DURHAM – Jim Chirico, longtime CEO of cloud technology firm Avaya, is to be “removed” from his position as of Aug. 1 and also will resign his board seat, the company says.

Chirico is out as CEO of Aug. 1 and will be replaced by communications technology veteran Alan Masarek.

The company’s stock (NYSE: AVYA) plunged more than 53% today to less than a dollar a share. The management change was disclosed Thursday after the markets closed. Its stock has fallen steadily over the past year from nearly $24.

Avaya has more than 8,000 employees. Its corporate headquarters were moved to Durham from California in October 2020.

“We are thrilled to welcome Alan as President and CEO. Alan is a proven transformational leader, and after a rigorous search process, the Board is confident that Alan is the ideal choice to lead the company into the future. We look forward to benefiting from his decades of industry expertise as we take the next steps to position the company for long-term success,” said Avaya board chair Bill Watkins in the announcement.

Watkins said the board “and I thank Jim for his nearly 15 years of service to Avaya and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Chirico will remain employed with Avaya through Aug. 16 and “will work with Mr. Masarek to ensure a smooth transition for all stakeholders,” the company said.

Masarek is a former executive with Vonage, where he was CEO. He also worked at Google after Google acquired Quickoffice, where he was co-founder and CEO.

In the announcement, masarek noted:  “Avaya benefits from an industry-leading brand, world-class customer base and global reach, a rich history of innovation and strong partner ecosystem. I look forward to leveraging my background and years of cloud communications experience to propel Avaya to renewed growth and profitability as we build on the company’s strong fundamentals. At the same time, I intend to undertake a comprehensive strategic and operating review of all facets of the business with the goal of delivering industry-leading solutions to our global customers and enhancing value for all stakeholders.”