Avaya Brings in Industry Vet as New CEO

By Greg Tavarez August 02, 2022

Avaya was forced into raising $600 million through funding and saw its share price dip by more than 90% since the beginning of 2021. For the third quarter, which ended June 30, revenue will likely hit between $575 million and $580 million. This is lower than the company’s original guidance of $685 million to $700 million.

The recent revenue uncertainty was the likely driving force behind the company removing Jim Chirico from his roles as president and CEO.  Chirico also resigned as a member of Avaya’s (News - Alert) board.

Looking to turn things around for the oft-troubled organization, Avaya named industry veteran Alan Masarek as its president and CEO and as a member of Avaya’s board of directors, effective August 1. Chirico will remain employed with Avaya through August 16 and will work with Masarek to ensure a smooth transition for all stakeholders.

Avaya CEO Alan Masarek

“We are thrilled to welcome Alan as president and CEO. Alan is a proven transformational leader, and after a rigorous search process, the board is confident that Alan is the ideal choice to lead the company into the future,” said Bill Watkins, chairman of Avaya’s Board. “We look forward to benefiting from his decades of industry expertise as we take the next steps to position the company for long-term success.”

Masarek is an industry innovator with a solid track record and expertise in enterprise communications and transformational operational experience bringing together UCaaS, CCaaS and CPaaS capabilities, which are key elements of the Avaya OneCloud Experience platform.

He served as CEO of Vonage (News - Alert) and a member of its board from 2014 to 2019. When Masarek joined Vonage, the company was not going anywhere. It had a stock price that was about $3.50 a share, and the company had revenue of about $850 million. He led Vonage through an era of transformation from a VoIP-based residential phone provider into a global enterprise cloud communications company.

Vonage completed eight acquisitions during his tenure, and market capitalization increased significantly. Masarek led a revitalization of Vonage’s culture, creating a talent-driven organization with a culture of agility, technology innovation and customer centricity.

Avaya hopes he can drive the same leverl of success at his new organization – one that once was among the best-known brands in business communications, but has since failed to capitalize on the cloud movement.

Before his time at Vonage, Masarek was director, Chrome & Apps at Google (News - Alert) Inc., from 2012 to 2014, following Google’s acquisition of his prior company, Quickoffice, where he served as co-founder and CEO. Quickoffice became an established embedded mobile productivity software solution, engaging more than 26 million registered users at the time of Google’s purchase.

“Avaya benefits from an industry-leading brand, world-class customer base and global reach, a rich history of innovation and strong partner ecosystem,” said Masarek. “I look forward to leveraging my background and years of cloud communications experience to propel Avaya to renewed growth and profitability as we build on the company’s strong fundamentals.”

Despite the revenue decline and the switch in CEO, Avaya is continuing to serve more than 100 million unified communications lines worldwide. Masarek, with his experienced background in the industry, is confident Avaya can be fixed and can provide the solutions customers need while improving stakeholder value.

“I intend to undertake a comprehensive strategic and operating review of all facets of the business with the goal of delivering industry-leading solutions to our global customers and enhancing value for all stakeholders,” said Masarek.

Edited by Erik Linask
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