Wang leaves CA; hands off to Kumar

Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) founder Charles B. Wang is retiring from his posts as chairman and member of the company’s board of directors, handing his mantle to CA President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sanjay Kumar.

Wang’s retirement, announced Monday, comes after over 25 years with the company and is effective immediately. He will, however, take the honorary position as chairman emeritus of the board, the company said.

Kumar, 40, joined CA in 1987 and has served as president and CEO of the Islandia, N.Y.-based company since August 2000.

CA customers shouldn’t expect any drastic change in product or corporate strategy as a result of Wang’s departure because Wang, who founded CA with three associates in 1976, has been gradually transferring control of the company to Kumar in the past two years or so, said Paul Mason, IDC’s vice-president of infrastructure software research.

“I don’t expect to see any significant change in strategy, because the strategy we’ve seen (in recent years) is Sanjay’s strategy,” Mason said.

Mason also doesn’t see, at least at first glance, a link between Wang’s decision to retire and recent government inquiries into CA’s operations. “I don’t see an immediate connection, unless there’s something the company is hiding that we don’t know about,” Mason said.

CA spokesperson Dan Kaferle said Wang’s decision to retire has nothing to do with inquiries into CA’s operations. “It’s not related whatsoever,” he said.

Wang began transferring the day-to-day operations of the company to Kumar in August 2000, a process which culminated six months ago when Wang handed over responsibility for the Asia-Pacific region to Kumar, Kaferle said. “For the past six months, Mr. Wang’s duties have been primarily board-related,” he said.

– With files from Stacy Cowley, IDG News Service