Traverse City Record-Eagle


May 17, 2013

Compuware cancels events to honor company co-founder

DETROIT (AP) — The wife of a Compuware Corp. co-founder is upset that events to honor her husband’s legacy and the software development company’s history have been canceled.

The events were a June party outside Compuware’s downtown Detroit headquarters and formal gala with civic leaders, but the company canceled the plans last week and Danialle Karmanos, 40, wasn’t directly notified about the decision, Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News reported Thursday.

The wife of Peter Karmanos Jr. said she had been planning the Compuware-financed events since November with the company’s approval. She sent an email detailing her complaints to company officials, and said she plans to use her own money to put on next month’s gala.

“They went behind my back to the vendors to cancel it, so I went to the vendors and un-canceled it,” she told the Free Press. “I will not let Pete’s legacy go down that way. Pete deserves a party that’s worthy of his legacy and everything he has done to help so many people.”

Compuware spokeswoman Lisa Elkin said in a statement that the company didn’t feel “this was an appropriate use of company funds or in the best interests of our shareholders and employees.”

Karmanos told The News: “I’m using my savings, everything I have, and I’m even selling things to pay for the party.”

Peter Karmanos Jr., 70, who co-founded Compuware four decades ago, stepped down this year as its executive chairman, and is now a consultant for the company making $600,000 a year. He had stepped down as Compuware’s chief executive in 2011.

Compuware in January rejected a $2.35 billion takeover bid by one of its largest shareholders.

In February, Compuware announced plans to lay off 160 employees and close or shrink 16 of its offices worldwide as part of a three-year, $60 million cost-cutting plan.

Joseph Nathan, a former Compuware president, said the company is likely responding to increased scrutiny from Wall Street.

“They just laid off a bunch of people. They’re in a position where they’re watching every dime,” he said. “How do you, as a company, reconcile that with having a big party to celebrate? It just doesn’t look good.”

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