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Microsoft, CenturyLink Alum to Lead Masergy

The company's former CEO remains on the team.

James Anderson

September 13, 2018

3 Min Read
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Masergy appointed a new chief executive.

The provider of networking, security and UCaaS solutions named James Parker CEO, replacing Chris MacFarland.

Parker, a longtime veteran of both the telecommunications and IT industries, praised Masergy’s culture, vision and “unparalleled customer experience” in an announcement Thursday.

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Masergy’s James Parker

“Given the increasing rate of change in technology, Masergy’s agile and secure solutions uniquely empower global enterprises to realize their digital ambitions. I look forward to working closely with Chris and the leadership team to capitalize on the enormous market opportunities in front of us,” Parker said.

Parker most recently worked for Tata Communications, a rival provider of SD-WAN. He worked as executive vice president and chief customer officer for the London-based vendor. That position followed a four-year stint at CenturyLink, where he led sales for hosting, cloud, colocation and consulting.

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in August.

But the biggest chunk of Parker’s career has been in IT. He worked for 13 years at Microsoft in a variety of positions, and a few of those jobs involved overseeing partner groups.

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Masergy’s Chris MacFarland

MacFarland remains with Masergy. He has shifted his role to executive chairman and chief technology officer. MacFarland is popular with Masergy employees, scoring a 97 percent rating on Glassdoor last year.

“James is a seasoned executive in the technology sector, and his proven ability to execute on vision and strategy combined with his passion for superior customer experience makes him the perfect choice as Masergy’s next CEO,” MacFarland said. “We are very excited to have James join the company. Our shared vision is for Masergy to become a $1 billion-plus revenue company by significantly outpacing our competition with rapid product innovation and the industry’s best customer experience.”

The Economic Times reported Monday that Parker had resigned from his post at Tata Comunications. Vinod Kumar, Tata’s managing director and group CEO, will oversee the company’s sales organization for the time being.

Masergy, founded in 2000, has made major inroads with the channel community in recent years. It recognized its top sales partners last month, showing a lengthy list of master agents it works with. Avant Communications and Intelisys are the vendor’s highest-achieving partners.

Berkshire Partners acquired the company in 2016, setting off a new period of growth. MacFarland said at the time that new funds would go into technology development as well as Masergy’s channel program.

Masergy has touted its managed SD-WAN offering and recently enhanced its UCaaS portfolio. It launched contact-center capabilities last year, and its managed security offerings are a staple of its portfolio. The company covers a wide convergence of IT and telecom technologies, which is one of the reasons Parker’s résumé makes him look like a natural fit.

MacFarland told Edward Gately of Channel Partners last year that …… his company and its industry are moving away from a transactional and commodity-based business model to a focus on “cloud-first computing.”

“Masergy has been ahead of the competition in these areas, able to deliver automation, virtualization and programmable solutions that take the complexity out of the equation and allow customers to respond more quickly and effectively to digital-transformation opportunities,” he said. “Our focus on innovations such as SD-WAN, cloud computing and support for high-performance applications allows us to help our customers and partners to anticipate change and to easily evolve to where the market is headed.”

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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