John Swainson officially took the reins as CEO of Computer Associates International Inc. on Wednesday, three months after he was named CEO-elect.
Swainson takes over from Ken Cron, a CA director, who had served as interim CEO since Sanjay Kumar resigned in April 2004. A veteran of IBM, Swainson joins CA at a time when the company once again is in the midst of change and is looking to distance itself from the old executive regime. In addition to Kumar, several other top CA executives have stepped down and faced scrutiny by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with a series of accounting improprieties at the company in the last few years.
Although he is only now assuming the formal title of CEO, Swainson has spent the last couple of months putting his mark on CA in a number of ways. Last month he engineered an executive reshuffling in which Russ Artzt, the only CA founder left at the company, was placed in charge of the entire product development organization and given the title of executive vice president for products. That move had the effect of pushing aside Mark Barrenechea, who had been senior vice president of product development, but was moved into a newly created position of executive vice president of technology strategy and chief technology architect.
Barrenechea and Swainson do not see eye-to-eye, according to sources familiar with the situation, and Barrenechea likely will leave the company soon.
CA also recently decided to reorganize the companys structure around business units, following the example of the eTrust security group, which has been perhaps the most successful unit at CA in recent years. Artzt has overseen eTrusts evolution and Swainson has charged him with extending that success to the rest of the companys product groups.
Cron will return to the CA board as Swainson steps into the CEO suite. “Ken and John have worked extremely well together over the past two and a half months, and I couldnt be more pleased with their performances,” said CA Chairman Lewis Ranieri in a statement. “John has quickly displayed an impressive knowledge of the company and its technologies, and his industry background is a tremendous asset. Our confidence in his leadership abilities and strategy to move CA forward led the board to name him CEO at this time.”
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