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Unisys Names Turnaround Specialist To Top Post

Unisys wasted no time in finding a new chief executive officer in the person of J. Edward Coleman, who takes over the helm of the struggling IT services firm from Joseph McGrath, whose resignation was announced two weeks ago.

Coleman becomes Unisys' CEO and chairman after sprucing up PC maker Gateway Inc. for a sale to Acer Inc. in 2007 for a premium price. Coleman also has experience in Unisys' core services business. He spent 17 years as an executive at IBM and at Computer Sciences Corp. where he played a key role in "growing its IT outsourcing business and integrating the company's outsourcing, systems integration and management consulting," according to a Unisys release.

Unisys called Coleman a "corporate transformation leader" in a statement.

Unisys has been moving away from its origins in hardware manufacturing in recent years, but Coleman, who oversaw hardware operations at Gateway, told the Wall Street Journal that he would "take a fresh look" at Unisys' hardware offerings.

"This is a company with a long and rich heritage, quality services and solutions, deep industry expertise, excellent technology, and most of all, a highly talented and committed work force," Coleman said in a statement Tuesday.

Coleman also has held executive positions at CompuCom and Arrow Electronics Enterprise Computing Solutions Group. He replaces McGrath as CEO and Henry Duques as chairman. Duques will continue as a Unisys board member.

Citing negative financial reports, major investor MMI Investments, L.P. has long pushed for a top management change at Unisys. Last month, Unisys reported a loss of $14 million on sales of $1.34 billion for its second quarter.