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Citrix-Tibco Close $17B Deal, Uniting Virtualization And Enterprise Apps Vendors

Wade Tyler Millward

The Citrix-Tibco deal passed a shareholder vote in April.

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Virtualization and cloud products vendor Citrix and enterprise applications vendor Tibco Software have completed their merger, valued at $16.5 billion, with new leadership calling the combined company “a new global leader in enterprise software.”

The two companies announced the deal’s completion in a statement Friday. Investment firms Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital Corp. – an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management – took Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Citrix off the NASDAQ to complete the deal.

CRN has reached out to the companies for comment.

[RELATED: Citrix Partners: Go-Private Deal Hinges On Restoring ‘Heart Of True Innovation’]

Shareholders will receive $104 cash per share, according to the statement. The Citrix-Tibco deal passed a shareholder vote in April.

Tom Krause, who left Broadcom after the chip giant’s announced acquisition of VMware to become CEO of the combined Citrix and Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tibco, called the combined company “a new global leader in enterprise software” in the statement.

“We are excited to create a new global leader in enterprise software, designed for scale and growth, through the combination of Citrix and TIBCO,” Krause said. “The platform we have built will expand and deepen our relationships with our valued customers and partners, drive the future of mission-critical cloud software solutions and create long-term value for all our stakeholders.”

With the completion of the Citrix-Tibco deal, Krause revealed on LinkedIn that he is now CEO of Cloud Software Group (CSG), the owner of Citrix and Tibco.

A website for CSG said that Citrix and Tibco will remain separate business units as well as their major solution lines, including Citrix’s NetScaler and ShareFile and Tibco’s ibi and Jaspersoft.

The companies will retain their own branding as well, according to CSG.

Hector Lima, Citrix’s executive vice president and chief customer officer, has the title of EVP of field and channel sales with CSG, according to the website. Lima “leads the global sales, channel ecosystem and customer experience organization,” according to CSG.

Among the executives at CSG include Tibco Chief Information Officer Rani Johnson as CIO, Tibco Chief Financial Officer Tom Berquist as CFO.

Citrix Chief Product Officer Sridhar Mullapudi has been named general manager of Citrix. Tibco Chief Operating Officer Matt Quinn has been named general manager of Tibco, according to CSG.

Abhilash Verma, vice president of product management for application delivery and security at Citrix, has been named general manager of NetScaler. And Ali Ahmed, Tibco’s senior vice president of engineering, has been named CSG’s general manager of enterprise applications, according to the company.

Wrike Separated

Meanwhile, while Citrix and Tibco have joined together, Citrix subsidiary Wrike has formally split from the virtualization and cloud technologies vendor.

In March 2021, Citrix closed on its purchase of Wrike, a collaborative work management platform and Vista portfolio company, for $2.25 billion. 

On Friday, Wrike CEO Andrew Filev posted on the company’s website announcing that Wrike has completed its separation from Citrix and has “the financial backing” of Vista and Evergreen.

“We will leverage our newfound position as a private, autonomous company to continue pursuing innovation focused on solving dynamic workplace challenges and meeting the needs of the modern workforce,” Filev said in the post.

He continued: “As Wrike moves forward, our focus remains the same. We have the most intuitive, versatile, and scalable work management platform on the market and a collaborative, driven team dedicated to freeing our customers to focus on their most purposeful work. There’s never been greater demand for a solution like ours and a better time to deliver it.”

In September, the company hired Brian Clark as chief revenue officer, according to his LinkedIn. He came to Wrike after more than three years with customer experience technologies provider InMoment, leaving with the title of executive vice president and chief revenue officer.

Long Path To Private Ownership

Citrix had a long path to returning to life as a private company. Elliott Management previously bought a stake in the company in 2015 and Elliott partner Jesse Cohn joined the board. He left in 2020, according to a Citrix statement from the time.

Citrix reportedly explored sales and spin-off strategies in 2015 and 2017. Citrix partners at the time voiced displeasure to CRN about Elliott’s 2015 presence.

Rumors of Elliott Management seeking ownership of Citrix popped up in the fall of 2021 following a 16 percent drop in Citrix’s share price year and Elliott Management buying a 10 percent stake in Citrix. Rumors of Elliott and Vista working together to take Citrix private first surfaced in December.

At the start of 2022, Citrix partners who spoke to CRN were cautiously optimistic about the deal.

Partners wanted to see Citrix’s actions back up executives’ words that the company was investing in its channel partner program – not to mention, investing in its technology to break out from the crowded market of vendors offering services aimed at remote workforces.

In 2021, even Citrix’s leadership voiced displeasure in Citrix’s go-to-market strategy. CEO David Henshall stepped down in the fall and interim President and CEO Bob Calderoni promised “to shore up our channel programs and put in place the right incentives for our channel partners.”

“The channel is still there. The channel hasn’t gone away,” Calderoni said on an earnings call in November. “They’re not selling somebody else’s products. They’re just focusing on other parts of their business. And like any part of a sales organization, and the channel is part of our sales organization, we want to make it more profitable for them to do business with us.”

Citrix channel chief Bronwyn Hastins left Citrix in May 2021 for Google Cloud, with Mark Palomba – Citrix’s chief operating officer of sales and services – taking over the role.

In April, Hector Lima told CRN about efforts to “decentralize” its partner program, pushing more resources for partners “out to the edge” and making Citrix easier to do business with for partners.

In addition to the partner program changes, Lima said that Palomba would leave the role of channel chief, with Citrix possibly adopting multiple channel chief roles.

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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