the Polycom Board agreed that now was the right time for me to take the reins as CEO to continue to build the momentum we have already achieved," Miller said.

David DeWalt, president and CEO of security firm McAfee and Polycom's lead independent director, has assumed the role of chairman of the board. Miller is expected to be appointed to the board after Polycom's Annual Stockholders Meeting later this year.

"Andy's industry track record, proven leadership and customer skills make him the ideal CEO to take Polycom to the next level," DeWalt said in a statement. "I also want to thank Bob Hagerty for growing Polycom for $37 million to $1.1 billion over his 13 year tenure and for recruiting Andy to the company, enabling this seamless succession."

NEXT: Polycom Drops To No. 2The longtime videoconferencing market leader, Polycom within the last few years lost the top spot, ceding share to Tandberg throughout the past decade in the wake of what most observers suggest was an outmoded channel program and slowing research and development effort. Tandberg held a 43 percent share of the videoconferencing market as of the end of 2009, compared to Polycom's 34 percent share, according to Wainhouse Research.

Polycom in mid-2009, however, began a revamp of its channels and its executive team with an influx of new blood, including Miller, Vice President of Channels Ron Myers (a former Tandberg vice president of Canada sales) and Vice President of Global Channel Marketing Maurizio Capuzzo.

Polycom has been the subject of intense acquisition rumors for at least the past year, with everyone from Siemens to Hewlett-Packard getting a mention. At one point, Polycom was in talks to be taken private by both Apax Partners -- which earlier this month bought a majority stake in security specialists Sophos -- and the Gores Group, which is the majority owner of Siemens Enterprise Communications Group.

Polycom in April was also said have hired Morgan Stanley to explore a possible sale.

Polycom's stock price rose late last month following better-than-expected quarterly results for its first fiscal quarter, in which Polycom reported revenues of $276 million, up 23 percent year-over-year from the $225 million.

Of note was its video solutions segment, where revenue grew 21 percent to $189 million, and its voice communications segment, where revenue grew 26 percent to $87 million, according to Polycom.