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Atos Hires Avanade Veteran As New North American CEO

Dave Seybold, also a former IBMer, is the French solution provider’s third North American CEO in just less than a year.

French solutions provider Atos has a new North America CEO – the third in just less than a year for the division, which generated about $3.2 billion in annual revenue last year or nearly a quarter of the company’s overall revenue.

Avanade and IBM veteran Dave Seybold is now leading Atos North America, replacing former CEO Bryan Ireton, who took the role last June 1 after serving as Atos’ senior vice president in charge of infrastructure and data management for North America.

There was no word from Bezons, France-based Atos -- No. 25 on the CRN 2020 Solution Provider 500 list -- on the reason behind the leadership change. The company did not respond to CRN’s request for comment. Ireton’s LinkedIn page indicates he now is self-employed.

Seybold formerly was North American president of Avanade, a Seattle-based joint venture with Microsoft, for just under four years ending in April. In that role, he increased revenue by 36 percent from 2018 to 2020 by emphasizing experience-led consulting services after a 2017 revenue drop, according to his bio on Atos’ website. Seybold previously served as Avanade’s chief operating officer for two years. He was a 25-year veteran of IBM, where his last position was global leader of software and cloud solutions for IBM Global Business Services, the company’s professional services arm.

Atos’ website describes Seybold as an “experienced, global business leader that is inspired by creating business value through digital, cloud technologies and leading diverse, global teams.”

Seybold’s LinkedIn page notes that he’s “had the pleasure of a diverse career,” beginning as a systems engineer at IBM for a decade and also working as a consultant, partner, managing partner, chief operating officer and president.

At Atos, he now oversees a team of 11,000 technologists in its North American division, which includes the United States, Canada, Mexico and Guatemala.

Ireton previously had worked for 12 years at Accenture, including seven as director of operations for financial services across North America. He had replaced former Atos CEO Simon Walsh, who went on to become CEO of technology services company NTT Ltd.’s Americas business.

Atos saw its stock fall the most since 2018 in April after disclosing that auditors had discovered accounting errors at two of its U.S. subsidiaries: Atos IT Solutions and Services and Atos IT Outsourcing Services, which accounted for 11 percent of its overall revenue. On April 1, Atos reported that auditors had identified “several matters related to internal control weaknesses over financial reporting process and revenue recognition in accordance with IFRS 15 leading to several accounting errors, as well as risk of override of controls in this respect.” IFRS 15 is an International Financial Reporting Standard regarding accounting for revenue from customer contracts.

Atos, on April 10, said it had not identified misstatements that were material to its consolidated financial statements, but “several accounting errors were identified as well as internal control weaknesses.”

“The company has decided to conduct a full accounting review of the two U.S. legal entities,” the company said.

Earlier this month, Atos reported that its board would continue to oversee the measures previously announced and implemented by the company, namely the “full review of the accounts of the two U.S. legal entities affected by the auditors’ limitation of scope and the continued deployment of the detailed remediation and prevention plan.”

“Among other things, this covers preventive controls, internal policies and documentation, an HR (human resources) review, competencies and organization, as well as awareness and training,” Atos said.

Atos last November committed $2.4 billion to a new Atos OneCloud initiative aimed at proactively accelerating its customers’ migrations to the cloud.

In February, it reported total 2020 revenue of 11.2 billion euros, equivalent to $13.18 billion, and a net profit of 725 million euros or $853.6 million. Revenue for its North American division declined 6.1 percent to 2.6 billion euros or about $3.2 billion.

“North America performance was fueled by a significant ramp-up of the advanced computing project as well as a ramp-up in the U.S., although product sales performed last year were not repeated in 2020,” Atos said in an April regulatory filing. “The geography faced contrasted situations between its different industries. The steep economical contraction started in the second quarter with Covid-19 led to lower volumes on time and material activities on some of the industries compensated by favorable demand, new solutions and new logos on others…The profitability improvement was generated by workforce optimization initiatives, strong actions on the cost base, and a positive contribution from Maven Wave acquisition.”

Atos acquired Maven Wave, a Chicago-based business and technology consulting firm and Google Cloud Premier Partner, in January 2020 as part of an acquisition spree. In February, Atos abandoned talks to acquire DXC Technology, a Tysons, Va. solution provider that’s No. 3 on CRN’s 2020 CRN Solution Provider 500 list.

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