Pat Gelsinger's move to take over as head of VMware comes at a time when both VMware and its parent company, storage king EMC, are both taking major steps to bring the two companies' technologies, if not their strategies, closer together.
Gelsinger's appointment as CEO of VMware, first reported by CRN Monday night, appears to serve the dual purpose of helping VMware expand its footprint in the storage industry while ensuring Gelsinger remains a contender for eventually taking over the reins at EMC.
Gelsinger brings to VMware arguably one of the most solid IT technology resumes available.
This is a well-deserved opportunity for Gelsinger to take a role at the top, said Steve Kaplan, vice president of virtualization and cloud at Presidio, a Houston-based solution provider and partner to EMC and VMware. "It's a great opportunity for him. And a great opportunity for VMware. Not only that, he's a down-to-earth guy. That's not common in this industry. Pat Gelsinger is unusual in his accessibility and in helping the channel."
During his tenure as COO and president of EMC's Information Infrastructure Products division, Gelsinger became known as one of the most technically-astute executives in the storage industry. His on-stage presence at EMC customer and channel events was second to that only of his boss, EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci.
Prior to joining EMC in late 2009, Gelsinger was senior vice president and co-general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, a group that accounted for over half of Intel's annual revenue and was responsible for Intel's enterprise products including products for PCs, servers, embedded systems, communications, visualization and storage. Gelsinger had been widely expected to be in line to succeed Paul Otellini as president and CEO of Intel.
EMC declined to comment.
Gelsinger brings those two backgrounds together at VMware, a company that in many ways is at the center of an IT industry in the early phase of a massive shift towards cloud computing.
Gelsinger in May at EMC World said that the company will have virtual versions of all its arrays in the future, including for Isilon and VNX, as well as virtual versions of storage-related appliances such as RecoverPoint and Vplex, with the first versions starting to appear in 2013.
NEXT: Bringing Storage, Virtualization Together In The Cloud