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Mitel Reorganizes - President Leaves, Business Units Simplified, More Changes

mitellogo.jpgMitel today announced a series of organizational changes, including the departure of Paul Butcher, Mitel's President and Chief Operating Officer. The news release indicates they are merging together various sales organizations and simplifying the business units into three:
  • Mitel Communications Solutions: responsible for delivering unified communications and collaboration products and services to businesses.
  • Mitel NetSolutions: responsible for network and hosted services, mobile services, and broadband connectivity.
  • Mitel DataNet: responsible for the distribution of third-party products to partners and customers.

It also briefly mentions the departure of Paul Butcher as of Saturday. From a product point-of-view, there were two statements I found interesting:

  • "a re-direction of our R&D investment to products serving the high-growth market of 100 to 2,500 user organizations." Which makes sense, given that this area is one in which Mitel has traditionally done well.

  • "we intend to exploit our significant market leadership in voice virtualization." i.e. continuing their partnership with VMware. Again this also makes sense given that people are looking for solutions to deploy more applications with less hardware... and looking at virtualization as one of the potential solutions.

To me, all of this is naturally to be expected after Mitel appointed Richard McBee the new CEO back in January 2011. A new CEO comes in and he'll listen for a few months... and then start making changes. Obviously this is his reshaping the organization in the way he thinks it should go.

In that vein, the departure of Paul Butcher is not surprising. Paul had been in the CxO part of Mitel since 2001, coming in at the time when Terry Matthews bought the company back and launched it on its current course. Over that time he was quite involved in many aspects of the company and worked quite a bit with the now-retired CEO Don Smith. With a re-org of this magnitude and with a new CEO wanting to reshape the organization, it's not surprising that some of the previous leadership would leave. I wish Paul well with whatever comes next.

I wish Mitel well, too. I haven't been writing about Mitel all that much lately, but that's more because my own interests are no longer as much with the IP-PBX space that Mitel plays in. If you look at my recent writing, it's mostly been about SIP, Skype, mobile devices... with a handful of IPv6, Voxeo and other topics thrown in. I haven't been really writing about any of the IP-PBX and Unified Communications vendors for a while.

Regardless, I wish them well... though I only recognized a couple of the names in the news release and much has changed since I left Mitel back in 2007, I still have good friends working there and Mitel still has outstanding technology. Their challenge has always been around getting that story out to the larger world. Perhaps these changes will help. We'll see.

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