Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Price of Reputation, Cont. 

CA, a company riven with scandal and a former CEO awaiting jail time, is still trying to recover. The current CEO notes how far the company has come and how far it has to go. The scandal continues to overshadow everything the company does, even though customers are ready to move on. It will take years for CA to live down the accounting frauds that were at its core. CA will need to be especially diligent in reporting finances and in handling customers. This is like a DNA change for the company, which once gloried in a buccaneer spirit. CA would buy other software companies, strip out employees, keep the code and then play rough with customers in terms of license renewals. This has apparently all changed, which means several ranks of CA managers have had to change as well.

It's never easy to turn a company culture around, especially one as aggressive as CA once was. The aggressiveness came from its founder who angrily dismisses contentions he was involved in the fraud as well. The challenge remains for the current CEO to grow the company without the two-fisted attitude that once drove it. Reputation, once gained, is difficult to lose.


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