VMware Cloud Chief Is Not Part Of New EMC-VMware Cloud Services Business

Bill Fathers

Bill Fathers, the driving force behind VMware's vCloud Air service, will not be part of the new EMC-VMware 50-50-owned cloud services business.

VMware has confirmed that Fathers, executive vice president and general manager of cloud services, is stepping into a "strategic advisory role." In his new assignment, Fathers, who has headed up the cloud business for VMware for nearly three years and is a member of VMware's executive leadership team, will report to VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger.

Fortune reported on Oct 21 Monday that Fathers was not going to be part of the new business .

[Related: EMC, VMware Fire Shot Across AWS Bow With New Cloud Services Business Unit]

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A VMware spokesman two months ago denied that Fathers had been ousted when CRN reported that VMware was cutting back on vCloud Air development in the wake of the Virtustream acquisition.

The new EMC-VMware-owned cloud services business will be run by Virtustream CEO Rodney Rogers with its own separate board of directors -- with EMC CEO Joe Tucci as chairman.

Rogers, a Virtustream co-founder, is considered an enterprise cloud services pioneer for his foresight in building Virtustream as a proven SAP ERP mission-critical cloud.

Jamie Shepard, senior vice president for health care and strategy at Lumenate, No. 145 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500, said Fathers was expected to not play a role in the new business, given Rogers' cloud expertise.

"Rodney is coming at this from a totally different place than [Fathers]," said Shepard. "This is just not Bill Fathers' background. You don't need a VMware guy to run a cloud services business. You need a cloud visionary who understands enterprise [Software-as-a-Service]. Think of it -- Rogers built Virtustream into a secure SAP HANA platform, the most mission-critical-intensive application in the market.

"He understands both the [application service provider] model and the SaaS model."

The new EMC-VMware cloud services business is a game changer that puts EMC-VMware into a strong position to win market share against the likes of Amazon Web Services, said Shepard.

Combining vCloud Air with Virtustream gives EMC-VMware an on-ramp to the cloud that corporations can use to move any and all applications to the cloud, said Shepard. He said the new EMC-VMware cloud services business is a sign that vCloud Air has not "matured as fast as" EMC and VMware would like.

Shepard called the new EMC-VMware cloud services business a master chess move in the IT services game. "EMC buying Virtustream and setting up the new cloud services business is chess -- not checkers," he said. "We see a massive opportunity with VMware vCloud Air and Virtustream as one. Now we can guide any and all applications into the cloud. We can identify the application, virtualize them, and through Virtualcenter, move them into the Virtustream cloud. You can buy one secure SKU for all your IT. That is a very compelling story."