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Polycom Falls as Top Sales Executives Leave: San Francisco Mover

Polycom Inc., a maker of videoconferencing equipment, declined 9.6 percent, the most since October, after an analyst said at least two top sales executives have left the company.

Shares of the Pleasanton, California-based company dropped to $18.05 at the close in New York. The stock had gained 23 percent this year before today.

Jason Noah Ader, an analyst at William Blair & Co. in Boston, wrote in a note today that the departures include George Lillig, Polycom’s vice president of U.S. government, educational and medical sales. The loss of Lillig and other key sales personnel may mean that the company’s effort to overhaul its U.S. sales organization, begun last year, may take longer than management expected, Ader said.

“They didn’t want to see these guys go,” Ader said in an interview. “These were seasoned guys, and they have to stop the bleeding in the U.S.”

Lillig is now employed by a partner of Polycom, not a competitor, said Laura Graves, vice president for investor relations.

“We have anticipated changes in some areas of sales and there is a road map and succession plan in place,” Graves said in an interview.

Chief Executive Officer Andrew Miller told investors in January the company was working on a “turnaround” of sales in the Americas, led by new hire David Ruggiero. Polycom added 24 account managers and sales engineers, and aligned the sales pipeline with Microsoft Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

“Management had told people that things were stabilizing after the restructuring, and after these departures it’s clear they’re going to take some time,” Ader said.

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