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Banyan looks to new leader

Enterprise networking company Banyan names a former Wang Labs services division president as its new chief executive.

Banyan Systems (BNYN), a struggling enterprise networking provider, today named a former Wang Laboratories services division president as its new chief executive.

William P. Ferry will join the company as CEO and president February 24. He succeeds David C. Mahoney, former chairman, CEO, and president, who said in November he would step down and become vice chairman of Banyan's board of directors. John Burton will remain as chairman.

Jeffrey D. Glidden, who had been acting president and chief operating officer, will now resume his job as senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Burton cited Ferry's leadership skills as one reason for his appointment.

"He is an outstanding executive with strong leadership and business development skills that have been honed at leading global technology companies," Burton said in a statement. "His expertise in building highly successful customer-oriented businesses that must adapt quickly to rapidly changing technology markets is an ideal match for Banyan."

The networking company has faced some challenges of late, leaving analysts to wonder whether it will be able to right itself in the near future.

Banyan has recently suffered large losses and cut its workforce by 15 percent. The company reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $26.8 million, or $1.56 a share, compared to a loss of $17.3 million or $1.03 per share for the comparable quarter a year earlier.

Ferry, 44, previously oversaw the global expansion of Wang's business in networking and customer services during the past six years. During his tenure at Wang, Ferry managed the integration of several major acquisitions and also ran Wang's VS minicomputer hardware and software development and global manufacturing operations.

In joining Banyan, Ferry said in a statement: "The first step is to firmly engage Banyan's customers and industry partners to understand the ways that we can increase our value and responsiveness to their needs. In addition, we must continue to pursue opportunities that will allow us to leverage our core technologies and expand our reach through the development of open, standards-based solutions."