Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Swainson leaving CA in much better shape than he found it

(By Philip Carnelley, 2 Sep 09 09:15) CA has announced that CEO John Swainson will retire at the end of this year (possibly sooner – a successor is yet to be appointed) after five years. The circumstances are very different to those when he took the helm, which says a lot about the job he’s done for CA. When he took over, the software infrastructure giant was racked by scandal over its governance: insider trading, executive compensation and accounting practices were all under fire. The previous CEO (and Chairman) Sanjay Kumar and several other executives were found guilty of fraud – Kumar received a 12 year jail sentence.

CA, the company, dusted itself down and carried on. It paid $225m in restitution and renewed its board and senior management team, including the appointment of Swainson, a long-time IBM veteran. The words ‘chalice’ and ‘poison’ must have come to his mind, when he was approached… So all credit to the job he’s done, and the team he’s built. CA remains a major software player, with over $4bn in global revenues: we make it the 10th largest supplier to the UK software market. The next CEO has a hard act to follow – but inherits a company in surprisingly good shape.

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