Date: Friday , November 21, 2008
Age 37 Years
Place of Birth Colombo, Sri Lanka
Residence Long Island, NY
Family (no comment)
Came to the U.S. 1976
Education Dropped out of Med@Furman University 1983
First job Self taught programmer, started own computer company
Companies started 1980
Year did an IPO
Year became millionaire I have no Idea - really didn’t keep track of success by how many millions were “in the bank”.
Favorite charity Anything to do with kids
Lifetime goals Make a difference and have fun
Net worth Over $500 million (is this a question?)
Philosophy of life The most important thing in life is long-term Hapiness. For me, this means looking after my personal family, and looking after the CA-Family.
Most inspired by Mahatma Gandhi: he proved that as long as you believe you can achieve anything.
Most excited by Almost speed-of-light changes in technology and what it can do for humanity.
Most expensive thing ever bought Sterling Software!
Easygoing and informal, Sanjay Kumar certainly does not show any of the classic signs of stress that go along with the job of being president and chief operating officer of a large, influential company. But this calm exterior is deceptive. Scratch below the surface of the president and COO of Computer Associates (CA), one of the world’s largest software companies, and you’ll find an aggressive, sweet-talking negotiator who is not out there to lose. “I have not had an acquisition that I have set out on that failed on me,” says a confident Kumar. “Even if I lose, I don’t give up. I will continue to go back to a customer and sell and sell and sell…”
Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Kumar moved to the US with his parents and two sisters when he was 14 years old. He commends his parents’ farsightedness on choosing the United States over another country. “They wanted to get here primarily for their children, and they gave up everything to do that,” recalls Kumar.
The US taught young Kumar to fend for himself and make it on his own. Like other immigrants, upon moving to the US Kumar entered a place totally different from Sri Lanka. In this new world, Kumar also saw opportunity, which others who live here begin to overlook.
He started writing software for a living from his last year at high school. He was responsible for the development of systems software for UCCEL when CA acquired it in 1987. This strong technology foundation coupled with business acumen proved to be a perfect mix that has helped Kumar run a big company like CA.
In 1987, after the UCCEL acquisition, Kumar met Charles B. Wang, founder of CA. Wang saw in Kumar “a brother, an extension of myself,” and decided to take Kumar under his wing.
Under Wang’s tutelage, Kumar started working in strategic planning and was involved in acquisitions over the years, and gradually started to run more and more of the company’s operations.
Kumar was promoted to president in 1992 and, in 1994, to COO. Wang’s vision and investment in Kumar has certainly paid off; today the company’s revenues have grown to $6.3 billion from $2.1 billion and its market capitalization has skyrocketed to $40 billion from $6 billion.
Kumar is actively involved in philanthropic activities through his personal foundation. His support includes programs for education, arts and culture, and children’s causes.
Kumar has come a long way from his small house in Sri Lanka, half the size of most rooms in his present house. He no longer has to move his bed in the monsoons to avoid the dripping water, walk over a mile to get to a bus stop or hang out of a crowded bus to get to school, risking getting killed in the process.