CA CEO William McCracken arrived in Israel yesterday just two weeks after being appointed to the job. An indication of Israel's importance to the software giant can be seen by recent visits by CA founder and vice chairman Russell Artzt, CA EVP strategy & corporate development Jacob Lam, and CA president and COO Michael Christenson.
McCracken's appointment as CEO was no trivial matter. His CV lists a strong background in technology, especially in hardware at IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM), although he has never held a comparable position at a software company.
CA Inc. (NYSE: CA), a specialist in computer infrastructure management solutions, is the world's fifth largest software company, with a market cap of $11.5 billion. The company is directing its strategy to cloud computing and virtualization, the use of remote server farms to provide computer services.
Christenson admitred that CA lagged in entering the cloud computing market, behind BMC Corporation (NYSE: BMC) and Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and is paying the price through a wave of acquisitions.
Two weeks ago, McCracken said that CA plans to invest $300 million a year in acquisitions, in order to strengthen its portfolio.
"Acquisitions are an important part of our strategy. We're about to spend $1 billion a year on developing technologies in-house and through acquisitions," says McCracken. "A central part of what we want to do is to be the first to market. The companies we've acquired provide us with the technological capabilities, and we intend to continue this."
McCracken says that he is not scared by the competition. "There will be competition, but we'll have the ability to meet the needs and manage virtualization infrastructures of cloud computing, and we intend to be there first."
The visit to Israel was planned three months ago, even before McCracken was appointed CEO, and was intended to meet customers and employees. "There are hundreds of companies here that develop things that we need, and provide us with the capabilities to move forward in the cloud field," he said.
Over the past decade, CA has acquired ten Israeli companies, the latest being Oblicore last month for $20 million. CA's Israeli development center has 200 employees and is run by country manager Shai Onn.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 18, 2010
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