5 June 2004 Sanjay Kumar, the former CEO and chairman of Computer Associates (CA), has finally resigned as the company attempts to draw a line under its recent accounting scandal.
Kumar has not been implicated in any wrongdoing, but was CEO when some of the abuses took place. In a statement, Kumar said that his stepping down to take the specially created position of “chief software architect” in April had not had the intended result of making “a break with the past”.
“I have reluctantly concluded that as long as I hold any position, focus on past issues and my current role will continue,” he said. “[My resignation] hopefully will permit CA to move forward.”
CA chairman Lewis Ranieri said that the company is continuing its work with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its investigation into improper reporting of results in 2000-2001. CA has recently offered a settlement of $10 million to the SEC to end its inquiry, which in part depends on the co-operation of the company under scrutiny.
“We are working hard to take the remedial steps necessary to put this entire matter behind CA,” said Ranieri. “Sanjay’s decision to leave CA was made in that spirit.”
At last month’s CA World user conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, CA executives were insistent that Kumar would continue to play a central role at the company. Although Kumar himself was elusive, chief operating officer Jeff Clarke told Infoconomy that he would be active in planning long-term software strategies, aiding the handover of day-to-day operations to the new board and talking to customers.
But it was apparent that the role of chief software architect overlapped significantly with other high-level positions. Kumar had no operational or managerial responsibilities and no senior staff reporting to him directly – nor will he be replaced.
Kumar joined CA in 1987 and quickly became protege to chairman and founder Charles Wang. He became CEO in August 2000 and chairman two years later, becoming one of the highest paid executives in the software industry.
Turnaround specialist (December 2003)
Sanjay Kumar, CEO of Computer Associates, has transformed the company’s flagging fortunes and reputation.