CA Taps IBM Vet Swainson For CEO

Swainson is a 26-year veteran of IBM and is widely recognized as being responsible for the success of the vendor's WebSphere products. He led the worldwide sales organization for IBM's software group and was the general manager of IBM's Application Integration and Middleware Group. He was a member of the IBM Worldwide Management Council, IBM's Strategy Team, Senior Management Team and on the Board of Governors for the IBM Academy of Technology, according to Lewis Ranieri, chairman of CA.

Ken Cron, who has been CA's interim CEO since Sanjay Kumar stepped down in April, will remain interim CEO until spring of 2005, according to Ranieri. Swainson starts work immediately as president of Islandia, N.Y.-based CA, reporting to Cron during the transition.

COO and CFO Jeff Clarke, who joined CA in April 2004, will remain in his positions. Cron will continue to serve on CA's board after he leaves the CEO post, according to Ranieri.

Swainson's first order of business will be responsibility for charting CA's software strategy and the corresponding development of the products to fulfill the vision, according to Ranieri.

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"I am very pleased that a person of John Swainson's stature has agreed to lead CA; he is an excellent complement to our very strong CA management team," Ranieri said in a statement. "He knows what it takes to run a software business and build brands, having spent the last nine years in the senior management of IBM's Software Group. He has a passion for the customer that is unsurpassed, and an understanding of how to execute on a technology vision that drives revenue growth."

Swainson has a reputation for being an aggressive businessman with an original style.

David Tan, CTO of Chips Computer Consulting, Lake Success, N.Y., said Swainson "is extremely aggressive and cut from a different cloth. So he's probably somebody who will come in and move the company forward."

And moving forward is something CA is working to do as the vendor brushes itself off from a massive accounting scandal.

In September, CA reached a $225 million settlement with federal prosecutors to protect it from further prosecution related to the vendor's admitted improper accounting practices.

CA's former chairman and CEO Sanjay Kumar and former head of worldwide sales Stephen Richards have been charged with securities fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in relation to the accounting scandal.

During Cron's tenure, CA reorganized itself, shedding 800 employees from the company's worldwide workforce in an effort to save $70 million a year. It also began acquiring company's such as Netegrity to build out its product base and increase revenue.