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Comings & Goings: Avaya Makes Moves to Put New Blood in Senior Management

May 22, 2014

The senior management of a company has always been a big deal, as this is where the direction of a company is firmly established and put to work. Avaya, meanwhile, recently brought in some fresh talent for its senior management levels, in a bid to keep the company focused on the future and carrying on its current level of success... and then some. To that end, the company has brought in Amy Fliegelman Olli and Andrea Cunningham, each specifically suited to the roles the duo was tapped to fill in Avaya.

Amy Fliegelman Olli is set to join Avaya as its new senior vice president and general counsel. Olli comes to Avaya from CA Technologies, where she reportedly held a similar position for that firm, handling the company's legal matters including compliance, internal audit, risk management and several other facets of the operation. Previously, Olli had also spent 18 years with IBM, ultimately reaching the rank of vice president and, again, general counsel for the Americas and Europe. Olli is also noted as the 2010 winner in the Burton's Legends in Law award, a “Woman Worth Watching” from the Diversity Journal and Legal Momentum's 2014 winner of the Aiming High Award.

Andrea Cunningham, meanwhile, is set to enter in as the company's chief marketing officer. Cunningham's career was closely tied to that of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, assisting in the launch of the Apple Macintosh and carrying on from there to work with Pixar as part of her own agency, Cunningham Communication. Cunningham also founded marketing consultancy firm Series C, and serves on the boards of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, The Aspen Institute, and ZERO1: The Art and Technology Network.

With the records of these two in mind, it becomes easy to see why Avaya took an interest. When the opportunity emerges to bring in the former general counsel of IBM for the Americas and Europe, it's hard to pass that up. That's someone who clearly understands the laws and statutes in two of the biggest markets around. A woman who did marketing work on Pixar movies—perhaps the most successful animated films known to mankind—is likewise hard to pass up when the time comes to handle marketing work for Avaya's line of business communications software and similar services. Granted, in that case, the industries aren't exactly complementary, but when there's that kind of success, there's got to be at least some spillover effect going on.

While there would likely be plenty of room for debate about who Avaya could have brought in instead, or even should have brought in instead, on an objective level Avaya seems to have some excellent new additions to its overall team here. Clearly skilled, very experienced, and profoundly active throughout the technology community as a whole, Avaya has brought some very real power to its senior management. Only time will tell what impact overall Olli and Cunningham bring to Avaya's operations, but it's a pretty safe bet that that impact will be big indeed.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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