VMware Channel Chief Departs, Now Leading Partner Sales At Virtual Instruments


Doug Smith, a channel veteran who has spent the past 15 years at EMC and VMware, has left VMware to become vice president of global partner sales at Virtual Instruments, a San Jose, Calif.-based cloud management startup, CRN has learned.

Smith, who joined Virtual Instruments last month, is now leading its global partner sales efforts, including OEM partners, channel partners, systems integrators and alliances, according to his Linked profile.

Smith couldn't be reached for comment.

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Dan Smoot, VMware senior vice president of global customer operations, is "actively looking to recruit a leader for the VMware global partner organization," a VMware spokesperson said in an email.

"We thank Doug for his contributions, and we wish him the best in his new endeavor," the spokesperson said."

Virtual Instruments was founded in 2008 and is led by former Symantec CEO John W. Thompson. Its flagship product, called VirtualWisdom, uses software and hardware to monitor and manage virtual servers and storage, ensuring that they're able to keep apps running at a high level.

Virtual Instruments says it's growing quickly: In a Wednesday press release, the startup said it has boosted its customer acquisition rate by 50 percent over the past two quarters. It's unclear how much revenue Virtual Instruments is currently generating, but Thompson told CRN last month he expects Virtual Instruments to hit $100 million in revenue by the end of 2013.

Smith spent six-plus years at VMware and left as vice president of global partner strategy and operations. This role included oversight of VMware's channel investments, partner support centers, training initiatives and social media, according to Smith's LinkedIn profile.

VMware partners that worked with Smith described him as responsive to the channel's needs and skilled in the art of forming vendor alliances.

"Doug [Smith] was very engaging and keen to make sure that partners were front and center in whatever VMware was planning," Harry Zarek, president and CEO of Compugen, a Richmond Hill, Ontario-based partner, told CRN.

During his 9 years at EMC, Smith led all OEM software alliances and helped the vendor form consulting practices with Microsoft, SAP and Oracle, among other vendors, said Jamie Shepard, regional vice president at Lumenate, a Dallas-based VMware partner.

"[Smith] forged those alliances better than anyone I've ever seen, and he was good at rolling the best of what the OEMs had to offer into EMC's business," Shepard told CRN.

Smith is the latest VMware executive to leave for opportunities outside the company. VMware CTO Stephen Herrod left in January to become managing director at General Catalyst, a Boston-based venture capital firm.

Vittorio Viarengo, formerly vice president of product marketing for VMware's End User Computing division, left in October and is now vice president of marketing at MobileIron.

Former VMware CEO Paul Maritz left last July to become CEO of the EMC-VMware joint venture known as the Pivotal Initiative. Scott Aronson, former VMware senior vice president of global channels and alliances, is now senior vice president of global field operations at Pivotal.

PUBLISHED MAY 1, 2013

This story was updated on May 1, 2013, at 1:37 p.m. PST, to include comments made after press time by a VMware spokesperson.