Page 1 of 2

Michael Gregoire looks at big changes in technology as an opportunity to rethink what he is doing. The Canadian native, who learned programming in high school on an Apple PC, spent the first 12 years of his career at Electronic Data Systems, the Plano, Texas–based company founded by Ross Perot to manage information technology for large corporations. By 2000, Gregoire was running EDS’s financial services information solutions group, and he saw that its core custom-built-applications business was being threatened by off-the-shelf software packages created by enterprise-resource-planning companies like SAP and PeopleSoft.

“All of those companies were just exploding,” says Gregoire, 48, who has a BS in physics from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and an MBA from Santa Ana’s California Coast University. “The value proposition was that you didn’t have to write something from scratch. I felt the world was moving away from bespoke applications.”

Gregoire joined PeopleSoft in May 2000 as a senior vice president in its consulting division. When software giant Oracle Corp. agreed to buy PeopleSoft in December 2004 in a $10.3 billion hostile takeover, Gregoire was managing an army of more than 4,000 professionals worldwide and had helped the company double its revenue. He decided not to go with Oracle. Three months later he became CEO of Taleo Corp., a privately held software maker specializing in workforce recruitment. He took Dublin, California–based Taleo public in October 2005 and expanded its talent management suite of products, offering software as a service (SaaS) to customers on a hosted platform. “The whole concept of SaaS was very, very new,” Gregoire says.

In February 2012, Oracle agreed to buy Taleo for $1.9 billion — “through a very friendly sale,” Gregoire notes — and Gregoire was once again out of a job. That summer he started talking to the board of CA Technologies, which had been founded as Computer Associates in 1976 by Charles Wang and Russell Artzt to provide software for IBM mainframe computers. CA Technologies had changed its name in 2010 to reflect “the full breadth and depth” of its business, spanning mainframes, distributed computing platforms and cloud computing. The Islandia, New York–based company’s software and services help customers manage and secure their IT applications and infrastructure.

Since Gregoire became CEO in January 2013, CA Technologies has generated an average of $1.15 billion in revenue each quarter, with about half of that coming from its mainframe business. He plans to increase revenue by focusing on innovative new products, especially software that can be delivered on demand as a service. An avid cyclist who is signed up to compete in California’s 129-mile Death Ride in July, Gregoire recently met with Institutional Investor Editor Michael Peltz at CA Technologies’ New York City offices to discuss his first year as CEO and his plans for growing his company.