VMware Hires Mobile, Big Data Exec From SAP To Lead End-User Computing Unit

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VMware, in its quest to diversify beyond server virtualization, is looking for another big score with end-user computing -- or software that connects enterprise apps and data with employees' notebooks and mobile devices.

Now, VMware has hired Sanjay Poonen, a 7-year SAP veteran who's been leading that company's big data analytics and mobility efforts, to lead its end-user computing unit.

Poonen's hiring, announced Tuesday, is important because it shows VMware is still committed to end-user computing, despite a steady stream of executive departures over the past year and the sell-off of pieces like Zimbra and SlideRocket.

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VMware doesn't break out revenue for end-user computing, so it's unclear how much the unit -- which includes desktop virtualization, cloud storage and application management -- contributes to VMware's overall revenue.

But, end-user computing is one of the three growth areas VMware has identified, along with software-defined data center and hybrid cloud, as future pillars of its business.

In last month's second-quarter earnings call, VMware COO Carl Eschenbach said end-user computing license bookings grew "in the mid-teens year-over-year" after seeing similar results during VMware's first quarter.

Poonen, whose title is executive vice president and general manager of end-user computing at VMware, told CRN there's no dominant enterprise player in end-user computing at this stage of the game.

"It's not that anyone has failed. End-user computing is a big opportunity, and there are so many ways to touch a business user," Poonen told CRN. "We should really be in position to take a lot of market share."

VMware is looking to expand its end-user computing employee ranks and will look at candidates at top schools like Stanford and Dartmouth, said Poonen, who's an alumnus of both schools.

"We want to hire young talent right out of college, including computer scientists and engineers," Poonen told CRN.

Poonen is replacing Boaz Chalamish, who joined VMware in 2009 and has been leading the end user computing unit since 2011.

Chalamish will leave at the end of the month to "pursue his interest in the venture business with a focus on Israeli companies," VMware said in a statement.


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