The American communication technology firm, Avaya which is struggling with its huge debt has appointed Jim Chirico, currently Avaya’s chief operating officer (COO) and global sales leader, as chief executive officer (CEO), effective October, 1 2017. The incumbent, Kevin Kennedy, will retire as CEO and a member of the Board of Directors but will remain as an advisor to the company. Chirico will join the Board, said Avaya in a statement.
Jim Chirico joined Avaya in 2008, and has held a variety of positions at the company. As COO and global sales leader, he is responsible for operations, global sales, sales operations, human resources and quality. Prior to Avaya, Chirico was executive vice president, global operations, development and manufacturing at Seagate Technology. Before joining Seagate, Chirico spent 17 years as an executive with IBM, including leadership of the networking division.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead Avaya at a critical point in its history. I will work closely with Kevin over the next two months to ensure a smooth transition as we also continue the process to emerge from chapter 11,” said Jim Chirico.
“We will enter this next chapter with unique strengths and a new capital structure, and I look forward to working with the talented Avaya team to accelerate our long-term success. Kevin has been my mentor and coach for the past nine years, and I am grateful to be his successor. We all thank him for his leadership and success in transforming Avaya and navigating the debt restructuring process,” he added.
Kevin Kennedy legacy at Avaya
Under Kennedy‘s leadership, Avaya has made a successful transition as a software and services company while also more than doubling the company’s Net Promoter Score. In the second fiscal quarter of 2017, software and services accounted for approximately 79% of Avaya’s total revenue. Kennedy played a key role in ensuring Avaya is well-positioned to emerge from chapter 11 with enhanced focus on customer and team engagement, following the divestiture of the Networking business, and saw that Avaya preserved its industry-leading financial model throughout the restructuring process.
“Jim and I have worked together for nearly a decade, and I have witnessed firsthand the instrumental role he played in our successful transformation. I’m confident he has the knowledge, experience and skills to help Avaya effectively serve our customers, grow, continue the company’s spirit of innovation and capture even more market share,” said Kennedy.