Computer Associates gets new CEO

24 November 2004 Software giant Computer Associates (CA) has finally appointed a new chief executive, six months after its last CEO resigned amid false accounting scandals.

CA has turned to former IBM executive John Swainson to become CEO, although he will not take full responsibility of the software maker for another four to six months.


He will initially take responsibility for CA’s software strategy and product development, while reporting to interim CEO Kenneth Cron.

Swainson is a veteran of IBM’s software group, where he worked on its WebSphere application server. CA’s chairman, Lewis Ranieri, cited the way Swainson turned middleware, “a relatively unknown software solution” into “a $1 billion business” while at IBM as one reason for his selection.

CA has been hunting for a new CEO since the resignation in April 2004 of Sanjay Kumar. Kumar stepped down after an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) into CA’s accounting revealed several improper revenue reporting practices.

Several other senior executives were forced out of CA amid the maelstrom of bad publicity. CA paid $225 million to settle charges of accounting irregularities with federal prosecutors. Kumar, meanwhile, has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to charges of securities fraud. Other executives, including former chief financial officer Ira Zar, have pleaded guilty to charges.

Mr Swainson said in an interview that while developing new markets is essential, CA is “not going to lose our focus on our core customers – our enterprise customers.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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