VMware CEO Gelsinger 'Categorically' Denies He's Leaving, Says Michael Dell Wants Him To Stay

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said at a technology conference Wednesday that he intends to continue leading the virtualization vendor after Dell closes its .

During an appearance at the Jeffries Technology Conference in Miami, Gelsinger was asked to respond to CRN's report Tuesday that he's , which is expected to happen by October.

"I categorically deny it, EMC categorically denies it, and Dell categorically denies it. So there's absolutely no merit or substance to the rumor whatsoever," Gelsinger said of CRN's report.

Gelsinger also said Dell CEO Michael Dell wants him to continue on as VMware CEO, a post he has held since 2012. "My intention is to stay here, and Michael's intention is that I stay here," Gelsinger said at the event.

CRN reached out to Dell to confirm Gelsinger's assertions, but a spokesman for the Round Rock, Texas-based vendor declined comment. VMware and EMC spokespeople had no additional comment.

Sources told CRN earlier this week that the search for Gelsinger's replacement is under way. One candidate being considered is Tony Bates, a former Microsoft executive who's currently president of videocamera vendor GoPro, and who joined VMware's board in February.

Several senior software executives from Dell and EMC are also in the running, a source familiar with the search told CRN.

A high-level EMC source told CRN on Tuesday that Gelsinger was responsible for VMware's struggles in the hybrid cloud market and hasn't played a cooperative role in EMC's federation of subsidiary companies, which includes VMware, RSA, Pivotal, VCE and Virtustream.

"Our success is predicated on people working together -- not apart from one another. Whether it is Virtustream or Pivotal, we need to work together. Pat is not an easy guy to work with. Pat likes to do what Pat likes," said the EMC source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The EMC source also said the feeling inside Dell Technologies and EMC is that Gelsinger is not collaborating with the rest of the technology team.

"The goal of Dell Technologies is to work closer as a team," said the EMC source. "I don't know if Pat is completely on board with that model."

At the Jeffries conference, Gelsinger also revealed that VMware President and Chief Operating Officer Carl Eschenbach, after 14 years with the company, had been talking with him about leaving for the past two years.

"He has three teenage kids, and had done almost 100 consecutive quarterly closes. And, you know, that's an intense business," Gelsinger said at the event.

Eschenbach, now a partner at Sequoia Capital, is still working with VMware as an adviser, he said. "He continues to be very active in one of the biggest deals we hope to finish this quarter," said Gelsinger. "It's Carl's deal and he's going to see that one across the finish line for us."

Martin Casado, the former head of VMware's Networking and Security business , is also still playing an active role at VMware, according to Gelsinger. "He continues to be a rainmaker for us," said Gelsinger of Casado.

Gelsinger said Casado is helping his replacement -- former Broadcom executive Rajiv Ramaswami -- get up to speed on running the Networking and Security business, which includes NSX software-defined networking.

"Rajiv has run businesses 10 times bigger than this," Gelsinger said. "And his objective is to make our networking business 10 times bigger."

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