VMware gains a new CEO and loses a COO

VMware gains a new CEO and loses a COO

Raghu Raghuram - CEO - VMware.jpg

VMware has appointed Rangarajan (Raghu) Raghuram as its new CEO, after Pat Gelsinger left the company earlier this year to become Intel's CEO.

The appointment of Raghuram has led to VMware losing its chief operating officer though, as he was also after the top job, along with others.

Raghuram (pictured), who joined the company in 2003, previously held the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer for products and cloud services at VMware, and has been at the centre of developing and delivering all of the company's growth revenue streams in the last few years.

He helped drive the vendor's “software-defined data centre” strategy and its more recent plays in hybrid multi-cloud services in partnership with the likes of Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft.

The board clearly wanted a product person to lead the company, but that has led to someone else leaving.

Sanjay Poonen, currently chief operating officer for customer operations, and seven years younger than Raghuram, is now leaving VMware after his seven years at the company.

“I extend my warm congratulations to Raghu on his promotion to CEO and know he will take the company to new heights,” said Poonen. “I will be cheering on the company’s success as I embark on my next adventure.”

A betting person might guess he's on his way to VMware rival Nutanix, the sudden destination for another senior VMware exec at the turn of the year, to become Nutanix's new CEO. That led to a legal spat between him and VMware over trade secrets potentially being leaked to Nutanix.

Dell Technologies recently announced it would be selling off its majority stake in VMware to raise as much as $9.7 billion. But Michael Dell still had a big say on who would be leading VMware going forward.

“I am thrilled to have Raghu step into the role of CEO at VMware. Throughout his career he has led with integrity and conviction, playing an instrumental role in the success of VMware,” said Michael Dell, chairman of the VMware board of directors.

“Raghu is now in position to architect VMware’s future, helping customers and partners accelerate their digital businesses in this multi-cloud world,” said Dell.

Raghuram added: “VMware is uniquely poised to lead the multi-cloud computing era with an end-to-end software platform spanning clouds, the data centre and the edge, helping to accelerate our customers’ digital transformations.”

Zane Rowe had been interim CEO and he now continues as CFO. Sumit Dhawan has also been named president of VMware - leading all go-to-market functions including worldwide sales, the worldwide partner and commercial organisation, customer experience and success, marketing and communications.

On announcing the executive changes VMware released its preliminary results for the first quarter. Sales are expected to be $2.99 billion, an increase of 9.5% from the first quarter last year. The full results will be posted on 27 May 2021.

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