updated 11/23/2004 9:42:49 AM ET 2004-11-23T14:42:49

Computer Associates International Inc., a business software company embroiled in an accounting scandal, named John Swainson, a 26-year veteran of International Business Machines Corp., as its new chief executive on Tuesday.

Swainson will also be the company’s president and will sit on its board.

Kenneth Cron, who has been acting CEO since April, will continue to lead the company during a four to six month transition period, said Lewis Ranieri, the company’s chairman, in a statement.

Former CEO Sanjay Kumar was ousted from that position in April during an accounting scandal that caused the company to restate financial results from 2000 and 2001.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said the company “prematurely recognized” more than $1.4 billion in revenue during its 2000 fiscal year from at least 116 contracts that had not yet been signed. Kumar, who has been charged with securities fraud and obstruction of justice, once flew to Paris to close a contract that was falsely backdated, according to his indictment. He has pleaded not guilty.

Four other former executives of the company have pleaded guilty to similar charges.

Swainson joined Computer Associates on Monday and will report to Cron during the transition. Jeff Clarke, who joined Computer Associates in April will continue as the company’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer and will continue to report to Cron.

Swainson, 50, is a Canadian native whose most recent responsibility at IBM has been for worldwide software sales. He previously ran the company’s software development and its Toronto lab and is credited with helping to create the software category known as “middleware,” which sits between an operating system and an application, such as a spreadsheet.

He is an atypical executive in some respects: At a 2000 conference, he gave a speech quoting from gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s motorcycle gang book, “Hell’s Angels.”

Business software firm Computer Associates International Inc. confirmed Tuesday that it named John Swainson, a 26-year veteran of International Business Machines Corp., as president and chief executive.

Swainson, 50, will succeed interim CEO Kenneth Cron, who will continue to lead the company during a four- to six-month transition period. Jeff Clarke, who joined the company in April, will continue as chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Swainson also will join the Computer Associates board, expanding it to 10 members.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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