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While Maritz is certainly capable of tackling this business challenge, engineers generally prefer to focus their attentions on more strategic tasks, which is what he will be doing at EMC.
"Paul was a great leader for VMware, as during his tenure they needed to rapidly evolve the technology, and he has done that. But, I see Paul as more of a technologist than a business leader," said Scott Miller, director of cloud and virtualization at World Wide Technology, a Maryland Heights, Mo.-based solution provider.
Maritz's strategy and execution over the past four years has been impressive, and his leadership has been good for the partner community, Ron Dupler, CEO of GreenPages, a Kittery, Maine-based VMware partner, told CRN.
That said, the future challenges VMware is facing are different from those it has faced in the past, Dupler said. "VMware is fighting battles on a number of fronts right now," he said. "There is a difference between thought leadership and strategy creation and execution."
Gelsinger during the conference call confirmed earlier reports that EMC will be adding virtualization technology to its storage product lines. "All EMC storage assets will become virtual appliances, and all storage assets will run virtual machines," he said.
While VMware's technology is solid, business leaders are having a tough time making sense of the business model changes that come with the virtual appliance model, and Gelsinger could help devise a better business strategy for making the benefits more clear, Miller said.
"VMware would like to see faster adoption of virtual appliances by its hardware partners, and it's going to take someone [in the CEO role] to help those organizations understand the business value for them," Miller said.
VMware also reported preliminary second quarter results Tuesday: The Palo Alto, Calif.,-based vendor expects revenue of approximately $1.123 billion, up 22 percent year over year and in line with its guidance of $1.100 billion to $1.120 billion. VMware is expecting non-GAAP operating margins of around 32 percent, compared to its guidance of 30.25 percent to 31.25 percent.
For fiscal 2012, VMware is expecting revenue of between $4.540 billion and $4.635 billion and non-GAAP operating margins between 30.25 percent and 31.25 percent.