VMware Snaps Up Former Cisco Channel Exec As New Channel Chief

Dave O'Callaghan

VMware has brought on former Cisco channel executive David O'Callaghan to take over channel responsibilities left unfilled since the departure earlier this year of Scott Aronson.

CRN has learned through sources close to VMware that VMware has told its staff that O'Callaghan is joining the company.

O'Callaghan until August of 2011 served as vice president of worldwide sales at Cisco, and prior to that he was that company's vice president of worldwide distribution. Since leaving Cisco, he founded a consulting company and has been an adjunct professor at the University of Denver, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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Aronson left VMware earlier this year to move to Pivotal, the big data technology company founded by EMC, which is also a majority stakeholder in VMware, where he serves as senior vice president of global field operations.

As of publication time, VMware spokespeople and O'Callaghan himself had yet to comment on his new position.

Scott Miller, director of data center business for World Wide Technology, a Maryland Heights, Mo.-based solution provider and partner to both VMware and Cisco, called VMware's hiring of O'Callaghan a smart move as VMware looks to its next stage of growth.

"It doesn't do much good for VMware to tap someone currently working with VMware's existing channel," Miller said. "O'Callaghan gives reach into the networking channel and helps advance VMware's converged infrastructure business. There's more advantage in reaching into an untapped Cisco channel."

That converged infrastructure business to which Miller referred includes VCE, the joint venture in which EMC, Cisco and VMware invested and which manufactures Vblock solutions with components from all three vendors. Cisco and VMware also work with EMC on developing the VSPEX reference architecture and with NetApp on developing the FlexPod and ExpressPod reference architectures.

For the channel, O'Callaghan's move to VMware represents a closer alignment between VMware and Cisco than in the past. "And it's also good for us as the largest Cisco partner in North America," Miller said.