CA names new head of Unicenter business

CA has appointed Ajei Gopal, Symantec's former chief technology officer, to lead its enterprise systems management business unit.

Gopal's appointment, announced Tuesday, brings to a close CA's recent round of executive reshuffling sparked by a number of high-profile managers leaving the company earlier this year. Those moves resulted in new positions for existing staff and some fresh appointees. Last week, CA appointed a new chief financial officer, Nancy Cooper, currently CFO at IMS Health, who's set to join the company later this month.

Gopal is taking over from Al Nugent as senior vice president and general manager of the enterprise systems management (ESM) business unit and will report to Russ Artzt, CA's executive vice president of products.

In June, CA appointed Nugent as its new CTO. At that time, Nugent said he'd also continue in his previous role as ESM head until a replacement was found.

"ESM is a very vibrant part of CA's business," Gopal said. "I'm delighted to be here."

ESM is CA's largest business unit and includes the vendor's Unicenter systems management software. Gopal's task at CA will be to continue to build out the company's systems, networks, database and applications management products for both mainframe and distributed computing in line with the vendor's Enterprise IT Management (EITM) strategy. EITM is a road map for simplifying and more tightly integrating CA's systems management and security software.

"CA's strategy around EITM is absolutely the right thing," Gopal said.

Rival Hewlett-Packard's plan to acquire Mercury Interactive Inc. to bolster its application management capabilities demonstrates how the systems management software market continues to consolidate, Gopal said. "It's all the more reason why CA with its consolidated approach to IT management has the right strategy," he added.

In June, CA appointed Al Nugent as its new CTO. At that time, he said he'd also continue in his previous role as head of the company's enterprise systems management business until a replacement was found.

As part of a company reorganization at Symantec, Gopal became CTO in March replacing Mark Bregman, who joined Symantec when it acquired Veritas. Gopal started at Symantec in August 2004 as senior vice president of global technology and corporate development, later becoming senior vice president of solutions, alliances and operations as Bregman was appointed CTO.

There's no conflict between Gopal's previous role at security software vendor Symantec and his new position at CA since he's not involved in CA's security business unit, which is run by Toby Weiss, he said.

Gopal's career includes stints at Bell Communications Research and at IBM where he held a number of positions including CTO for the vendor's pervasive computing division.

John Swainson, CA's chief executive officer, is also an IBM veteran who spent 26 years at the company. He has already tapped several former IBM colleagues, including new CFO Cooper, when appointing new CA executives.

"I knew John at IBM," Gopal said. "We have a great relationship and I have great respect for him." Given Swainson's success at IBM, it's no surprise that he's able to attract his former colleagues to CA, Gopal added.

Gopal joins CA the day after the company finally filed its fiscal year 2006 annual report 10-K form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, two months after it was originally due. Due to past issues including the awarding of stock options, CA is restating financial results as far back as fiscal year 2002.

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