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CA taps former HP exec as finance chief

Computer Associates International's new chief financial officer is Jeff Clarke, who helped lead Hewlett-Packard's megamerger with Compaq.

Computer Associates International has hired technology industry veteran Jeff Clarke as chief financial officer, the company said Thursday.

The 42-year old industry executive, who will also be an executive vice president at CA, previously worked at Hewlett-Packard, where he helped lead that company's multibillion-dollar merger with Compaq Computer. In that effort, he was credited with significantly speeding up the cost-cutting schedule.

At HP, Clarke was an executive vice president and the company's supply chain chief. Prior to the merger, he was CFO at Compaq. He began his career with Digital Equipment, now under HP, in 1985.

When he left HP in November, Clarke had said he hoped to land a job as chief financial officer, or even higher.

Sanjay Kumar, CA's chief executive, said Thursday that Clarke "has a world of experience in finance, operations, strategy, and he has a good track record in dealing with customers." Clarke will help bring "cutting edge" financial reporting processes to the company, Kumar said.

The financial situation at CA is a charged one. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been looking into the software maker's accounting practices and other financial activities.

Clarke takes over from Douglas Robinson, who has served on an interim basis for the past six months. Robinson will continue at CA as senior vice president for finance and will report directly to Clarke.

Clarke said on Thursday that he is committed to accelerating the reforms CA has undergone in its financial processes with "rigorous internal processes and tight financial and operational controls."

Although he did not comment specifically on the ongoing criminal investigations into CA's financial dealings, he said the company remains committed to concluding the investigations.

Clarke also said CA has reorganized its sales force to drive more sales through resellers. The channel-oriented sales organization will complement CA's direct sales force, he said.

CNET News.com's Martin LaMonica contributed to this report.