Wyly details plans for CA as part of proxy fight

Entrepreneur Sam Wyly today announced the details of what he plans to do with Computer Associates International Inc. if he succeeds in taking over management control of the software vendor, claiming CA users will be better off if the company is split into four independent pieces.

Under Wyly's plan, which was labeled as flawed by CA officials, the company would be turned into four separate business units that would each be free to sell to new and existing corporate accounts. The business units also would have their own services organizations under the proposal made by Ranger Governance Ltd., Wyly's Dallas-based investment firm.

The plan would also create an "elite national account organization" to work with users who still want a single point of contact. But Ranger Governance said in a statement that it "believes that autonomous business units provide an excellent opportunity to improve customer support by moving the company closer to its customers and their specific, rapidly evolving needs."

It added that the services organizations tied to each business unit would de-emphasize general consulting jobs and be limited to work that "relate[s] directly to CA products." That matches a strategy already being put in place by CA following a drop-off in its services business during the company's fiscal first quarter ended June 30.

CA declined to issue a formal statement after Wyly's plan was announced, but outside spokesman Owen Blicksilver said on the company's behalf that the restructuring proposal "was unworkable." Breaking the company up into separate units "is not an effective way for CA to run its business and not the way the customer base wants it to run its business," Blicksilver said.

Blicksilver added that CA already has a sales structure similar to what Wyly is proposing, without the independent business units. For large users, CA assigns a client relationship manager who oversees all its dealings with customers, he said. Under the managers are sales teams that have members who specialize in specific technologies. "It sounds as if what Mr. Wyly is proposing in terms of client services is already there," Blicksilver said.

Wyly is staging a proxy fight to win control of Islandia, New York-based CA at the vendor's annual shareholders meeting, which is scheduled to take place Aug. 29. If he succeeds, he will take over from CA board Chairman Charles Wang and appoint a new slate of board members and a new management team.

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