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Conduent Accounting Exec Plans Exit For ‘Other Career Opportunities’

Allan Cohen is the latest C-level executive to say that he is leaving the company, after CEO Ashok Vemuri announced he would resign later this year.

Conduent’s chief accounting officer announced he is resigning to “pursue other career opportunities,” the company stated in an SEC filing Tuesday.

The executive, Allan Cohen, did not immediately respond to a LinkedIn message seeking comment. According to the 8-K filing, his last day will be June 14.

The news of the latest departure comes three weeks after Conduent CEO Ashok Vemuri’s announcement that he would step down as soon as the board has found a replacement, which he expects to happen by the third quarter.

Meanwhile, the company said that it had hired Cliff Skelton as chief operating officer. Skelton comes to Conduent from Fiserv Output Solutions, where he served as president, Conduent said. He previously spent five years as executive vice president and chief information officer of Fiserv.

“Over the past year, Conduent has made numerous foundational improvements to modernize our infrastructure and drive efficiencies to better serve our customers," said Conduent Chairman of the Board William G. Parrett in a statement. "Cliff's experience across our key verticals and his proven ability to transform operations in the business process outsourcing sector by leveraging innovative technology make him the ideal person to lead our operational team. He will help build on Conduent's efforts as we shift our business to focus on higher value-add digital offerings."

The COO vacancy was highlighted by ex-Conduent board member Michael Nevin in his April 8 resignation letter. He called the search for a chief operating officer a “failed process at Conduent” that had been going on “way too long.”

“This is unquestionably a situation that screams out for Chairman Bill Parrett to assert his leadership position to prevent yet another hasty and ill-thought-out proposal from being rammed through,” Nevin wrote. “And yet he remains silent, allowing this important process that is so crucial for the future of Conduent to become a travesty.”

When asked for comment, Conduent replied to CRN by email and referred questions to the 8-K filing, but said it has begun a search for Cohen’s replacement.

“We are evaluating possible successors for this position,” the company said in a statement. “We anticipate naming his replacement in the near future. No additional comment at this time.”

The Florham Park, N.J.-based business process services company had a rough start to the year.

In April, it engaged in a public battle with Carl Icahn over board leadership, trading accusations via 8-K filings about whether the activist shareholder was plotting a board take over. All of that while also managing falling revenues and a lower earnings outlook.

During the first quarter earnings call three weeks ago – when Vemuri said he was resigning -- the company announced new business signings were down 39-percent in the first quarter, it lost a $140 million contract with the state of California, and its largest customer reduced its sales volume, which in turn hurt revenue.

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