Avaya Shuffle the Pack with a New CFO
Avaya announce some internal management changes and the arrival of a new CFO
Internal management changes can have a huge bearing on the strategy of any business. This week, global communications giant, Avaya have announced that they have appointed a new CFO in industry veteran Kieran McGrath.
Most recently Executive Vice President and CFO at CA Technologies, McGrath, brings decades of experience to the already established Avaya senior management team. CA Technology are one of the world’s leading providers of ICT software and solutions. Their expertise in the software arena has particular relevance to the new Avaya. Avaya have been undertaking a huge shift transforming the business to adopt a more cloud focused services and solutions approach. McGrath’s expertise and experience at CA, who were more familiar with this sort of model, could be invaluable for Avaya moving forward.
Often the most complex aspect of strategic transformation is the understanding and management of financial processes. With this appointment Avaya will be looking to bolster their exiting team and enable smoother transition to recurring billing models. McGrath will assist the existing team in these areas by overseeing financial governance and taking responsibility for the overall control of financial planning, treasury, tax and investor relations.
McGrath’s departure from CA follows Broadcom’s acquisition of the company for almost $19 billion, which was announced in the summer of 2018. The opportunity to use his expertise to assist Avaya in their own strategic transformation was clearly a key motivating factor for McGrath to make the move.
“I am very excited to be joining the Avaya team and look forward to leading the finance organisation in support of Avaya’s transformational journey,”
Former CFO, Pat O’Malley, who was appointed to the role in October 2017, will take on a new role as Senior Vice President for Growth Initiatives. The new role will encompass cross-functional strategic initiatives that are pivotal to Avaya’s primary objective of realising revenue growth in fiscal year 2019.
In addition to the appointment of McGrath, and the role transition for O’Malley, Avaya have also announced that another industry stalwart, in Laurent Philonenko is to leave the organisation. Philonenko has been Senior Vice President for Innovation since May 2018 after previously holding the posts of CTO and Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development.
Responsible for the development of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, mobility and security, within the Avaya portfolio Philonenko will now take up CEO position with one of Avaya’s customer experience management business partners, whose identity is yet to be confirmed. During Avaya’s transition to a more cloud focused solution based model Philonenko has been instrumental in the integration of disruptive technologies within their product and solution stack, as Jim Chirico, Avaya President and CEO recognises.
“Laurent has significantly advanced Avaya’s capabilities in bringing new, disruptive solutions to the market, especially in the areas of artificial intelligence, mobility and security.”
“While we regret he is leaving Avaya, a CEO role is a great opportunity for Laurent and we wish him tremendous success. We will build on and extend the Innovation Incubator that Laurent has established here, to continue delivering innovation that enhances our position as a technology leader.”
Following January’s news from Avaya Engage, regarding the complete overhaul of their existing portfolio, the latest management changes represent a continuation of the transition period that Avaya are currently experiencing. Repositioning and reshuffling both their solution portfolio and management team represents a bold move and reflects the internal realisation that continued transformation is required for long term viability and success.