Unisys’ new CEO is Gateway’s ex-chief

Posted: October 07, 2008

Unisys Corp. said today that it has named former Gateway chief executive J. Edward (Ed) Coleman as its new chairman and CEO.

Coleman, 57, will take over as CEO from Joseph W. McGrath.

Last month, the Blue Bell-based technology services provider said McGrath would step down so it could move more quickly to execute its strategy.

Henry Duques will step down as chairman to become lead director, the company said.

Unisys lost money in the first half of the year and has been struggling with weakness in financial services and federal contract delays.

The company called Coleman "a recognized leader in driving corporate transformations and turnarounds" at technology companies, including Gateway, CompuCom, and Arrow Electronics Enterprise.

His most recent job was CEO of Gateway, a computer company that had soared in the 1990s but later struggled in a fiercely competitive computer market. On Coleman's watch, Gateway was sold to Acer Inc. last year for $710 million.

"Ed Coleman is the right leader to take Unisys to the next stage of its transformation," Duques said. "He 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."

McGrath joined Unisys from Xerox Corp. in 1999 and took the top job in 2005. McGrath, who worked to focus Unisys on high-profit businesses and cost-cutting, had hoped to turn a profit this year after steady losses.

He had faced pressure from activist shareholders, including MMI Investments L.P., which urged splitting government and private-sector work into separate companies. Unisys gave MMI's president, Clay Lifflander, a board seat in May. It also retained the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to recommend its strategic choices by year's end.

Unisys had announced that it was moving its headquarters - and 225 employees - to Two Liberty Place, but more recently has said it will be reevaluating that decision since being denied a variance to put up a company sign on the building.

Shares of Unisys were priced at $2.08, up $0.03 (1.46 percent), soon after the market opened today. The price has ranged from $1.96 to $7.90 in the last 52 weeks.

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