|By Maureen O'Gara||
|February 21, 2010 04:15 PM EST||
Rumor has it that SAP wants CA to give it more toys.
Now CA's got a market cap of $11 billion and SAP's got $1.8 billion in the bank. So it appears that if such a thing were to happen it would be what they call an MOE, a merger of equals.
There's this odd chemistry between SAP and CA. Twice now CA has gotten close to raiding SAP for a CEO and twice the guy it was thinking of poaching became CEO of SAP instead.
The first was SAP sales chief Leo Apotheke, who was reportedly a lead candidate at CA before his prospective move was outed by the press.
When Apotheke balked, CA went with IBMer John Swainson, who lasted until late last year when - reportedly because CA's stock price dropped during his administration - another CEO search was mounted even though CA chairman Bill McCracken, another ex-IBMer, really wanted the job and effectively took over day-to-day operations during the hunt.
Apotheke of course went on to become deputy CEO, co-CEO and for seven brief months the sole CEO of SAP, a tenure that ended abruptly on Super Bowl Sunday.
The second guy was reportedly SAP sales chief Bill McDermott, the American who became co-CEO of SAP that fateful Sunday.
A well-placed source says McDermott was CA's second choice for CEO after Oracle co-president Chuck Phillips, who reportedly accepted the job. CA supposedly told McDermott he was out of the running a few weeks ago but McDermott failed to communicate that fact to SAP, which reportedly knew he was under consideration for the CA job. Poof, he becomes co-CEO of SAP.
Phillips would be CEO of CA today if somebody intimate with CA's boardroom secrets hadn't tipped Oracle off to his imminent departure, an inconvenient exit considering Oracle was about to close on its hard-won Sun acquisition.
It's hard to tell whether Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had an inkling one of his co-presidents could be anywhere near the orbit of his great rival, SAP, but, whether or not, he reportedly wanted Phillips to stick around for a couple more years.
Hence, the frat house prank of outing Phillips' eight-and-a-half year relationship with a woman not his wife on billboards in Times Square near Phillips' office, San Francisco near Oracle's headquarters and Atlanta near where Phillips' wife lives. Given CA's checkered past and despite the fact that it could really use Phillips to do the SAP deal - and slim down the place either before or after - the CEO job passed to McCracken within hours of Oracle celebrating its takeover of Sun.
CA needed to get a permanent CEO in place and, with one of ex-CEOs doing a 12-year stretch in a federal prison in New Jersey, it couldn't exactly afford to hire a CEO with a double life.
If Charles Phillips had moved from Oracle to CA, he might have been richer - although that's hard to believe - but not necessarily happier considering McCracken reportedly wanted him to execute on McCracken's strategy, which is reportedly focused on the cloud.
In that case, note that CA Thursday joined the Cloud Security Alliance as a corporate member to help establish and promote best practices for security in cloud computing, meaning to kick in its identity and access management expertise. It said it is "working with enterprise customers and cloud service providers to securely adopt and deliver cloud services." SAP could sure use a bit of that.
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