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Computer Associates International Case: Major change in business model, goals

Case Study: Computer Associates International Inc.: Governance and Investor Communication Challenge

Computer Associates has undertaken a major change in its business model, followed more conservative financial reporting, and improved its corporate governance. Despite these changes, the company has taken a beating:

(i) It has come in for some harsh criticism in the financial press. E.g. NY Times:? As measured by standard accounting rules, Computer Associates' sales have fallen almost two-thirds over the last six months. To cover that, the company has begun presenting its financial results in a way that confuses even the Wall Street analysts who follow it.

(ii) Its stock price has suffered

(iii) It faces a proxy contest with a large dissident shareholder (Sam Wyley) who argues that: The company has abused and alienated customers, employees and shareholders alike. Management's use of accounting gimmicks and its excessive compensation for lackluster performance have strained credibility with the financial community.

(iv) Short sales in the company are high.

The objectives of this case analysis are to explore the changes made by the company, to try to understand why the company found it so difficult to get acceptance of the changes, and to recommend a course of action for the CEO, Sanjay Kumar.

Questions to Be Addressed

1. What was CA trying to accomplish by the change in its business model? How did the changes accomplish these goals? What risks does the new model create?

2. How does the change in accounting fit with the new business model?

3. Do you agree with the company's decision to produce pro forma earnings numbers?

4. What action plan would you recommend for Sanjay Kumar?

Solution Preview

Computer Associates International Case

Introduction:

This paper explores the changes made by the Computer Associates International and analyses the reasons why the reasons why the company found it hard to get acceptance of the changes. It also analyses whether the change in accounting fit with the new business model and recommendations for the CEO, Sanjay Kumar.

Statement of the problem:

The company wasn't able to find acceptance of the business model which led to harsh criticism in the financial press, its stock price suffered and faces a proxy contest with a large dissident shareholder who says that alienated and abused shareholders, employees and customers. The management's use of excessive compensation and accounting gimmicks for lack luster performance has strained credibility with financial community.

Analysis:

What Computer Associates was trying to accomplish:

The company revamped its customer service organization by hiring new staff for its customers and unifying all post-sales customer groups so that customers could have a single point of contact for all of their needs. The sales representatives were given monthly sales quotas and training so as improve ...

Solution Summary

The governance and investor communication challenges are examined.

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