Just weeks after stepping down as the companys CEO, Sanjay Kumar announced Friday that he is leaving Computer Associates International Inc. altogether.
In a statement announcing the resignation, Kumar said that he felt that CA could not move past its recent accounting troubles and ongoing investigations by the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission as long as he was still with the company.
“It has become increasingly clear to me in the past few days that my continued role at CA is not helping the companys efforts to move forward. I understood that my stepping down as chairman and CEO represented a break with the past, but I have reluctantly concluded that as long as I hold any position, focus on past issues and my current role will continue,” Kumar said. “While I am grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from customers, employees and shareholders, I believe my decision to leave at this time is the right one. It hopefully will permit CA to move forward.”
Kumars departure signals the end of an era at CA. Both respected and feared within the company, Kumar led CA for four turbulent years, through allegations of accounting improprieties and questionable sales tactics. But during his tenure CA also became a serious player in several new markets, most notably enterprise security, where it has begun to challenge established players such as Symantec Corp. and IBM.
Kumars resignation itself is hardly surprising, but the timing is a bit odd, given that Kumar has only been in his new role as chief software architect for about five weeks. And, Kumar had made it a point in recent interviews to stress how excited he was about his new role and discounted any suggestions that his continued presence at the embattled company could be a distraction.
“I think the best that could happen to CA is happening with Lou [Ranieri] and Ken [Cron]. Im not the CEO of the company. Unless you understand how deeply I care about this place, you cant understand how I can make this change,” Kumar said in an interview during last months CA World conference in Las Vegas. Cron took over as interim CEO in April when Kumar stepped down and Ranieri was then appointed chairman of the board.
Kumar had been spending most of his time in recent weeks meeting with CAs biggest customers, trying to reassure them that the Islandia, N.Y., company was on sound footing and had a strategic plan for the future.