Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:26

AT&T, Avaya & Others - Latest Telecom Products Exec and Board Moves Featured

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AT&T Appoints Oil States International’s CEO to Board; While Long-Time Board Member to Retire

AT&T has appointed Cindy B. Taylor, 51, to its board of directors. Taylor is president, CEO and a director of Oil States International, a diversified solutions and services provider for the oil and gas industry. Taylor served as Oil States' president and COO from 2006 to 2007 and as its SVP-CFO and treasurer from 2000 to 2006. Previously, she worked in public accounting for Ernst & Young and in senior finance positions with other energy industry companies. Taylor is also a director of Tidewater. She previously served as a director of Global Industries.

AT&T board member Dr. Gilbert Amelio, 70, has decided to retire to devote more attention to a wide range of professional and personal activities. Amelio has been an AT&T Director since 2001 and had previously served as an Advisory Director of AT&T from 1997 to 2001. Also, he was a Director of Pacific Telesis Group from 1995 until 1997 when the company was acquired by AT&T (then known as SBC Communications).

Senior Executives Leave BlackBerry

BlackBerry EVP David Smith is leaving the company. Smith was in charge of the PlayBook tablet. He served as EVP, Enterprise Mobile Computing. Earlier he served as SVP, VP and Director of Product management. He joined the company from Nortel in 2005, where he served as Director, Marketing & Programs, Wireless. His resignation follows a string of other BlackBerry departures.

Richard Piasentin, former VP of U.S. sales, is no longer with the company. He served as VP and Managing Director, US Sales, Marketing and Operations at BlackBerry, Global VP Commercial Operations Handheld at RIM, Global VP Commercial Operations and Sales transformation at Nortel, Global Vice President Commercial Operations at Nortel, Vice President, 3rd Party Products and Services at Nortel, VP North Eastern Europe at Nortel, Director, Vodafone Global account at Nortel.

Two executives in charge of key functions at BlackBerry have also left the company. T.A. McCann, a vice president in charge of all social networks at BlackBerry, left the company. McCann joined the company when it acquired his contact-management company Gist in 2011. Soon afterward, he was put in charge of developing and maintaining the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn applications on BlackBerrys. He was also responsible for the company's popular instant messaging tool, BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM.

Marc Gingras, whose social-calendar company Tungle.me was acquired by BlackBerry in 2011, also left the company. Gingras was tasked with retooling the calendar and contacts applications for BlackBerry 10, the phone maker's new operating system. People familiar with the matter said Gingras was the driving force behind one of the new phones' more well-received features: the "hub." The feature lets phone users check all their messages in one place without closing other applications.

Avaya Appoints Head of Global Sales and MD for Australia and New Zealand

Avaya, the telecommunications-equipment maker owned by private-equity firms, has appointed Pierre-Paul Allard, an executive hired from Cisco last year, as its new head of global sales. Allard, who spent 19 years at the computer-networking company before joining Avaya, becomes SVP in charge of worldwide sales and president of field operations. Allard was president of Cisco’s Canadian division from 1993 to 2003, then held a series of vice president titles there.

Tom Mitchell, Avaya’s current head of sales, will leave the company soon.

Avaya also named Tim Gentry as Managing Director for Avaya's business in Australia and New Zealand. Gentry joined the ANZ executive team earlier this year following a highly successful period as VP for Civilian/Advanced Program and Sales Operations for Avaya Government Solutions (and previously Nortel Government Solutions) in the US. Prior to Avaya and Nortel, Gentry provided direction and management for the business design for Adelphia Communications in the US and was a Senior Partner at VGE where he led the management consulting practice.

Tim takes over from interim ANZ leader Rick Seeto who has relocated to Singapore, where he will continue to drive the Avaya Channels and Marketing Groups.

Polycom Sees CEO Change; Sales Leader Leaves

Polycom, the provider of unified communications (UC) solutions and a provider of telepresence, video, voice and infrastructure solutions, named Kevin Parker, 53, as Interim CEO. Parker has served on the Polycom board since 2005, and is currently a Managing Principal at Bridge Growth Partners. He replaced Andrew Miller, 53, who resigned as CEO, President and Director, after the Board found certain irregularities in Miller's expense submissions, for which he accepted responsibility.

Tracey E. Newell resigned as Executive Vice President of Global Sales of Polycom. Newell has accepted another position outside of Polycom with a non-competitive company.

Tellabs Appoints iCFO

Telecommunications equipment company Tellabs appointed Lawrence A. (Larry) Rieger, 62, its acting CFO. Rieger succeeds Thomas P. Minichiello, who resigned, effective to become CFO at Westell Technologies. Since 2002, Rieger has been a partner with Crowe Horwath, a public accounting and consulting firm. Rieger has worked closely with Tellabs since 2003 performing internal audit services provided to Tellabs by Crowe Horwath. From 1973 to 2002, Rieger held a series of roles with increasing responsibilities, including managing partner of internal audit services and managing partner assurance services at Arthur Andersen.

Retired Verizon Finance Exec Joins as Director of ARRIS Group

Telecommunications equipment manufacturing company ARRIS Group appointed Doreen Toben to the Board of Directors of the Company. Toben most recently served as executive vice president of Verizon Communications, from February 2009 until her retirement in June 2009. From April 2002 to February 2009, she served as the CFO of Verizon responsible for its finance and strategic planning efforts. Prior to April 2002, Toben was SVP and CFO for Verizon's Telecom Group. Toben is a 30-year telecommunications veteran. She began her career at AT&T and over the years held various of positions of increasing responsibility primarily in treasury, strategic planning and finance both there, and beginning in 1984 at Bell Atlantic. Toben is also a member of the board of directors of Fifth & Pacific Companies (formerly Liz Claiborne), and The New York Times Company.

Date Range: June 28th - July 28th

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Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults, garage.ca, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

www.vell.com/

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