CA Technologies Co-Founder Charles Wang (1944-2018)
Wang, 74, launched Computer Associates International Inc. (since renamed CA Technologies) in 1976 as mainframe software provider. Through organic growth and multiple acquisitions, CA ranked among the world’s largest software suppliers through the 1990s. He retired from the company in 2000. Over the past two decades or so, Wang shifted his focus to philanthropy, earning a strong reputation for his efforts to help children and international cultural relations.
The CA Technologies Years
Under Wang’s leadership, CA was known for its ever-expanding portfolio of mainframe management and automation tools. The company built strong relationships with Global 2000 CIOs, but from time to time CA’s aggressive direct sales tactics also generated controversy. On some occasions, Wang also clashed with shareholders over stock awards and acquisitions. He resigned as CEO in 2000 and chairman in 2002.
After Wang’s exit, CA suffered from accounting controversies before recovering a bit in recent years. Among the bright spots for CA: Developing and acquiring software for service providers — helping midmarket and enterprise MSPs to manage customer infrastructure, systems and applications.
Broadcom bid $18.9 billion to buy CA in July 2018, and the deal is expected to be completed within weeks.
Charles Wang: Philanthropist, New York Islanders Owner
Outside of CA, Wang was majority owner of the New York Islanders hockey franchise from 2001 to 2016, and he also developed a strong reputation for philanthropy across Long Island. He was co-founder of Smile Train — donating $30 million to help children with cleft lip. He also gave $50 million to the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook.
The SUNY Stony Brook donation funded a cultural center that provides a “proverbial bridge between cultures, and a welcome home to all students of every nationality, every race and religion. It is a monument to his vision and will continue to be for generations to come. The world needs more like Charles Wang,” according to Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., who issued the statement today in response to Wang’s death.
Smile Train, meanwhile, noted that Wang’s life generated a legacy of smiles. “Charles was the driving force behind Smile Train and the reason why so many deserving children continue to receive the care they so desperately need,” the organization said today. “His unwavering passion, commitment, and dedication to children with clefts was unmatched.”
Wang’s death marks the second passing of a software industry pioneer in recent days. Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen died last week amid complications from cancer.