Last December, I wrote a blog post titled, May 2010 Be the Year That Charles Wang Is Brought to Justice. This December I can report that, quite imperceptibly to most of us, in 2010 justice was indeed finally served in the interminable case of Charles Wang vs. The Truth.
Wang was the co-founder and first CEO of the company that under his watch was known as Computer Associates (CA), and where under his watch a culture of fraud and fear was born that ultimately landed Wang's successor, Sanjay Kumar, in prison. A good recap of what happened is presented in this New York Times piece, but the key point to be addressed here is one that I and many others are unwilling to allow to be forgotten: Wang was never held accountable for his role in the accounting fraud that permeated his company.
It's widely understood that the reason Wang managed to get away with throwing Kumar under the bus and professing his innocence was simply that he was smart enough to avoid using e-mail and voicemail. As a result, investigators were unable to produce any physical evidence of his involvement in the accounting fraud that destroyed the lives of too many people, and that nearly destroyed his company. The statute of limitations in the case has now expired, so Wang will never go to prison, at least not for the wrongdoing that the CA board of directors' Special Litigation Committee said he committed at CA. But be assured of this: In 2010 he entered a prison of his own making that for him is far more horrific than being confined in a cell. Wang entered a prison of financial turmoil.
It's a long and convoluted story that will take more than a single blog post to tell. But it will be told, not only by me, but by others who will no doubt pick up on this post and begin their own investigations. This initial post will simply provide an overview of what Wang has been up to since he left CA, and of the financial collapse that has been his just reward.
For the past several years, Wang has devoted his energies to running two enterprises, both of which hemorrhaged money in 2009 and 2010: NeuLion Inc., an IPTV service provider in Plainview, N.Y.; and the New York Islanders professional hockey team.
Here's what you need to know about NeuLion:
Here's what you need to know about the New York Islanders:
Meanwhile, looming hauntingly over Wang is the CA Special Litigation Committee's call to sue him for at least $500 million in damages. That peril, and Wang's crippling business misfortunes, have combined to sound what for others would be an ominous financial alarm. For Wang, whose greed is legendary, the sound is much more devastating than that. It's the clank of a metaphorical cell door closing solidly behind him.
Sanjay Kumar got 12 years. Wang's self-imposed sentence may well turn out to be life.
Justice, at last.
A NeuLion spokesperson said Wang was unavailable to be interviewed for this post.