CA gains new CFO, won't comment on layoff rumors

CA gains new CFO, won't comment on layoff rumors

CA is appointing a new CFO as the company struggles to deal with the financial fallout of a troubled past and rumored future layoffs.

Troubled software vendor CA announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer (CFO) Friday, while declining to comment on rumors of potential layoffs.

On or around Aug. 15, Nancy Cooper is set to join CA as the company's CFO. Bob Cirabisi, who has been filling in for the past three months as the vendor's interim CFO, will return to his previous duties as corporate controller. CA's previous CFO Bob Davis left the company by mutual agreement in May, about 15 months after coming on board from Dell.

Last month, CA revealed that it would delay the filing of its final fourth-quarter and full-year 2006 results for a second time due to issues unearthed during its annual audit around the granting of employee stock options and the understating of subscription revenue. At that time, the company said it hoped to clear matters up by the end of July. CA hasn't given an update about whether that will happen. The results were originally due out in May.

Now, rumors are circulating that CA might look to cut costs by laying off as many as 1,000 staff, 6.5 percent of its total 15,300-strong workforce.

"We don't comment on rumor or speculation," a CA spokesman said.

Cooper, 52, will come to CA from IMS Health, a pharmaceutical and medical business intelligence provider and consulting services firm, where she's been CFO since December 2001. During that time, she helped IMS close 30 acquisitions. That skill should prove handy at CA, which shows no signs of calling a halt to its own acquisitions. Its deals have topped the US$1.7 billion mark during the past two years.

Cooper previously held the CFO position at digital rights management and consulting firm Reciprocal Inc. and credit company Pitney Bowes Credit. She was also a long-time IBM employee from 1976 to 1998 with roles including chief financial officer of the vendor's global industries division.

John Swainson, CA's chief executive officer, also an IBM veteran, spent 26 years at the company. When appointing new CA executives, he has already tapped several former IBM colleagues including Jim Bryant, CA's chief administrative officer, and Don Friedman, CA's chief marketing officer.

Cooper joins CA as the vendor stands at a crossroads between its past and its future.

In the wake of an accounting scandal that led to a top-management overhaul and three former executives pleading guilty to financial fraud charges, the software company has struggled to reinvent itself. However, CA's past caught up with it again in late June when the stock-option issue, which dates to fiscal 1997, surfaced.

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