Polycom Shares Plummet In Wake Of CEO Expense Report Scandal


Polycom shares plummeted 15 percent on Wednesday to $9.49, wiping out $273 million in market capitalization, in the wake of the unexpected resignation of President and CEO Andrew Miller.

Miller officially stepped down Tuesday after an audit committee for Polycom's board of directors found "irregularities" in his expense reports.

Polycom said in a statement that Miller took responsibility for the irregularities, and that the company has tapped Kevin Parker, managing principal at Bridge Growth Partners and a Polycom board member since 2005, as its interim chief executive officer.

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"Andy Miller's resignation under these circumstances is disappointing and should not be viewed as a reflection of the financial integrity of the company, the strength of our team or our plans for the future," Parker said in a statement. "I look forward to working with the Polycom team, partners and customers to drive our strategy forward, and we thank Andy for his four years of service."

Polycom's market capitalization fell to $1.65 billion on July 24, down from $1.92 billion on July 23.

In an emailed statement provided to CRN, Polycom said Miller's departure "does not signal a change in our partner program or our commitment to channel partners. Kevin [Parker] understands the important role our partners play in our success and is 100 percent in line with our approach and vision. Kevin, our executive team, and the Board are confident in Polycom's current business, strategy, leadership, products and solutions -- and are fully committed to our partners and customers."

Miller's departure comes only one week after Polycom's Executive Vice President of Global Sales Tracey Newell unexpectedly left to take a position with another company, according to a Polycom 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the 8-K filing, dated July 23, Polycom said Newell's resignation is "completely unrelated" to Miller's departure.

Miller's resignation was announced at the same time San Jose-based Polycom posted a 15 percent drop in net income to $5.29 million for its second quarter ended June 30, compared with $6.27 million in the year-ago quarter. Sales for the quarter were down 3 percent to $345.23 million compared with the $358.5 million Polycom reported for the same quarter last year.

Miller, who also resigned from his seat on the Polycom board of directors, has been CEO of the company since 2010. Miller first joined Polycom in July 2009 as its executive vice president of global field operations.

Prior to joining Polycom, Miller was CEO of Tandberg, a rival videoconferencing company that was Cisco acquired in 2009.

Polycom said Miller's expense report irregularities had no "material impact" on the company's current or previous financial statements.

"While this situation is disappointing, it should not be viewed as a reflection of the financial integrity of the company, the strength of our team, our plans for the future, or the integrity of its nearly 4,000 employees worldwide," Parker said in an emailed statement provided to CRN. "The Board and I remain fully committed to Polycom's strategy, customers, partners, shareholders and employees."

Polycom's channel sales organization will continue to be led by Ron Myers, senior vice president of global channels, Polycom said.

PUBLISHED JULY 24, 2013