CRN Exclusive: VMware's Longtime Networking Chief Exits For A Position At Google


Jeff Jennings, the leader of VMware’s increasingly vital networking and security business unit, left the virtualization company last month for a job at Google.

Jennings exited effective February 16. Rajiv Ramaswami, the chief operating officer for products & cloud services, will take charge of VMware's Networking and Security Business Unit until a replacement for Jennings is found, a VMware spokesperson told CRN on Monday.

Jennings had been with VMware for 18 years as a vice president for systems engineering. For the last year-and-a-half, he served as senior vice president and general manager of the networking and security unit, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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Google confirmed that Jennings has joined the team led by Diane Greene, VMware's founder and former CEO who now runs Google's cloud business.

Jennings departure comes as talk heats up of a merger with parent company Dell Technologies.

The division he led oversees development of NSX, one of VMware's fastest-growing and most-strategic products.

CEO Pat Gelsinger described the network virtualization technology obtained through the acquisition of Nicira in 2012 as "becoming the secret sauce behind almost everything we do."

"What vSphere was to the first 20 years of VMware, NSX is becoming for the next decade or two," Gelsinger said at the VMworld conference last summer. "If you're not using it today, you're already behind."

Gelsinger said at that event that VMware will add more capabilities, and conduct more acquisitions to bulk up the networking technology.

"We thank Jeff for his passion and commitment and wish him well," the VMware spokesperson said, describing the move as a "personal career decision."

CRN wasn't able to immediately reach Jennings for comment.