CA accounting probe: Sanjay Kumar's fate undecided

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 21 April 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW YORK : The board of Computer Associates International Inc. on Tuesday is mulling the fate of Chairman and Chief Executive Sanjay Kumar as its internal probe is coming to an end, even as analysts said that reaching a decision will not be an easy job.

Kumar has put governance experts onto the board in an effort to gain the respect of investors. But, now, amid a long-running criminal probe, directors meeting on Tuesday need to decide whether Kumar himself deserves to remain at the helm of the company.

The world's fourth-largest independent software company ousted nine more people on Monday, bringing the total number of employees being pushed out as a result of its accounting problems to at least 14.

However, Kumar, who served as president during its fiscal year ended March 31, 2000 , when more than $1.4 billion in contracts were booked early, told investors that he has done nothing wrong. In a statement on Monday, he said that the management was proceeding with business as usual.

Some corporate governance experts have called for his departure in light of a lengthy probe into inappropriate accounting under his watch.

"If I was on the board, I would say enough is enough. Let's put all of that behind us," James Needham, a former Commissioner for the Securities and Exchange Commission who once headed the New York Stock Exchange, said.

However, the CA board, led by veteran investor Lewis Ranieri and former SEC Chief Accountant Walter Schuetze, is not expected to reach an easy decision because Kumar has been credited for turning around the company's reputation with its customers.

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