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May 10, 2010
A former CEO of videoconferencing vendor Tandberg is returning to the top spot, this time at Polycom, as speculation abounds the company is positioning itself for acquisition.
Andrew Miller, former CEO of Tandberg, was named president and CEO of Polycom to succeed Robert Hagerty, who will step down as CEO, president, and chairman and is resigning from the Board but will continue to act as an adviser, according to the company.
Miller joined Polycom in 2009 as executive vice president of Global Field Operations following executive stints at Tandberg and Cisco, which acquired Tandberg at the end of 2009. Miller was CEO at Tandberg from 2005-2009.
The company’s decision to promote Miller into the top spot comes as rumors begin to swirl that Polycom is putting itself up for sale. Earlier this year, Reports circulated that venture capital firms Gores Group and Apax Partners both had been in talks with Polycom for a buyout. There were also reports that Morgan Stanley has been shopping Polycom to prospective buyers.
It would be a good time for Polycom to be acquired. Amid fierce competition with Cisco, the unified communications vendor has been on a roll since late last year forging partnerships with myriad companies including HP, Microsoft, Juniper and Siemens, to name a few, through its Open Collaboration Network strategy. The idea behind OCN is to align Polycom’s technology to incorporate or complement that of other companies.
So far, the strategy seems to be working. In its first quarter of 2010, Polycom reported a 21 percent increase in its video solutions segment revenue to $189 million and a 26 percent increase in its voice communications revenue to $87 million.
As the unified communications space continues to heat up, Polycom becomes an even more attractive acquisition target. Miller’s task is to make sure that happens.
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