CA Technologies names new CEO

Michael Gregoire, 46, a former software company CEO, Michael Gregoire, 46, a former software company CEO, will assume the top job at CA Technologies on Jan. 7. (Dec. 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Handout

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Islandia-based software maker CA Technologies, Long Island's biggest public company by stock market value, Wednesday named Michael Gregoire, 46, its incoming chief executive.

Gregoire, a former software company chief executive, will assume the post Jan. 7, when Bill McCracken, 70, is expected to step down as chief executive and board trustee. McCracken will retire in March and stay on in an advisory role through 2013. Gregoire's appointment comes after a six-month search.

"I accepted the position because I believe CA Technologies has a compelling value proposition, a strong reputation and a growing relevance for customers, software engineering, and partners," Gregoire said in a news release.

Gregoire comes to CA with no former connection to the company. In contrast, McCracken had been serving as CA board chairman when he replaced the company's previous chief executive, John A. Swainson, in 2010.

That separation could help Gregoire in his leadership of the company, an analyst said. "He brings a different perspective to CA that they haven't had in a chief executive," said Matt Hedberg, an equity analyst with RBC Capital Markets. "It's certainly going to help their long-term vision and outlook."

Walter Pritchard, an analyst at Citigroup, said in a note he had a "favorable view" of Gregoire but that CA presents "chronic growth and execution challenges."

Gregoire has more than 25 years of experience in the information technology and software sector. He served as chief executive of Taleo Corp., a cloud-computing-based talent management software company based in Dublin, Calif., from 2005 until earlier this year. At Taleo, Gregoire oversaw the company's initial public offering; the company was acquired by Oracle Corp. for $1.9 billion in February.

Gregoire's background could indicate CA's desire to continue to expand into cloud computing, which allows the use of applications and software accessed via the Internet. McCracken led the initial effort to push into that market through a string of acquisitions in the last two years.

CA has about 1,525 employees on Long Island and close to 14,000 employees worldwide, including in Silicon Valley, India and Korea. It sells software to large corporations, including programs to run mainframe computers and manage cybersecurity.

CA stock closed at $21.85 Wednesday, giving the company a stock market value of about $10 billion. The shares rose 2 cents in after-hours trading following CA's announcement.

McCracken, who joined CA after 36 years at IBM, expanded the company's customer base by pushing into markets in Asia and Latin America.

CA was co-founded by Charles Wang, owner of the New York Islanders, in 1976 and went public in 1981. It was Computer Associates but changed its name in 2006 in the wake of an accounting scandal, which led to a 12-year federal prison sentence for the company's former chief executive, Sanjay Kumar.

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