Computer Associates (CA) has appointed a new chief financial officer but declined to comment on rumours of job losses at the troubled software company.

Nancy Cooper will join CA in August and Bob Cirabisi, who has been filling in for the past three months as an interim CFO, will return to his previous duties as corporate controller. CA's previous CFO Bob Davis left the company by mutual agreement in May, just 15 months after arriving from Dell.

Last month, CA revealed that it would delay the filing of its final fourth-quarter and full-year 2006 results for a second time due to issues unearthed during its annual audit around the granting of employee stock options and the understating of subscription revenue. At that time, the company said it hoped to clear matters up by the end of July.

CA hasn't given an update about whether that will happen, and the results were originally due in May.

Now, rumours are circulating that the company might look to cut costs by laying off as many as 1,000 staff, 6.5 percent of its total 15,300-strong workforce. But a spokesman would only say that the company does not comment on "rumour or speculation."

Cooper, 52, comes from IMS Health, a pharmaceutical and medical business intelligence provider and consulting services firm, where she's been CFO since December 2001.

During that time, she helped IMS close 30 acquisitions - a skill that should prove handy at CA, which shows no signs of calling a halt to its own acquisitions. Its deals have topped the $1.7 billion mark during the past two years.

Previously she was CFO at digital rights management and consulting firm Reciprocal and credit company Pitney Bowes. She was an IBM employee from 1976 to 1998 with roles including chief financial officer of the vendor's global industries division.

CA's chief executive officer John Swainson is also an IBM veteran, having spent 26 years at the company, and has already tapped several former IBM colleagues including Jim Bryant, CA's chief administrative officer, and Don Friedman, CA's chief marketing officer.

Cooper joins CA as the vendor stands at a crossroads between its past and its future.

In the wake of an accounting scandal that led to a top-management overhaul and three former executives pleading guilty to financial fraud charges, the software company has struggled to reinvent itself. However, CA's past caught up with it again in late June when the stock-option issue, which dates to fiscal 1997, surfaced.