RealTime IT News

CA Hires Former Compaq CFO

Computer Associates , the Islandia, N.Y., software company beset with accounting improprieties in recent times, has picked an industry veteran to helm its financial operations, officials said announced Thursday.

Jeff Clarke, former CFO of Compaq Computer Corp. before Hewlett-Packard acquired the manufacturer, will take the reins of fiscal control from CA interim CFO Douglas Robinson, who remains as senior vice president for finance.

"Jeff Clarke brings extensive financial and operations experience and is an outstanding addition to CA," Sanjay Kumar, company chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "The success of this or any company in this highly competitive industry is directly related to the strength of the people in key management positions, and Jeff clearly already has established himself as an outstanding leader."

The Compaq CFO was credited with merging the financial divisions of the two companies in the wake of the $19 billion deal, as well as identifying and capturing $3.5 billion in post-merger savings.

Clarke inherits a financial division just now recovering from a financial scandal that rocked the software company last year. Facing charges the company was improperly cooking its books, officials settled three class-action lawsuits out of court in August 2003, for a total of $144 million. Investors charged the company was renewing existing software contracts with a higher upfront fee and giving investors the impression CA was gaining new customers and higher revenues.

Later, in December 2003, the company went through with its stated objective to sell off its potentially lucrative small-and medium-sized business (SMB) software division for $110 million. Officials cited the need to return to its core competency -- Web services and enterprise management software.

Clarke said in a statement he believes CA's subscription-based business model -- as opposed to a multi-year licensing contract -- will give the company an advantage in coming years.

"With consistent cash flow, a predictable and strong revenue stream and decreasing debt, CA clearly is a fiscally strong leader in the software sector," he said.

Before joining Compaq in 1998, Clarke had spent 13 years with manufacturer Digital Equipment Corp. in various financial positions. Compaq bought out DEC for $9.6 billion in January 1998.