CA to slash staff amid profits plunge

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Computer software giant CA announced late Monday that it will lay off 1,700 employees after the company reported a 64 percent fall in first-quarter net income.

Half of the layoffs will occur at the Islandia, N.Y. vendor's North American locations and about 300 are positions associated with consolidated joint ventures, according to a statement from the 15,300-employee company. The cost-reduction plan is expected to save CA about $200 million annually beginning late in fiscal year 2008, the statement said.

Company spokeswoman Jennifer Hallahan declined to comment today on which departments or locations would be affected by the layoffs.

"We continue to focus on building and integrating our solutions portfolio to meet the needs of customers and we are encouraged by their positive reaction to our enterprise IT management vision," John Swainson, president and CEO, said in a statement. "However, we are not satisfied with our cost structure and we are implementing an expense reduction plan to improve the company's efficiency and competitive position."

CA reported a three percent increase in revenue for the 2007 first quarter, which ended June 30, compared to the same period last year. But net income plunged from $97 million to $35 million, attributable to a nine percent rise in total operating expenses, to $905 million.

"The initiative we announced (Monday) reflects our ongoing commitment to improve the efficiency of our operations, reduce our operating expenses, improve our rate of return on invested capital and deliver a stronger bottom-line performance," Michael Christenson, CA's chief operating officer, said in the statement.

CA shares were up more than six percent today on Monday's news.

In June, CA said it was holding off on filing its annual report because an internal review revealed the company "did not communicate stock option grants to individual employees in a timely manner."

Last month, CA named a new chief financial officer - the fifth person to hold the position in the past three years.

Nancy E. Cooper, 52, formerly the CFO at IMS Health, a leading provider of market intelligence for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, took over for interim CFO Bob Cirabisi, who returned as the company's corporate controller.

Cooper previously served as CFO at digital rights management firm Reciprocal and international credit company Pitney Bowes Credit. She also has held roles at IBM, serving as the credit corporation's controller and treasurer.

Several CFOs have come and gone since CA's former CEO Sanjay Kumar and the company's former head of worldwide sales, Stephen Richards, were indicted on fraud charges relating to the bogus reporting of revenue to inflate the stock price.

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