CA executives ordered to pay back $US550 million

A judge on Tuesday ordered three Computer Associates International (CA) executives, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles Wang, to return to the US software vendor about $US550 million out of the $1.1 billion in stocks they had received in a compensation package.

The judge's order relates to a lawsuit filed by a number of CA shareholders last year. The suit alleged that the company's board of directors had approved what the shareholders deemed to be an excessive compensation package for Wang; Sanjay Kumar, CA president and chief operating officer; and Russell Artzt, company co-founder and executive vice president of research and development, said plaintiffs' lawyer Fred Taylor Isquith.

Of the total amount in question, Wang must return the majority, Isquith added.

Delaware Chancery Court Vice Chancellor Myron Steele issued a summary judgment in favor of the CA shareholders on Tuesday, Isquith said.

"It ($550 million) is a big number, of course," Isquith said. "But an even bigger number was granted to the executives by the board. The board went overboard and the court recognised they were completely without authority to issue that kind of money."

CA is considering an appeal of the judgment, the software vendor said.

The judge's decision "would appear to run counter to reasonable expectations all the parties had when the (compensation) plan was approved by CA's shareholders," the company said in the statement.

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