Analysts have welcomed the decision of Computer Associates (CA) to remove chairman Sanjay Kumar from the board, saying that the move is likely to take pressure off the company.
Ongoing investigations by US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission and the District Attorney's Office of Eastern New York over the company's past accounting practices have haunted CA in recent weeks.
Four senior executives have pleaded guilty to related charges so far this year and nine more staff were sacked this week following the completion of an internal investigation.
"The opportunity to appoint a high-profile chief executive from outside the company may be just what CA needs to clear away the shadow of scandal, and reinvigorate its business strategy," said Tim Jennings, research director at Butler Group, in a statement.
Kumar has become CA's chief software architect, but Jennings commented that this may role may not be for the long term.
"It seems unlikely that Kumar's new position as chief software architect can be tenable in the long term," he said.
"It would make it very difficult for a new chief executive to stamp his or her authority on the company with the former incumbent looking over their shoulder."
Gary Barnett, principal analyst at Ovum, said in a statement: "Kumar's position had become untenable and the ongoing investigation has been extremely costly to CA in terms of management attention and effort.
"CA's customers and investors should view this as a positive move, not least because Kumar's departure will do a lot to take the pressure off CA's senior management while the investigation of CA's accounting practices will continue."
But Barnett noted that Kumar's achievements over the past three years should not be underestimated or ignored.
"Kumar has achieved a lot during his tenure at CA and, setting aside the investigation, steps down having made CA into a better company than it was when he took on the job [of chief executive]," he said.
"It is important to note that the events that are the focus of the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation took place before Kumar took on the job."
The analyst also believes that Kumar's successor is more likely to come from outside the company, although the firm's recently-appointed chief financial officer, Jeff Clarke, formerly at Compaq, is seen as a possible candidate.
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