First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

UC Vendor Unify Has a New CEO

Atos, Unify's new owner, appoints channel chief Jon Pritchard to replace Dean Douglas to lead the company and its efforts around the Circuit platform.

Download the authoritative guide:

IT business

Unify, the unified communications technology company that now is a business unit within IT vendor Atos, has a new CEO.

Jon Pritchard, who had been executive vice president of channels at Unify, is now taking over the unified communications (UC) business, replacing Dean Douglas after more than two years as CEO. Atos officials announced the change Feb. 17.

The move comes less than a month after Atos completed the $371 million acquisition of Unify from the Gores Group and Siemens. For his part, Douglas is now president of sales and marketing for CenturyLink, a communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company. In addition, CenturyLink also named Bill Hurley as chief marketing officer, a role he also served in at Unify under Douglas.

During his tenure, Douglas oversaw a lot of change at Unify. He came to Unify in January 2014, just months after the company changed its name from Siemens Enterprise Communications and 10 months before it launched its UC platform, Circuit, once code-named Project Ansible. Circuit is a browser-based solution built atop WebRTC standards and is designed to make it easy for users to move from one mode to another regardless of the device they're using, important capabilities at a time when employees are becoming increasingly mobile and using a broad array of devices, including smartphones and tablets, to communicate.

During his earlier role at Unify, Pritchard—a 25-year veteran of the IT industry—led the company's efforts to become a more channel-focused company. Before Unify, he was president of Comstor Worldwide, a global channel IT business where he led the company's Cisco dedicated business practice.