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CA's boss reckons greed is good, greed works

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Computer Associates' fat cat Charles Wang just got fatter thanks to a whopping $4.8 million bonus.

The CA president netted the sum less than a fortnight after the US software company issued a profit warning which sent its shareprice plummeting. Wang's bonus was more than $1 million up on the previous year.

CA chief operating officer Sanjay Kumar's bonus didn't suffer due to the company's financial woes either - his sum increased by a third to $3.2 million.

The figures were revealed as part of a Securities & Exchange Commission filing on Friday. They are bound to enrage investors, who saw their price of their shares drop 40 per cent after the profit warning that CA tried to sneak out at midnight on July 4.

But it is not all greed in the CA exec camp. Wang's base salary has not increased - it's still $1 million. And his overall package for the year ended March 31 2000 was worth just $95 million - far lower than the $655 million he picked up in 1999.

Which is just as well, as CA shareholders do not take kindly to directors sponging off the company. Last year shareholder Lisa Sanders took a trio of CA execs - including Wang - to court over a stock compensation package. Wang, who stood to gain the lion's share of the original $1.1 billion windfall, was at the time held up as an example of executive greed by shareholder activists, according to Reuters.

The three were forced to return shares worth $550 million.

Wang was the top paid boss in the US in 1999. Forbes put his pay package, including stock, at $640 million - ahead of IBM's Lou Gerstner ($107 million) and AOL head Stephen Case ($117 million). ®

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