LAS VEGAS—CA Technologies has, over a lot of years in business, earned the reputation of being a company that would rather buy than build. All one has to do is look at the number of acquisitions the company has made—65 since 1981, 20 of those since 2006—to observe CA's strategy.
While CA in 2015 isn't exactly saying it is veering away from that approach under new CEO Mike Gregoire, it is allocating many more resources (including $600 million this year) toward research and development of its own as it continues to integrate all that intellectual property into products and services that it believes enterprise IT systems will want, now and in the future.
A little background: CA Technologies, formerly known as Computer Associates International Inc. and CA Inc., is one of the largest independent software corporations in the world. It is a New York City-based, publicly held, multinational company that creates systems software (and previously applications software) that runs in mainframe, distributed computing, bare metal servers, virtual machine and cloud computing environments.
Not a Takeover Target Any Longer
The company has a large, diversified installed base of enterprise, government and retail clients around the world, including the U.S. federal government, Nike, Comcast, Capgemini, Qantas, Loreal of Paris and many others.
CA has a market cap of $12.44 billion and produced $4.4 billion in revenue for fiscal year 2014; it maintains offices in more than 40 countries. The company employs 13,000 people and holds more than 950 patents worldwide; it also has more than 900 patent applications pending.
Toronto native Gregoire (pronounced greg-WAH), 49, former CEO at Taleo and executive vice president at PeopleSoft, replaced 70-year-old CEO Bill McCracken in January 2013 and invigorated a company that was treading water. Industry analysts believed the company to be stagnating, focusing on maintaining still-useful but conventional tech, such as mainframe and client/server systems, and not moving quickly enough to embrace new-gen IT and agile development.
Gregoire has brought forward-thinking people with him to run his divisions, including CTO Otto Berkes (one of the four creators of Xbox at Microsoft and former product leader of HBO GO), Chief Product Officer Ayman Sayed (Cisco Systems), Vice President of Product Management and Strategy Mo Rosen (former COO of government security provider Xceedium) and Senior Vice President of IT Business Management James Harvey (Taleo).
Immediate Impact by New Management
All of these men have joined the company within the last two years and have already made inroads into pushing the company to 21st century sensibilities.
Prior to Gregoire's arrival, CA for a long time was considered by many analysts to be a takeover target by one of the larger all-purpose IT vendors. That isn't the case anymore, especially in the wake of Dell's acquisitions of Quest Software and EMC, the split-up of Hewlett-Packard, the continued evolution at IBM and other factors.
At CA World '15 on Nov. 18, Gregoire did a question-and-answer session for eWEEK and a group of international journalists. Following are highlights from that session.