Chris O'Malley is working overtime to pump more innovation into the big iron market -- namely the software market for IBM mainframes. As CEO of Compuware, O'Malley doesn't harp on market headwinds facing mainframes. Instead, he prefers to focus on new workloads -- big data, mobile, Internet of Things, and social -- that demand new types of mainframe software.

Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm, announced plans to acquire Compuware in September 2014 for $2.5 billion. O'Malley -- a CA Technologies Inc. veteran -- joined Compuware ahead of the transaction. He arrived with eyes wide open.

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