Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Dell Taps Former CA Head Swainson to Run Software Unit

Dell today announced that it had hired John Swainson, the former CEO of Computer Associates, as president of its new software group. He will report to CEO and founder Michael Dell.

He’d also been heavily recruited. Sources familiar with the situation told me that Swainson had been in line for a very senior and nearly identical job at Hewlett-Packard. Swainson didn’t return my call seeking comment, and spokesmen for HP and Dell declined to comment, as well.

Dell is launching the Software Group, it said in a statement, to build out its muscle on the software side as a complement to its overall mission of selling IT services.

And there’s probably no one better to do it than Swainson. Since 2009 he’s been an adviser at private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. But from 2004 to 2009 he ran CA with one single goal in mind: Rebuilding its reputation following an accounting scandal that ended when its prior CEO, Sanjay Kumar, was sentenced to 12 years in prison. The company paid $225 million to settle federal charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.

But before CA, Swainson had spent 26 years at IBM. Among the things he did at Big Blue was spend seven years as general manager of its Application Integration Middleware division, which was a business he created. It was during those years that IBM launched its WebSphere family of products.

So that leaves just one question: Who’s going to run the HP software division that it had wanted Swainson to run?


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google