VMware Shuffles Exec Roster, CFO Peek To Leave In June


VMware on Wednesday announced an executive reshuffling in which Carl Eschenbach, president of customer operations, is being promoted to COO, and CFO Mark Peek is leaving for a position at SaaS vendor Workday.

Raghu Raghuram, former senior vice president of cloud infrastructure and management at VMware, is being promoted to executive vice president of cloud infrastructure and management.

Eschenbach's last promotion came in February 2011, when he was elevated from vice president of worldwide field operations, a role he'd held since 2005. As part of that move, VMware dropped 'president' from CEO Paul Maritz's title and named four co-presidents: Eschenbach, Peek, COO Tod Nielsen and Chief Development Officer Richard McAniff.

Eschenbach is replacing Nielsen, who has been VMware's COO since 2009, and whose future role at VMware wasn't specified in the announcement. VMware couldn't be reached for comment.

Peek, who joined VMware in 2007 and helped the company prepare its IPO that year, will stay on until June 1 while VMware searches for a replacement. He'll also be CFO at Workday, a vendor of SaaS-based human resources, payroll, and financial management apps that was launched in 2006 by former PeopleSoft executives Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri.

Peek is well regarded by Wall Street, and Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, described his departure to CRN as "a definite loss." However, the fact that Peek is leaving for a private company with IPO potential should cushion the impact of the move, he added.

"He is not leaving just to leave," Ive said. "It's a pretty natural explanation."

In a press release detailing the changes, VMware also said it expects to "broadly meet or slightly exceed" the fiscal first quarter guidance it issued in January of $1.02 billion to $1.04 billion in revenue. Wall Street analysts are expecting revenue of $1.03 billion and earnings of 60 cents per share.

VMware shares dipped more than six percent Wednesday in the wake of the announcement, as investors expecting a repeat of the company's fourth quarter earnings -- in which profit rose 67 percent and revenue 27 percent - registered their disappointment with the guidance.