CEOs Caught in the Draft

By Spencer F. Katt  |  Posted 2005-04-25 Print this article Print

Siebel's Shaheen takes over; CA's Swainson takes flight; Ballmer takes to McNealy.


Sent: Monday, April 25, 2005 12:21 AM

To: eWEEK readers

Subject: Siebels Shaheen takes over; CAs Swainson takes flight; Ballmer takes to McNealy

Having just recovered from the plethora of pontifical prognostications that inundated him earlier in the week, Spencer was deep into his NFL mock-draft cheat sheets when a call came in from a buddy in the know on all the latest CEO action.

It seems Siebels exec shake-up may not be over. To give new CEO George Shaheen a fighting chance, the vendors reportedly seeking someone to be both president and chief operating officer, a role not filled at Siebel since Paul Wahl retired in March 2003. This new hire would manage the companys day-to-day affairs while Shaheen handles strategy.

Beyond that, the tipster said, Siebel has yet to come to grips with former CEO Mike Lawries departure. Lawries moniker was still in the file name of the audio file of the first-day press conference at Siebels EMEA User Week conference in Barcelona last week.

Another new hire, CEO John Swainson, isnt wasting time putting his stamp on Computer Associates. Swainson, who apparently has a commercial pilots license, said he believed CAs corporate jet wasnt up to his standards, so CA got a new one. "Hey, John," crowed Spencer, "could you please do something about the Acela now?"

Searching desperately for a late first-round prospect for his beloved Patriots, Spencer stumbled on a news item about another CEO, Jon S. von Tetzchner, of Opera Software, who may have let the cold finally get to him. Tetzchner vowed to swim from Norway to the United States (with a stopover in Iceland) if the newly hatched Opera 8 browser hit 1 million downloads in its first four days. Spencer couldnt figure out if the promise was a reward or a punishment.

Shaking the last crumbs out of his pretzel bag, Spence was heading to the throne to study Mel Kiper Jr.s Draft Preview when his cell rang. It was his trusted partner in Las Vegas, who sat in on a raucous keynote from his favorite CEO, Steven Anthony Ballmer, at the Microsoft Management Summit.

He said Ballmer couldnt help cracking wise about his new "relationship" with Sun and Scott McNealy. Ballmer had a Solaris server on stage with him and used it to demo new remote management capabilities in Microsoft Operations Manager. Ballmer removed a couple of fans from the server and showed how MOM detected the outage and brought backups online. "Funny, a year ago, if Id done this, I would have felt differently about it," said Ballmer. "But this is for partnership!" Later, while talking about TCO and service-level agreements, he quipped, "I wish my mother had named me Steven Lewis Anthony Ballmer so I could be SLA Ballmer."

"Darn," said Spence, "I wish Id said that!"


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