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Sanjay's Got Separation Anxiety; CA Makes Board Member Interim CEO

Sanjay's Got Separation Anxiety; CA Makes Board Member Interim CEO

Sanjay Kumar, Computer Associates’ erstwhile chairman and CEO, is not going gently into that good night.

Ask yourself now, why is he still at CA?

Answer: Weak board.

Heaven knows why Sanjay wants to stick around tricked out as chief architect - fear he’ll lose control of his life probably - but it’s transparent that he controls the board.

As a matter of fact, it’s transparent he still controls the company.

Late Thursday night word got out that Sanjay had installed a puppet CEO at CA in the person of Ken Cron, who was plucked from the CA board to warm his throne while Sanjay figures out how to pull off a Charles II-style restoration once this whole nasty investigation business blows over.

Supposedly CA will announce that it’s found the interim CEO it was looking for this morning.

It’s doubtful the board will ever do a real executive search

Oh, yeah, it’ll make a few duty calls to people it knows it can’t get like Microsoft CFO John Connors or ex-Oracle president-turned-VC Ray Lane, but it’ll all be window dressing even though common sense dictates that it should recruit an outsider.

See, there’s nobody clean enough inside to really pass muster, not with the government openly accusing it of being a “corrupt culture.”

Speaking of the government, how do you suppose Sanjay’s half-baked removal and lingering influence are going down with the regulators, whose investigations, ominously enough, have yet to conclude?

The board, evidently hopeful of moving towards a settlement, reportedly met with both the DOJ and the SEC Wednesday after Sanjay stepped down. The idea was to review the company’s housecleaning and the results of its audit committee’s internal investigation.

By all accounts, the meeting was brief and non-committal. The government is reportedly going off to have a think and could easily return with that threatened suit against the company and a few more indictments in hand.

What odds would you give that the Justice Department and the SEC will hold Sanjay ultimately responsible for the shenanigans that went on during his watch?

Shoot, even his pet board did that.

It’s practical to think that the government might really get bent out of shape about Sanjay pretending to step down and really go for the jugular.

The government’s problem is it really wants to stay out of court and would prefer that Sanjay cop a plea, but that ain’t gonna happen, so it’s going to have to bite the bullet.

So what if they indict him? Well, it happened to Michael Jackson. Do you think the board will keep Sanjay on if he’s indicted?

What would his title be then? Lemme guess. How about chief architect and indicted co-conspirator?

Now, about Cron.

Cron was put on the CA board in 2002 when the company started trying to look like it had gotten religion about governance.

Cron was CEO of Vivendi Universal Games. He had that job until a month or two ago when he was quietly replaced. So quietly that he’s still on CA’s web site as VU Games’ CEO. Reportedly he got the boot for taking an operation that was doing $300,000 or $400,000 and turning it into a $240 million loss.

Kenny started out as a space salesman for CMP Publications and rose to be president. Call it editorial snobbery, but you can take the boy out of ad sales, but you can’t take ad sales out of the boy and ad salesmen are an impressionable lot and as far as we know make very nice lapdogs. Just like King Charles spaniels.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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