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CA Taps McCracken as New CEO

Swainson protege expected to keep moving company in same direction.

Following a five-month search to replace retiring CEO John Swainson, CA Inc. dug into its ranks, naming its chairman William McCracken to run the company.

McCracken, like his predecessor, spent more than three decades at IBM Corp. Swainson recruited his protégé McCracken in 2005, and he was named chairman in 2007. McCracken became executive chairman in September upon Swainson's retirement.

The news of McCracken's appointment in late January came as CA announced that its first quarter revenues of $1.1 billion were up 8 percent over the same period last year, or 4 percent adjusted for currency changes. Profits were up 24 percent, or 21 percent, respectively.

 

By choosing McCracken, CA's board is indicating it will continue along Swainson's path. The company is looking to position itself as a provider of system, network and application performance-management tools for data centers, with a focus on virtualization and cloud computing.

"Over the last five months, I've gotten a chance to see it up close with this team and focus in more on the market opportunities we're driving at -- like cloud, like virtualization management -- and I think it just has us positioned perfectly for where we want to go for the opportunity, and it builds off of where we've been," McCracken said during the earnings call.

"He has tall shoes to fill, coming after John Swainson, who performed a miraculous turnaround and transformation at the company," says Ovum analyst Tony Baer.

Forrester Research Inc. analyst Glenn O'Donnell agrees. "Swainson turned that company around," O'Donnell says. "He took it over when it was in its darkest days."

While mainframe-related products remained its largest contributor, the company also reported strong growth in tools for distributed computing environments. McCracken said CA reported record bookings for its identity-management solutions, its Clarity portfolio-management offering and its application performance-management business. Among the biggest selling products in the quarter for its distributed computing platforms were its application lifecycle management tools.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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