VMware President Exits To Become New Proofpoint CEO

Less than a week after Broadcom closed the $61 billion acquisition of VMware, security vendor Proofpoint announced hiring Sumit Dhawan as its new chief executive.


Sumit Dhawan has departed as president of VMware in the wake of the company’s acquisition by Broadcom to become the new CEO of cybersecurity vendor Proofpoint.

Dhawan, who has served as president of VMware since mid-2021, will begin as the new Proofpoint CEO “effective immediately,” the company announced Tuesday.

CRN has reached out to Broadcom for comment on the departure of Dhawan.

Sponsored post

[Related: Broadcom Closes Deal, Cuts VMware Four Ways As Raghuram Steps Aside]

The exit of a top VMware executive comes less than a week after Broadcom closed its $61 billion acquisition of the company, and amid layoffs at VMware that solution providers told CRN have created “concern and chaos” among customers and partners.

Proofpoint, a major provider of email security and data protection tools, has been operating with an interim CEO since the departure of chief executive Ashan Willy in late October.

CFO Rémi Thomas, who’d been serving in the interim CEO role, will remain as the company’s chief financial officer, Proofpoint said in a statement Tuesday.

Dhawan is a tech industry veteran who had two stints at VMware, initially working there as a senior vice president and general manager between 2013 and 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile. He rejoined VMware in early 2020 as chief customer officer, before being promoted to president in June 2021.

In May 2022, Broadcom announced plans to acquire VMware, which offers a portfolio of security tools including endpoint protection and SASE (secure access service edge).

In an interview with CRN in August 2022, Dhawan contended that Broadcom planned to take a different approach with VMware than it had with prior acquisitions such as Symantec and CA Technologies.

“VMware’s business is very, very different than the other acquisitions they’ve had,” he said at the time. “Making an assumption that whatever Broadcom Software Group did with prior acquisitions in software would be the same formula for VMware, we believe that would be business suicide because of how our business is structured, how our customer base is structured.”

Dhawan was not mentioned on the list of executives taking on new roles at Broadcom, in connection with the Nov. 22 closing of Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware. Broadcom disclosed that VMware would be split into four divisions and that the company’s CEO, Raghu Raghuram, would not have an executive role at Broadcom.

In its news release Tuesday, Proofpoint said that Dhawan “brings a wealth of valuable experience and expertise in building category-leading, scaled companies and businesses.”

Dhawan was “responsible for driving” more than $13 billion in revenue at VMware, Proofpoint said in the release.

Earlier this year, Proofpoint unveiled a revamped channel program, which has aimed to expand the company’s work with partners in areas beyond its widely used email security offering.