VMware Cloud Boss Skedaddles

Mitch Wagner
4/28/2016
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Bill Fathers, EVP & GM of VMware's Cloud Services business unit, is leaving the company as a "personal decision," and will be replaced by two co-general managers, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

Laura Ortman, VP sales and customer success, and Allwyn Sequiera, VP and GM of vCloud Air, will jointly lead the vCloud Air organization, reporting to CEO Pat Gelsinger.

Gelsinger said in VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW)'s most recent earnings call that the company is making cloud a primary focus. The company has three main use cases for cloud: data center extension, data center replacement and data recovery, a spokesman said Wednesday. VMware also sees strong growth in SDN.

On the other hand, the company's traditional, server virtualization business is declining. (See Cloud Helps Drive VMware Revenue Higher.)

Ortman joined VMware in 2008, moving over to the vCloud Air business unit in March 2014 as VP client experience, according to her LinkedIn profile. She moved to her current position as VP global sales and customer success just last month.

Sequiera also joined VMware in 2008, where he worked on VMware's NSX vSphere SDN technology, according to his LinkedIn profile. He took his current position two years ago.

Fathers joined VMware in 2013.

Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL) announced in October that it's buying EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), which owns a controlling interest in VMware, for $67 billion. (See Dell Buys EMC for $67B in Biggest Tech Deal Ever.)

Days after Dell and EMC announced their plans to combine, VMware and EMC announced plans to combine their cloud assets -- including vCloud Air -- in a partnership called Virtustream, based on a company of the same name that EMC had acquired. VMware backed out of that partnership in December. (See VMware Exits Virtustream Cloud Partnership .)

Since then, VMware has seen a couple of high-profile departures.


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Martin Casado, who headed SDN for VMware after co-founding the SDN startup Nicira, left VMware in February. VMware had bought Nicira for $1.26 billion. Casado joined Silicon Valley venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz, which originally invested in Nicira. (See Nicira Founder Casado Leaves VMware.)

Though VMware's most recent quarterly results were good, VMware laid off 800 people a few months earlier, in January, as part of the shift to cloud and SDN and away from server virtualization. At that time, Jonathan Chadwick stepped down as CFO, COO and executive VP, replaced by Zane Rowe as CFO. (See VMware Announces 800 Layoffs, Executive Shake-Up.)

The departure of Fathers and Casado (sounds like a brand of wine cooler) means there is turnover at the top of the two business units VMware sees as essential to its future growth. That could be good: new leadership might bring fresh direction and new energy. But it might also be bad, with top executives quitting while they still can. Let's pop open a couple of those Fathers & Casado Wine Coolers and see how this plays out.

— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading.

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/28/2016 | 11:10:13 PM
Resignation announcements
Announcements like these always make me think of this 1994 Dilbert strip: (link)
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