Alfred Chuang, current president and chief operating officer, will take over as chief executive. Coleman, who has been CEO since the company launched in 1995, will become BEA's chief strategy officer and remain as chairman of its board of directors.
BEA, which competes against Sun Microsystems, Oracle and IBM, is the market leader for application-server software, technology that allows businesses to handle e-commerce and other Web site transactions.
In the $2.2 billion market for application-server software in 2000, BEA ranked first with 18 percent, followed by IBM with 15 percent of the market. Sun and Oracle placed third and fourth, with about 8 percent each, according to researcher IDC.
Coleman, who co-founded BEA with Chuang six years ago, said Chuang has been instrumental in BEA's success. BEA's application server came from its acquisition of start-up WebLogic two years ago, and in that time Chuang ran the company's global operations, including engineering, product development, marketing and sales, Coleman said.
"Every few years, BEA has gone through successful, strategic transformations to better align itself for market and industry advantage," Coleman said in a statement. "Alfred led BEA's transformation after our 1998 acquisition of WebLogic. The time is right for Alfred to lead us through the next phase of the company's evolution."
BEA in August reported second-quarter income of $58.5 million, or 10 cents per share, on revenue of $267.8 million.