Unisys board taps Coleman as CEO

The board of directors at Unisys Corp. announced today that it has elected J. Edward Coleman to serve as the company's new chairman and chief executive officer, effective immediately.

A 30-year veteran of the information technology industry, Coleman succeeds Joseph McGrath, who the company said last month had agreed to step down from his position as CEO. That announcement was followed by the departure on Oct. 3 of Greg Baroni, who led Unisys' federal business.

Coleman will take over the role of chairman from Henry Duques, who has agreed to serve instead as lead director of the board.

Coleman most recently was CEO of PC manufacturer Gateway Inc., of Irvine, Calif. It is now owned by Taiwanese PC company Acer. He has also worked at Arrow Electronics, CompuCom Systems, Computer Sciences Corp. and IBM Corp.

Coleman served in various leadership positions at CSC, from which he was able to help grow the company's outsourcing business and integrate key business lines to create greater synergy, Unisys officials said in a statement.

Unisys has been under steady attack by MMI Investments LP, a New York investment firm that holds about 9.1 percent of the company's stock. The firm has criticized Unisys since 2007 for "the seemingly continuous stream of management, operational and financial missteps," the Wall Street Journal reported.

Also this year, Unisys retained Goldman Sachs to investigate alternatives for maximizing shareholder value. McGrath said in July that he expected results of the investigation to be announced by the end of the year.

Unisys plans to release its third-quarter 2008 financial results and hold a conference call with investors Oct. 30, during which Coleman will articulate his initial strategy for the company.

Coleman "has a strong track record of helping IT companies successfully narrow their business focus and build on core strengths to drive revenue and earnings growth," Duques said in today's statement.

Unisys, of Blue Bell, Pa., ranks No. 26 on Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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