West Coast Video VAR Nabs Former Polycom Americas President

Solutionz Conferencing, a Brentwood, Calif.-based integrator and specialist in videoconferencing, unified communications and managed services, named a former president of Polycom's Americas region to be its new chief operating officer.

Thomas B. Johnston, known as Brad, will lead Solutionz's business development, strategic planning and sales execution. Pepper Fernandez, Solutionz' CEO, cited Johnston's UC experience as a "tremendous" asset to the company.

"His ability to lead with integrity and excellence has left an indelible mark in the space and I look forward to the momentum and resulting growth his acceptance promises," Fernandez said in a statement.

Johnston has spent more than 24 years in the communications space. He became president, Polycom Americas, in July 2009, and ran Polycom's sales, engineering and channels organizations in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and Latin America regions for more than two years.

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Earlier his career, Johnston was president, Americas, of Polycom archrival Tandberg, which was in 2010 acquired by Cisco. From 1998 he worked at Cisco as operations director, and before then, he had been at AT&T since 1978, and was also general manager of the enterprise sales and service division of Lucent Technologies starting in 1996.

[Related: The 25 Blockbuster Channel Executive Moves of 2011 ]

Johnston left Polycom in the fall of 2011, and his role is now split between David Ruggiero, who joined Polycom in October 2011 as Theater President, North America, and Hansjoerg Wagner, who became Polycom's senior vice president, global field operations in May, and who now runs Polycom's APAC and CALA businesses.

While Polycom experiences broad executive turnover, Johnston's move also puts him among several notable Polycom alumni now with solution provider partners specializing in video, as well as with emerging videoconferencing vendors.

David Phillips, who was senior vice president, worldwide sales at Polycom until February 2009, is now president and COO of Eatontown, N.J.-based Yorktel, for example, while Jim Fairweather, who was vice president, North America & U.S. sales at Polycom until 2009 and later went to HP, became Vidyo's vice president, worldwide channels in August 2011.