Unisys Federal changes leadership

James McGuirk, the longtime president of Unisys Federal Systems, quietly left his post recently amid a top management shakeup at the McLean, Va.-based firm.

McGuirk—who is credited with turning Unisys Federal Systems from a mainframe-centric business into one that thrives on providing new information technology services and solutions to the federal government—left Unisys' top federal post to be head of Unisys' newWorldwide Public Sector organization.

Although Unisys officials declined to comment on the management change, sources say Nancy Friedman, formerly the company's vice president and general manager of Performance Solutions Practice, has been tapped to take over as president.

The move, according to a source inside the company, is the result of "a complete corporate realignment" to support Unisys e-@ction Solutions, a new initiative designed to enhance the way the company serves and supports its customers. "It's been briefed to Wall Street, and the [company's] stock jumped 4 3/8 points on the first day," according to the source. As for how this will affect Unisys Federal Systems, "it's going to be interesting," the source said.

"I think it's encouraging that another woman executive has been promoted to a top industry position," said a member of an industry association. "It's another crack in the glass ceiling. I also think that government welcomes this diversity."

Sources would not comment in detail on the reasons for the change, other than to say that McGuirk "wanted a change of venue [and that] he did contribute to turning Unisys around."

McGuirk received Federal Computer Week's 1999 Eagle Award for his leadership role in reinventing Unisys Corp.'s federal group. Each year, FCW awards its Eagle Award to two individuals—one from the private sector and another from the pubic sector—for outstanding accomplishments in federal IT. The winners are selected from the Federal 100, an annual list of federal and private-sector IT professionals selected for their accomplishments in the federal IT marketplace.

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