VMware Names Four Co-Presidents, Alters CEO Maritz's Title


VMware last week instituted a major reshuffle of its leadership ranks, promoting four senior executives to the role of co-president and chopping 'president' from chief executive Paul Maritz's title.

Carl Eschenbach, who has held the role of vice president of worldwide field operations since 2005, is now co-president of customer operations; Chief Development Officer Richard McAniff, who joined VMware in 2009, will keep his title and add the role of co-president of products; COO T. Tod Nielsen, who joined VMware in 2009, will keep his title and add the role of co-president, applications platform; and CFO Mark Peek, who joined in 2007, will keep this title and add the role of co-president of business operations.

Maritz, who has been president and CEO of VMware since 2008, will continue as CEO. VMware outlined the moves in a Jan. 27 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Maritz, a 14-year Microsoft veteran, was brought in to replace former VMware President and CEO Diane Greene in a move that shocked many of the company's channel partners. EMC CEO and VMware Chairman Joe Tucci attributed the move to Greene's lack of operational experience.

Two of VMware's four new co-presidents have deep Microsoft ties: McAniff spent 21 years at Microsoft in a variety of product development management positions, while Nielsen spent 12 years at the software giant in roles ranging from vice president of developer tools to president of Microsoft's platform group.

This experience could prove valuable since VMware and Microsoft are going after the same piece of pie in both the virtualization and cloud computing markets. Microsoft has been diligently chipping away at VMware's server virtualization market dominance, giving away Hyper-V for free and making the case that virtualization is an operating system feature as opposed to a standalone technology layer.

VMware, meanwhile, is positioning virtualization as a stepping stone to cloud computing, and has been recruiting service provider partners to build cloud services on its vCloud platform.