CA CTO makes tracks for VC firm

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CA lost its second key executive in as many months with the unexpected announcement yesterday that its chief technology officer would be jumping ship to a well-known venture capital firm.

Representatives with Garnett & Helfrich Capital (G&H) announced its hire of Mark Barrenechea yesterday, touting his 20 years of operations experience at both CA and Oracle.

Barrenechea joined CA three years ago, though he only started in the role of CTO in late January. Prior to that he was one of the company’s top technology strategists and was integral to CA’s $1.7 billion in acquisitions over the past 18 months.

“Mark has the ideal combination of senior operating experience and financial transaction skills, having defined technology strategy and acquisition activities for industry leaders such as CA and Oracle,” said Terry Garnett , managing director for G&H.

CA announced fourth-quarter earnings in late April, nearly the same time the company was transitioning from the departure of its chief operating officer, who left for another position.

The company is still dealing with the fallout caused by the shady dealings of former chairman and CEO Sanjay Kumar. Kumar and another former executive, Stephen Richards, pleaded guilty last month to charges that they backdated contracts to inflate revenue figures.

In spite of the surprise nature of Barrenechea’s departure, CA spokespeople say the parting will be amicable. He is expected to stay on for another month before starting as a director for G&H.

“Mark Barrenechea made significant contributions to CA over the last three years, with a strong emphasis on product vision, strategy and innovation,” said Jennifer Hallahan, a spokesperson for CA. “We thank him for his outstanding service and wish him well.

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