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Calderoni Is Named Ariba CEO

Robert Calderoni will be the procurement software vendor's third CEO in five months.
Procurement software vendor Ariba Inc. has named a new president and CEO, the third in the past five months. Robert Calderoni, Ariba's CFO, was appointed to the job Wednesday and will continue as the company's interim financial chief until a successor is found.

Ariba founder and chairman Keith Krach, who has stepped down from the CEO job twice in the past few months, says he believes they have finally found the right guy to lead the company. Krach says Calderoni was selected after a global search for a successor conducted by executive search firm Heidrick and Struggles International.

Calderoni says uncertainty in Ariba's top job, the collapse of the company's alliance with i2 Technologies Inc., and the scuttling of the planned merger with Agile Software likely made some potential customers uneasy about Ariba's future, an uneasiness that Ariba can ill afford in the current economic climate. " Every company needs a clear leader," says Calderoni. "Today's move is all about providing that stability."

Ariba, which will release new analytics technology in the next few weeks and plans to tighten its focus on procurement management, began to fall on hard times in April when it reported a second quarter loss of 20 cents a share. Analysts had expected a 5-cent profit. The company cut more than 700 jobs to reduce costs and then-CEO Krach stepped aside in favor of Larry Mueller, who resigned weeks later, leaving Krach to take over the job again until Calderoni's appointment. The company reports fourth-quarter earnings next week and expects revenue of $62 million $63 million, beating analysts' estimates of $59 million.