The announcement late on Friday that Sanjay Kumar has resigned from Computer Associates has dismayed some and pleased others.
Some users liked his focus on improved customer service, but others have been worried about the fact that he was overseeing the company while it was up to all sorts of financial mischief.
In April, Kumar stepped down as CEO following more investigations into dodgy accounting practices at the company that has seen the SEC and DoJ get involved, numerous staff sacked and three former execs, including the ex-chief financial officer plead guilty in court.
However, Kumar tried to do a Bill Gates and elected himself into a new role of "chief software architect".
That's now all out of the window, as Kumar himself accepted in a statement: 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. 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."
Somewhat bluntly, the company pointed out that "Kumar will cease all involvement with the Company's business effective immediately".
This tone was endorsed by others. "Frankly, when he was ousted as CEO, I was surprised he was staying on with the company," said Erica Harzewski, a database administrator at Guidant. "I felt that with all the bad financial stuff going on on his watch, why is he still hanging around?"
"We don't need the distractions of the accounting irregularities, so I think he should fall on his sword and get out of the way," echoed a longtime CA user who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He should start a club with former CIA director George Tenet."
Other were less-critical though.
"Companies using CA should be concerned about how all these management shifts affect products and support, but I don't see a big impact on the user level," said Carmen Huff, president of the Ingres User Association and lead database administrator at Alliance Data Systems. "The excitement about open-source for Ingres and other products is not going to be diminished by what's happening with Sanjay."
Huff said she welcomes the investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Attorney's Office. "Somebody high up has to watch what's happening at the top of these companies," Huff said.
Chris Poole, president of the Florida CA Users Group and senior analyst at Convergys, credited Kumar with "dramatically improving the quality of products when he took over as CEO". Specifically, he said, Kumar pulled CA workers off development of new products to produce a patch for its Unicenter line of management tools.
Richard Evans, senior vice president of Neways International said he would have "loved to see Sanjay stay because his knowledge of technology was outstanding and he was good in customer service".
Some analysts said Kumar's decision to leave CA may have been prompted by pending legal action by federal authorities. "This is not good news for Sanjay personally," said Rich Ptak, an analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates. "There was no real reason for Sanjay to leave unless the government made it clear to management staff that he was going to be indicted."
CA Chairman Lewis Ranieri issued a statement Friday suggesting that Kumar's departure will help settle the government's investigation of CA. "The Board is committed to reaching a settlement of the government's investigation into the company's past accounting practices as quickly as possible," Ranieri said. "We are working hard to take the remedial steps necessary to put this entire matter behind us. Sanjay's decision to leave CA was made in that spirit."
Company officials declined to comment beyond the statement.