DETROIT -

Detroit-based Compuware Corp. has named Robert Paul as its new president and chief operating officer.

Paul has been in charge of Compuware's Covisint subsidiary for the past three years.

Some see Paul's appointment as a sign he could succeed Peter Karmanos, who cofounded Compuware in 1973, as chairman and chief executive.

Paul's appointment will be effective April 1.

In his new role, Paul will lead the company's worldwide products and services operations, the organization's Compuware 2.0 initiative and a number of other key functions, such as product management, marketing and communications, technical sales support, and recruiting, training and career development.