CA Top Slot Filled For Now

CA Board Member Cron Accepts Interim CEO Position

April 25, 2004

2 Min Read
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Ken Cron, a former president of CMP Media and the original publisher of CRN, has accepted the post of interim CEO at software vendor Computer Associates International, sources said.

Sources said the announcement of Cron's appointment could come as soon as Monday.

Cron, who couldn't be reached for comment, has been a director on CA's board since 2002. Islandia, N.Y.-based CA would not comment.

At CMP Media, Cron was responsible for all U.S. business, including print magazines such as CRN and InformationWeek plus trade shows and online services. More recently, Cron was CEO of Vivendi Universal Games, a maker of interactive entertainment games, and Uproar Inc.

Cron's knowledge of the channel is a plus for solution providers, some of whom expressed concern that management changes at CA could stall the software maker's aggressive channel push."Cron has a good understanding of the channel and what the channel wants," said Gregory Maisel, director of business strategy at Applied IT Solutions, a Dallas-based CA solution provider. "He would be an excellent choice. He brings to the table what Ross Perot brought to EDS and Perot Systems. He understands his customer base and has raw energy, charisma and good fortitude."

Maisel said management turmoil at CA could affect the company's channel efforts. "Depending on who is brought in as a replacement, it is very possible that CA could lose its channel edge. That is a big concern," he said. "CA has been on a channel roller coaster in the past. They have been in and out of the channel. They have actually done an excellent job of getting things back on track. But it still takes continued effort to grow that channel business."

Applied IT Solutions had flat CA solutions business last year, Maisel said. However, he applauded the company's 2003 launch of an improved channel program, which featured improved rebates and a lead system that brought Applied IT Solutions incremental sales.

Yet some CA partners said they're hesitant to commit to the vendor again because they remain concerned about its on-again, off-again channel history.

One New York-area solution provider, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was impressed by CA channel chief George Kafkarkou, the vendor's senior vice president of worldwide channel operations, but wouldn't return to the CA fold because the company has "cost us a ton of money over the years with their lack of dedication to the channel. They have been in and out of the channel 20 times in the last 10 years."Article appears courtesy of CRN.

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