CA hires Dell exec as new CFO

Computer Associates International (CA) is raiding Dell to fill one of its last remaining top management vacancies. The company said Wednesday it has hired Robert Davis, formerly Dell's chief accounting officer, as its new chief financial officer (CFO).

Davis, who will start March 1, fills a spot left open after CA fired CFO Ira Zar in October 2003, in connection with its investigation of an accounting scheme carried out in CA's 2000 and 2001 fiscal years that resulted in improper recording of US$2.2 billion in revenue. Zar later pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the fraud.

CA hired former Hewlett-Packard executive Jeff Clarke as its CFO last April, but quickly promoted him to chief operating officer, leaving its CFO spot once again empty. Clarke has filled the role on an interim basis since his promotion.

Davis's appointment means CA has nearly completed rebuilding its executive team after fallout from the company's accounting fraud forced out more than a dozen company leaders, including CA's then-chief executive officer (CEO). New CEO John Swainson is expected to formally take control of the company within the next few months, while CA remains for the moment under the leadership of interim CEO Ken Cron.

CA also named an additional board member this week, retired IBM executive William McCracken. The move expands CA's board to 11 members, including eight outside directors. Overhauling its board became a priority for CA after its accounting scheme was exposed, and following criticism from analysts and shareholders about the company's corporate governance policies. Only two current CA directors served on the company's board prior to 2002: company co-founder Russ M. Artzt and outside director Alfonse D'Amato, a CA board member since 1999.

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