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VMware Hires New CMO As VP Jumps To Nutanix

Mark Haranas

As VMware hires Laura Heisman (pictured) as its new global chief marketing officer, the company’s hyperconverged infrastructure and vSAN marketing guru leaves for Nutanix.

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VMware is shuffling its marketing leadership team by hiring Laura Heisman as its new global chief marketing officer while its vice president of product and technical marketing, Lee Caswell, jumps to competitor Nutanix.

“I’ll never forget the breakneck pace and excitement of building the vSAN business through a dizzying whirlwind of VMworlds, Sales Kickoffs (US, EMEA, and APJ), Partner Summits, VForums, VMUGs, VBCs, QBRs, QTRs, and All-hands,” said Caswell in a recent LinkedIn post announcing his departure, which generated over 500 comments.

As vice president of product and technical marketing for the past five years, Caswell was responsible for driving market adoption of VMware’s software-defined, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and vSAN product lines, to name a few. Prior to VMware, Caswell was co-founder and CMO of Pivot3.

“Perhaps our results show best what’s possible when an aligned team attacks a surging market: we made it happen in HCI with 10X revenue growth to more than $1 billion, 30,000 new customers, and 5 consecutive years of [Gartner] Magic Quadrant leadership. Now that was fun,” said Caswell. “It’s hard to fully describe how rewarding it’s been working with such a talented group of people at VMware. … I’m heading off to find my next adventure.”

[Related: VMware’s Plan To ‘Change The Game’ For Partners In 2022]
Caswell is now senior vice president of product and solutions marketing for Nutanix, which is VMware’s biggest rival in the HCI software market. He has been in the industry for over three decades, which includes recent short stints at NetApp and Fusion-io, as well as co-founding and leading marketing efforts for one of the first HCI pure-play vendors, Pivot3, from 2003 to 2013.

VMware’s New CMO 

Heisman was previously vice president of communications and corporate marketing for GitHub’s executive leadership team, where she elevated awareness and built a large developer fanbase, said VMware. Prior to GitHub, she spent 11 years at Citrix Systems, with her last role as vice president of communications.

VMware President Sumit Dhawan said the hiring of Heisman is part of the company’s focus on becoming the world leader in multi-cloud software.

“Laura brings a great combination of enterprise infrastructure and developer experience that will help us accelerate our marketing efforts in this multi-cloud era,” said Dhawan in a statement. “It’s clear that multi-cloud will be the model for digital business for the next 10 years, and VMware is working with our customers to help them embrace this opportunity.”

Heisman is now responsible for leading all aspects of VMware’s global marketing organization, which includes corporate and brand, partner, developer, segment and field marketing.

“VMware has a tremendous opportunity to be the foundation for customers innovating in this cloud-first world, and I can’t wait to be part of it,” said Heisman in a recent LinkedIn post. “The impact is limitless, and the opportunity is unique. I feel fortunate to join everyone at VMware on this journey to help our customers thrive in a multi-cloud world.”

Last week, VMware unveiled its Partner Program for fiscal year 2023 aimed at increasing channel profitability.

Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at mharanas@thechannelcompany.com.

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