Andy Miller Ousted as CEO of Polycom
After markets closed yesterday, Polycom announced its financial results and also mentioned the appointment of Kevin Parker as Interim Chief Executive Officer. Andy Miller, the CEO for the past three three years, resigned after an audit committee found “irregularities” in Mr. Miller’s expense submissions, for which Mr. Miller accepted responsibility.
"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 prepared release.
Miller was promoted to CEO in June of 2010 from his position as Vice President of Global Field Operations which he held for about a year. During his term as CEO, Miller spearheaded a number of key projects including a tight alliance with Microsoft, a new company logo, the sale of its wireless phone division, and a shift toward software-based solutions. Also during that term the company’s stock price declined about 29 percent overall (June 2010-July 2013), but it did briefly double about a year ago. Prior to working at Polycom, Andy spent 11 years at Cisco, and served as CEO of Tandberg from 2001 to 2006.
No details were provided regarding the irregularities other than a confirmation that the amounts involved did not have a material impact on Polycom’s financial statements for any period.
The Q2-13 financial results beat expectations, but also reflect year-over-year declines.
Miller led Polycom through a period of turbulent change. Ira Weinstein and Andrew Davis of Wainhouse Research wrote, “Within a few months, Miller brought in a brand new management team, re-spun the sales and marketing divisions, and redirected the company efforts to be more externally facing. In the end, he replaced ~ 40% of the company employees, and put the fear of termination into everyone else...However, at some point things started to change as the atmosphere of speed and precision evolved to an atmosphere of fear and constant pressure where ‘unquestioned loyalty’ became the measure of worth.“
In that sense, Miller’s departure was not entirely unexpected, however the terms are. Being dismissed for expense report issues sounds like fraud or theft, but he is actually being retained as an employee until August 15 and receiving payments and goods over $500,000.
We wish Polycom a speedy recovery, and look forward to the firm continuing with impressive contributions to the UC ecosystem.