Unisys? troubles deepened last week when CEO James Unruh quit after seven years in the top position.
A Unisys representative claimed that Unruh?s resignation was no surprise as he had previously indicated that he wanted to ?bring his private life back into the front seat?.
Some shareholders believe he failed to renew his contract with the board, which expires at the end of the month. One shareholder said: ?I suspect he has been trying to renegotiate for the past six months or so. I also suspect that the board is really starting to feel the heat from the stockholders as well as the employees.? Low morale, lack of growth and leadership were blamed.
The board has hired a firm of headhunters to search for a replacement, and a search committee, which includes Unruh, has been formed by the board. Company chiefs do not believe a replacement CEO will be found for several months.
But shareholders fear it will be difficult to recruit someone, ?because of the company?s poor performance?, as one put it.
Unruh has steered Unisys through tumultuous change, particularly in the past two years. After losing market share in the systems world, it reinvented itself as a services company, and two years ago, split itself into three independent units for systems integration, maintenance and systems hardware. But Unisys had to slash 4,000 jobs ? eight per cent of its workforce ? as a result.
Earlier this year, Unisys reported a net income for the quarter ended 31 March of $19 million on turnover of $1.53 billion, against a loss of $13.4 million on revenue of $1.42 billion last year.
In a letter to staff, Unruh said Unisys still had much to do to get itself back on its feet. He wrote: ?Given what still must be accomplished, today?s announcement should in no way be viewed as a departure from the current strategic direction we have developed to achieve the company?s long-term success.?
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