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November 2003

Computer Associates' Sanjay Kumar on the once-troubled firm's comeback

Sanjay Kumar By the time Sanjay Kumar ascended to CEO of Computer Associates, the software giant was inundated with troubles. The tech market bust had stunted previously impressive growth. Its software was perceived as second rate. Customers railed against outrageous contracts sold by arrogant sales staff. Disenfranchised investors began demanding heads, Kumar's among them. Lawsuits mounted. Then the feds started to question the company's bookkeeping. But Kumar, an immigrant and college dropout who's now worth hundreds of millions, had a strategy based on the same simple business practice he learned as a 15-year-old grocery store bagger in South Carolina: You earn more money by making the customer feel special. Twenty-six years later, that same simple plan is helping him turn around one of the world's preeminent software companies. By heavily promoting CA's extensive library of security solutions, Kumar wants to convince the world it's a changed corporation. He hopes security becomes CA's entry point to the rest of the ...

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