Nicira Founder Casado Leaves VMware

Carol Wilson
News Analysis
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large

Martin Casado, the man who co-founded SDN startup Nicira, is now leaving VMware, the company that paid $1.26 billion for his firm, to become a venture capitalist.

Casado was also CTO of Nicira Networks Inc. when it became the subject of an alleged bidding war between VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), both of which badly wanted its software-defined networking technology. He then became head of VMware's NSX unit, which used Nicira's SDN smarts and was the lone bright spot in an otherwise gloomy VMware earnings report a month ago. (See Does Cisco Need Nicira? and VMware Announces 800 Layoffs, Executive Shake-Up.)

Casado leaves to become a general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which originally invested in Nicira. In interviews with re/code and Forbes, he denied the move has anything to do with problems at Nicira and painted an alternate picture of someone ready to broaden his focus, after a decade spent developing a specific technology, albeit one with broad impact.

The move can't be good news for VWware, which may also be impacted by Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL)'s move to acquire EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), which in turn owns 81% of VMware.

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— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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