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CA Embarks On 'New Chapter'

Computer Associates' management team tells customers it's ready to focus on the
No one is trying to whitewash it, interim CEO Kenneth Cron said of the SEC investigation at CA.

"No one is trying to whitewash it," interim CEO Kenneth Cron said of the SEC investigation at CA.
After a rough couple of months, a new management team at Computer Associates used its annual customer conference last week to try to put the past behind it and, in the words of interim CEO Kenneth Cron, "embark on a new chapter."

Cron and other CA executives freely admit that they have much to overcome. In recent months, the company has reassigned former chairman and CEO Sanjay Kumar, fired its former CFO, and restated financial reports for fiscal 2000 and 2001. "No one is trying to whitewash it or make believe [the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice investigations] didn't happen," Cron said. "But it's great to have CAWorld as the lightning rod to show how it's now all coming together."

The company's top managers now have clear roles, he said. Cron will lead the company until the board hires a full-time CEO. Jeff Clarke, who joined CA as CFO in April, will serve as chief operating officer and continue to handle CFO duties until a new CFO is named. Lewis Ranieri, a CA board member who was named chairman earlier this month, will be in charge of working with federal officials in completing the investigation of the company's financial-reporting methods in 2000.

Product direction and vision will be driven by Yogesh Gupta, chief technology officer; Mark Barrenechea, senior VP of product development; Russell Artzt, executive VP of eTrust Solutions; and Kumar, who's now chief software architect. Kumar said he will split his time between working with customers and in product and technology definition. "I'm not the CEO of the company, and that's very clear," Kumar said. "I'm one of those people who is very black and white about it."

While reassuring customers was a top priority, CA also introduced a batch of new products. They include a systems-management framework, a version of its Web Services Distributed Management software that will be offered as a hosted service, and a Wireless Site Management system that can automate the configuration, performance monitoring, and encryption of wireless access points.