James A. Unruh to Step Down as CEO of Unisys
Board Initiates Search to Find New CEO
Unruh Will Assist In Transition and Remain Chairman Until 1998 Unisys Annual Meeting
BLUE BELL, PA, JUNE 19, 1997 -- The Board of Directors of Unisys Corporation (NYSE:UIS) today announced it has accepted the resignation of chairman and chief executive officer, James A. Unruh. Mr. Unruh will step down as the company's CEO once a successor has been identified, but, at the Board's request, he has agreed to assist in the search and transition while remaining chairman of Unisys until the company's next annual meeting in April 1998.
The Board said it has formed a search committee of directors to oversee the process, which is expected to take several months.
In a unanimous statement, the Board of Directors said, "Under Jim's leadership we have transformed and repositioned Unisys from a mainframe computer company into a balanced business better able to compete and grow in today's very challenging global environment. Through a difficult and wrenching period, Jim has achieved much in charting and changing the course of this great enterprise. He has earned our respect and admiration for his efforts, and we look to Jim to provide ongoing leadership as a search for his successor gets underway."
The Board has named outside director Kenneth A. Macke, former chairman and CEO of Dayton Hudson Corporation, to chair the search committee, which will also include outside directors Melvin R. Goodes, Edwin A. Huston, Robert McClements, Jr., and Alan E. Schwartz, in addition to Mr. Unruh. Spencer Stuart, the executive search firm, has been retained to conduct the search.
"It has been my privilege to lead Unisys these last seven years," Mr. Unruh said. "During this time we have made tremendous progress toward realizing a major turnaround by balancing our business portfolio with technology-related services that complement our core computer business. Steadily improving results over the past six quarters provide testimony that this strategy has taken hold, and I am confident we will continue to see quarterly year-over-year financial progress and full-year profitability in 1997."
He added, "It has become increasingly clear to me that this is the right time for a change for both the company and for me personally. With a sound plan to grow the company now in place, ensuring a smooth and orderly transition to new leadership will enable Unisys to continue to achieve improved results without interruption."
Mr. Unruh also noted that the decision was made to make the announcement well in advance of his planned departure in order to accelerate the search process and give the Board's search committee open access to all potential candidates. "In the interim, as Unisys CEO, I will remain fully engaged and wholly committed to achieving the company's financial and operating goals."
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RELEASE NO.: 0697/6248
Letter to Unisys Associates: Attached
Unisys is a registered trademark of Unisys Corporation.
June 19, 1997
To My Unisys Associates:
I have just announced that I will step down as chief executive officer of Unisys as soon as a successor has been identified. With a sound strategic direction now laid out, it has become increasingly clear that the time is right for the company and for me personally to begin a smooth leadership transition that allows Unisys to continue to achieve improved results without missing a beat. By making this announcement now, the Board's search committee, of which I am a member, will have ample time and every opportunity to choose a highly qualified new CEO to lead this great company.
Since the search could take several months, I want you to know that I will remain fully engaged in overseeing the day-to-day operations and strategic direction of Unisys. Once my successor has been named, I will stay on to assist in the transition in every way I can. At the Board's request, I will also remain chairman of Unisys up until our next annual shareholders' meeting in April, 1998.
The announcement, of course, cannot begin to convey my thanks, or tell you of the enormous pride and gratitude I feel toward all of you for what we have accomplished together. While there is still much to be done, we have laid the foundation for a Unisys that can generate new services- and open technology-based growth to complement our recognized strength in traditional computer hardware. Thanks to you, Unisys is better able to compete and prosper in today's challenging global marketplace than ever before.
Over the past six quarters, the steady improvement in our financial results provides evidence that our three businesses/one company concept has taken hold. I am sure we will continue to see further improvements, and I remain confident that we will achieve full-year profitability in 1997.
For me, it is time to reorder my priorities in favor of the personal aspects of my life that, over the past seven years, have had to take a back seat to charting a new strategic course for Unisys. The Board and I are convinced that this strategic "blueprint" is the right one for Unisys.
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. On the contrary, it has been our persistent focus on that direction that has enabled us to progress this far. Now is the time to press ahead even more aggressively.
James A. Unruh