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Apache: Blog Post

CA Should Offer the CEO Job to Ken Cron

I had a breakfast meeting with Ken at a local diner in Long Island not too long after CA sorted out its interim CEO situation

The round of applause that greeted the suggestion that Ken Cron be promoted from Interim CEO to full CEO of Computer Associates International (renamed as CA as one of the first action items by John Swainson) left a smile on the face of Chairman Lewis Ranieri at the company's annual shareholder meeting in 2004.

Ken had one of the toughest jobs any CEO can imagine: that of following Sanjay Kumar and Charles Wang.

Yet under Cron's leadership CA's net income returned to the black after three consecutive years of losses and under very difficult circumstances.

Of course later the full time job went to John Swainson, IBM's WebSphere chief, who announced his retirement from his post at the end of 2009 and at the age of 52.

The Canadian press of course applauds Swainson as having been the savior of CA.

I had a breakfast meeting with Ken not too long after CA sorted out its interim CEO situation. We met at a local diner in Long Island and discussed several topics from publishing and new media to the software industry. Ken was the CEO of CMP, working with the Leeds family before and during the company's IPO and later when it was sold for close to $1bn.

I was very impressed with Cron.

IMHO, CA should have promoted Ken Cron to be full CEO back in 2004.

Ken is not a personal friend and I have not spoken to him since our breakfast meeting five years ago but now that the CA board of directors is back to the drawing board it seems, I think they should give him a call this time to offer him the job.

More Stories By Fuat Kircaali

Fuat Kircaali is the founder and chairman of SYS-CON Media, Cloud Expo, Inc. and Ulitzer, Inc.

Kircaali came to the United States from Zurich University, Switzerland in 1984 while studying for his PhD, to design computer systems for SH-2G submarine hunter helicopters for the U.S. Navy. He later worked at IBM's IS&CG Headquarters as a market research analyst under Mike Armstrong's leadership, an IBM executive who later ran IBM Europe and AT&T; and Fuat was the Director of Information Systems for UWCC, reporting to CEO Steve Silk (later Hebrew National CEO), one of the top marketing geniuses of the past two decades.

Kircaali founded SYS-CON Media in 1994, a privately held tech media company with sales exceeding $100 million. SYS-CON Media was listed twice by Inc 500 and Deloitte and Touche as one of the fastest-growing companies in North America. Kircaali launched Ulitzer, Inc., a revolutionary "new media" start-up in mid 2009.

Fuat completed Bogazici University Business Administration program in 1982 with a Bachelor's Degree. He was one of 50 students accepted to the program out of over 1 million high school graduates that year.

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