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CA keynote show schedule a blank slate

Computer Associates International's keynote schedule at its upcoming user conference is a blank slate following the company's...

Computer Associates International's keynote schedule at its upcoming user conference is a blank slate following the company's management shakeup last month and its guest speaker's withdrawal from the programme.

CA traditionally brings in statesmen and other luminaries to address attendees at its annual CA World show.

Past speakers have included Walter Cronkite, Rudolph Giuliani, Jimmy Carter and Colin Powell. Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright was scheduled this year, but has withdrawn citing personal reasons, said CA spokesman Bob Gordon.

The company also needs to rebook its opening keynote, the speech generally given by CA's chief executive officer to offer his thoughts on the past year and goals for the coming one.

CA's official show programme still lists former chief executive officer Sanjay Kumar as its opening speaker, but those plans are being altered to reflect CA's recent management changes, Gordon said.

Kumar was stripped of his chairman and chief executive officer titles and became chief software architect last month in response to company and government investigations of accounting violations at CA several years ago.

While Kumar has not been accused of wrongdoing, the accounting fraud took place while he was president and chief operating officer, prompting calls for his removal from CA's management team.

CA is now led by interim chief executive officer Ken Cron.

The keynote spot could fall to recently promoted chief operating officer Jeff Clarke, who joined CA in early April as its chief financial officer.

The attendance of Cron, Clarke and Kumar at CA World could help clarify CA's new management hierarchy, although CA has remained vague about the role now played by Kumar, a popular figure with customers.

CA World will begin on 23 May in Las Vegas.

Stacey Cowley writes for IDG News Service 

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