CA’s Kumar bids adieu

Computer Associates International Inc.’s former top dog, Sanjay Kumar, has stepped down for good, CA announced Friday.

Kumar resigned as chairman and CEO of CA on April 21, but stayed on as the company’s chief software architect after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) discovered the company inflated its earnings for fiscal years 2000 and 2001. Kenneth D. Cron was named interim CEO on April 26, a position he still holds.

“It has become increasingly clear to me in the past few days that my continued role at CA is not helping the company’s efforts to move forward,” Kumar said in a statement issued Friday. “I understood that my stepping down as chairman and CEO represented a break with the past but I have reluctantly concluded that as long as I hold any position, focus on past issues and my current role will continue.”

Richard Ptak, co-founder of analyst firm Ptak Ptak, Noel & Associates in Amherst, N.H., said Kumar’s leaving could be an indication that he will be indicted. Otherwise he sees no reason for Kumar’s resignation.

“It would seem that is why he is severing the relationship [with CA] to protect the company and so he won’t impact them in the future,” he said.

At CA World, Ptak said he spoke with numerous CA customers and employees who indicated they were comfortable with Kumar and considered him to be a positive influence on the company. After speaking with numerous attendees, Ptak said there is no indication that users will forsake CA’s products because of the company’s financial woes. Additionally, he said Kumar’s departure shouldn’t impact CA negatively in the short term because it still has a good strategy, a strong set of offerings and a lot of talent present in the company.

“A bigger impact will be in the financial markets because financial analysts will be reluctant to recommend the stock as a buy until [the financial issues] are sorted out,” he said.

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