Pivotal Labs' Founder Mee Replaces Maritz As Pivotal Software CEO

Rob Mee

Paul Maritz has stepped down as CEO of Pivotal Software, paving the way for one of that company's founders to take over the leadership at a time when its parent company is set to go through a potentially massive change in structure.

Maritz on Tuesday was succeeded as CEO by Rob Mee, one of Pivotal's co-founders and, until now, the company's executive vice president for products and R&D.

Maritz, who has been part of the Pivotal team since 2012, remains executive chairman of the board for the organization.

[Related: Analysts: Why An HP Acquisition Of EMC Would Work]

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Pivotal Software did not respond to a request for more information.

However, Maritz, in a prepared statement, said, "Rob Mee has been credited for shaping the software development cultures of some of Silicon Valley’s most influential and valuable companies. He's an exceptional leader and technologist, passionate about our mission, committed to our principles and values, and knows how to build a successful business."

Pivotal Software on Tuesday also said the company has a $100 million annual run-rate.

Pivotal Software officially launched in 2013 under Maritz's leadership. It was founded on the Pivotal Initiative, which EMC unveiled in December of 2012. The Pivotal Initiative combined VMware's noncore technology for building Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, and EMC's big-data technology and Pivotal Labs, a software development tool powerhouse.

Mee was CEO of Pivotal Labs when EMC acquired that company in 2012.

The change in Pivotal leadership comes at a critical time for parent company EMC. EMC is under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management to break up the EMC Federation, which includes EMC, VMware, big-data and business-analytics software developer Pivotal, security developer RSA and converged infrastructure developer VCE.

EMC and Elliott Management in January signed a standstill agreement under which Elliott Management expressed satisfaction that EMC was doing what it could to make changes favorable to investors. That agreement ends in September.

EMC has a number of choices it could make if it decided to give in to investor pressure for change, including selling off part of the EMC Federation. While much has been made about the possibility EMC might sell VMware, the company could also easily sell Pivotal Software.

There is also a strong chance that Hewlett-Packard will acquire EMC, a leading storage and cloud technology vendor.

Such a merger is now more likely than when it was first proposed last year, given activist pressure on EMC to sell all or part of itself by year's end at the same time that HP is splitting up into two separate companies, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc., according to the analysts.

HP last fall was in talks with EMC about an acquisition, according to reports at the time. However, negotiations on the deal fell through because EMC and HP archrival Cisco had a joint venture in VCE, and because an acquisition at the time when HP was considering a separation into two companies would have made that split even more complex, according to analysts from Raymond James.

Since then, however, EMC acquired all but a 10 percent stake in VCE from Cisco. The analysts wrote that the roughly $700 million in sales from Cisco's portion of the VCE revenue could easily be replaced by HP equipment.