Polycom eliminates COO position in push to boost margins

Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:46am EDT

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(Reuters) - Videoconferencing equipment maker Polycom Inc said it eliminated the position of chief operating officer at a time when the company is cutting costs to better compete against rivals such as Cisco and Google.

Eric Brown, who was also the chief financial officer, will leave the company "to pursue other opportunities," Polycom said on Thursday.

"Increasing operating margins remains the number one financial priority for Polycom in 2014," Chief Executive Peter Leav said in a statement.

The company said it was streamlining the accounting, finance, services and operations functions to drive the operating margin improvement.

Polycom said in January it would reduce 6 percent of its workforce, following a 4 percent reduction last August.

The company said Chief Accounting Officer Laura Durr would serve as interim CFO while it searches for a replacement.

Polycom's previous CEO Andy Miller had resigned over irregularities in expense submissions last July.

The company, which also makes teleconferencing and content-sharing hardware and software, is facing rising competition from Cisco Systems Inc and Google Inc, which unveiled a videoconferencing system for businesses last month.

Polycom's shares were marginally up at $13.58 in early trade on Thursday.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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