Channel News

The 10 Most Controversial Companies Of 2022

Steven Burke

Blockbuster acquisitions involving some of the most prominent technology vendors, companies hit by cybersecurity breaches and layoffs from tech stalwarts dominated the list of the most controversial companies in 2022.

9. Citrix: Gets Taken Private, Merges With Tibco In $16.5 billion Deal, Gets A Fresh Name, New CEO

VDI pioneer Citrix—which was also one of the most controversial companies on CRN’s 2021 list—began 2022 with a $16.5 billion deal to take the company private and merge with enterprise software maker Tibco.

Citrix was bought by Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital, the latter an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management. Tibco has been owned by Vista Equity Partners since 2014.

The CEO of one Citrix partner, who did not want to be identified, told CRN that combined company faces a big challenge in unifying the technology products of both companies. “We are selling big data solutions every single day, and not once has Tibco been part of that conversation,” the CEO said. “If they are thinking they are going to make me into a Tibco reseller, that is a different conversation.”

Partners also told CRN that critical to the deal was getting back to the innovation that had made Citrix a VDI stalwart. “I need an innovation partner,” Ray Wolf, CEO of A2K Partners, a Southlake, Texas-based Citrix partner, told CRN. “Citrix has every ability to be successful when there’s transformation. They have a solid base, a loyal customer base. Their technology works. They just now need to come out with meeting the current and the future requirements of the customer, and give them confidence they can get it done.”

With the deal in the works, Citrix reorganized its channel partner program in a move intended to create a simpler and faster experience for partners. Citrix told CRN in April that Mark Palomba was no longer the Citrix channel chief, change made as part of a decentralization strategy. That decentralization effort also included moving Citrix partner account managers (PAMs) into the sales organizations. In addition, Citrix made changes to make it more profitable for partners to sell Citrix SaaS products.

The Tibco deal came after a tumultuous 2021 for Citrix that included the unexpected departure of President and CEO David Henshall and the appointment of Chairman Bob Calderoni as interim president and CEO.

With the Tibco deal set to be finalized, Citrix announced that Broadcom Software President Tom Krause, who was slated to lead VMware after its acquisition by Broadcom, would become the CEO of the combined Citrix-Tibco software company.

“Citrix and Tibco are pioneers in their respective markets, and I am honored to take the helm of a global enterprise software leader that will continue to accelerate digital transformations and the future of hybrid work,” said Krause in a statement at the time. “I am excited to partner with the leadership teams and talented employees from Citrix and Tibco around the world to drive growth and ensure a successful path forward for the combined company.”

Calderoni said he was “confident and excited” to see how the combined company would accelerate under Krause.

Krause, for his part, said he was looking forward to taking the helm of what he called a “global enterprise software leader” that would accelerate digital transformation and the future of hybrid work. “I am excited to partner with the leadership teams and talented employees from Citrix and Tibco around the world to drive growth and ensure a successful path forward for the combined company,” he said.

In the fall, the combined entity rolled out its new name: Cloud Software Group.

Steven Burke

Steve Burke has been reporting on the technology industry and sales channel for over 30 years. He is passionate about the role of partners using technology to solve business problems and has spoken at conferences on channel sales issues. He can be reached at

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