The company announced on Tuesday that Tod Nielsen, a seasoned technology executive, will take over as president and CEO, replacing Dale Fuller, who left in July.
Nielsen knows Borland's developer audience well: He spent 12 years working on development products at Microsoft and was chief marketing officer at BEA Systems before working briefly as a senior vice president at Oracle.
But Nielsen will need a good amount of acumen to get Borland on a consistent revenue growth track. Fuller stepped down after poor second-quarter results, which were followed by a disappointing third quarter.
Borland has seen several shifts in strategic direction over the years, but Nielsen says its current path is a good one. Rather than rely on sales of standalone development tools, the company's strategy of application life cycle management embraces all phases of the development process, from gathering application requirements to testing.
After delivering the keynote at Borland's developer conference last week, Nielsen spoke to CNET News.com about the company's future.
Q: Why did you come over to Borland from Oracle?
The last two financial quarters were disappointing. Over the years there have been a few restructurings to get the company growing. What are you going to do to break out of that and get the company on a steady growth track?
Nielsen: Any time a company goes through a product line transition or focuses on new opportunities, there's going to be...bumps in the road. And one of the things I hope to do is really provide the vision, the clear focus and the ability to make decisions and say, "This is what we believe the future to be." We're betting on application life cycle management or software delivery optimization, and that's going to be the space where customers want us to be leaders, and we're going to make sure that we deliver the products and services that will help us succeed there.
Looking at the company from the outside, is there anything there that concerns you? Do you think you need to do something different either operationally or strategywise?
Nielsen: Borland needs to clearly articulate what we're doing today and our vision going forward. Everybody has the positive association with the word "Borland" and the company. But not a lot of people are up to speed on what is the current strategy, what is our mission, what is our vision for the future. I hope to be able to scream from the mountain tops and clearly articulate what it is we're doing and take that positive association people have with our brand and help them understand our vision.
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