CA CEO-to-be begins revamp

Incoming Computer Associates International (CA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Swainson made his first executive changes at the company last week by shuffling two of its top executives. Swainson placed company veteran Russell Artzt in charge of CA's product portfolio and moved CA's previous top products executive, Mark Barrenechea, to the newly created position of executive vice president of technology strategy and chief technology architect.

Artzt co-founded CA with longtime CEO Charles Wang in 1976, and is one of the few entrenched company leaders to survive the accounting scandal that took down CA's management team last year and led to criminal charges against a number of former executives. Barrenechea, formerly with Oracle, joined CA in 2003 as senior vice president of product development.

Swainson, named CA's CEO-to-be in November after a long career at IBM, is currently exploring CA while the company formally remains under the leadership of interim CEO Ken Cron. A CA spokeswoman said Swainson will take over as CEO sometime in the April-to-June timeframe.

Swainson announced Artzt's and Barrenechea's new positions in an e-mail memo sent to CA employees on Friday. Swainson cast the changes as part of an organisational revamp that will move CA from a brand-based organisational structure to a more traditional business-unit structure.

Islandia, New York-based CA has been through a number of internal reorganisations in the past few years. When founder Wang handed the CEO position to his protege, Sanjay Kumar, in 2000, Kumar swiftly reworked CA to address customer concerns about support quality and sales tactics, and to appease investors and analysts worried about CA's tradition of growing through rapid acquisitions. Under Kumar, CA took a hiatus from major acquisitions and overhauled its support organisation. In 2002, Kumar restructured the company into five business units around CA's six software brands. Artzt headed CA's eTrust security products portfolio.

Kumar left CA last year, shortly before being indicted in connection with an accounting scheme that led CA to prematurely book US$2.2 billion in revenue in 2000 and 2001. Kumar has pleaded not guilty to charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice.

In addition to reorganising CA's internal operations, Swainson signaled in Friday's memo that he's ready to restart CA's acquisitions shopping. CA spent US$430 million in October to buy identity and access management software maker Netegrity, and in August it bought antispyware developer PestPatrol for an undisclosed amount.

"Consolidation is a key driver in the technology industry today; the competitive landscape is changing fast," Swainson wrote in the memo to employees.

"To ensure that CA is on the forefront of the consolidation trend, Mark will work with (Chief Operating Officer) Jeff Clarke and me to take the lead role in driving CA's technology and M&A activity."

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