VCloud Air Hiring Spree? VMware Seeking U.S. Cloud Marketing VP, Sales Specialists

VMware’s vCloud Air team has kept a low profile lately, but a recent flurry of marketing and sales job listings suggest the vendor is actively rebuilding its brand in the hybrid cloud market.

VMware partners told CRN Monday they're surprised to see the hiring activity around vCloud Air given the turmoil that has surrounded the service, which has seen limited adoption in a public cloud market dominated by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, and has also seen its ranks shrink because of layoffs and attrition.

But VMware is now searching for a head of U.S. field marketing for vCloud Air, a position that requires 15 years of related experience as well as "management of a multi-million dollar" budget, according a job listing on its website.

[Related: vCloud Where? VMware Forms New Hybrid Cloud Alliance With IBM SoftLayer]

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It's unclear when the job listing was posted, but a source close to VMware said the position recently became available and is one of a number of vCloud Air roles the vendor is looking to fill.

VMware lists 28 job openings for vCloud Air-related positions in the U.S., including sales specialists in Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Anaheim, Calif.; and Austin, Texas. VMware, Palo Alto, Calif., lists a total of 49 available vCloud Air positions on its jobs website.

A VMware spokesman declined to comment on the size of the vCloud Air hiring campaign but did say the vendor remains committed to the business. "As part of our broader cloud strategy, VMware continues to operate vCloud Air as a business and platform with a robust road map and strong leadership," said the spokesman.

VMware used to pitch vCloud Air as a "safe landing place" in the public cloud for the vast number of customers that run its server virtualization software in their data centers. But the service has seen limited sales because of a lack of key features, like pay-as-you-go pricing and credit card signup, as well as performance issues.

Sources told CRN last August that VMware, because of slow sales of vCloud Air, was considering halting development of new features for the service, although the vendor denied that this was the case.

The road for vCloud Air has been anything but smooth since the Dell-EMC deal was announced in October. First, vCloud Air was part of a proposed cloud joint venture with VMware parent EMC, but VMware backed out in December after shareholders revolted.

The vCloud Air team has also been decimated by layoffs and talent defections. Bill Fathers, the executive who had led the unit since its launch in 2013, left the company in April.

VMware has also forged an Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Desktop-as-a-Service partnership with IBM's SoftLayer cloud unit, a move that has been interpreted by some industry watchers as a sign that VMware may look to exit the market after the Dell-EMC deal is finalized.

Despite all of this turmoil, however, VMware partners think the future is now looking brighter for vCloud Air.

VMware is no longer positioning vCloud Air as a public cloud, but it's still managing to attract existing VMware customers that need disaster recovery and Desktops-as-a-Service, an executive from one national VMware partner told CRN.

"VMware is doing a lot around the vCloud Air Network [the vendor's service provider partners] and it's in the process of rebuilding the vCloud Air brand," said the executive, who didn't want to be named.

Despite vCloud Air's tumultuous recent history, some VMware partners still see value in the offering, and are willing to give the "reborn" offering another look.

"If VMware is rebuilding the vCloud Air brand, they need to reach out to me -- I still have faith in the service," Phillip Walker, CEO of Network Solutions Provider, a VMware partner in El Segundo, Calif., told CRN.