Dell is launching a new software group and has hired former CA CEO John Swainson to lead it.Swainson will serve as the group’s president.
He is best known as the CEO who lead CA (formerly known as Computer Associates) from the shambles left by its founder and previous CEO.
In the early 2000s, CA’s founder Charles Wang and its then CEO Sanjay Kumar embroiled the company in a scandal involving $2.2 billion in accounting fraud. Kumar was sentenced to 12 years of jail and the CA board cleaned house and appointed Swainson as CEO.
Swainson ran CA from 2005 through 2009 and brought the company a better reputation than it had in years. He did a stint at Silver Lake Partners as a senior advisor before taking this job with Dell. Prior to that Swainson spent 26 years at IBM, working his way up to vice president of worldwide sales for IBM’s Software Group.
Dell is at a cross roads these days. Being a low-cost provider of hardware is a tough position. It is facing competition from former partners like Cisco, that now sell servers. Software offers far high margins than hardware, too.
With the hiring of this high-powered software executive, Dell has declared that it wants to be the next IBM or HP, offering a one-stop shop for the enterprise.