VMware Blockbuster: Maritz Out As CEO After Four-Year Tenure

Paul Maritz is out as VMware CEO, and he is being replaced by Pat Gelsinger, president and COO of EMC's Information Infrastructure Products division, CRN has learned.

Multiple sources familiar with the situation confirmed the CEO switch to CRN Monday. But it is unclear if Maritz, who has led VMware since 2008, will be taking another position within EMC or leaving the company.

A VMware spokesperson declined to comment, citing company policy of not responding to "rumors or speculation." EMC did not respond to a request for comment.

Both Maritz, who joined EMC in 2008 in its acquisition of software startup Pi Corp, and Gelsinger, who joined EMC in 2009 after a 30-year career at Intel, have been rumored to be in line to replace EMC CEO Joe Tucci if and when he decides to retire.

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With Gelsinger taking over as VMware CEO, it wouldn't be surprising to see Maritz get the nod for the top spot at EMC, one longtime partner of both vendors told CRN.

[Related: VMware Shuffles Exec Roster, CFO Peek To Leave In June ]

Maritz has taken VMware to the next level during his four years at the helm, said the source, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on internal VMware matters. "Maritz's departure would definitely be a loss for VMware, but Gelsinger has a great track record as well," he said.

Gelsinger is a "strong and very credible leader," said Jamie Shepard, executive vice president of technology solutions at ICI, a Marlborough, Mass.-based solution provider, when informed of the leadership change by CRN. "He knows the server CPU space, and his exposure to EMC and understanding of data intensive apps and how to store them would be a huge win for VMware," he said.

Another longtime VMware and EMC partner said he is surprised that it took this long for the lines to blur between EMC and VMware's leadership ranks. "I remember when EMC acquired VMware, and how it was all going to stay separate and they weren’t going to swap executives, but no one ever believed that," said the source.

NEXT: Executive Shuffle Part Of A Larger Plan?

VMware's CEO switch may be part of a larger corporate restructuring. GigaOm reported Monday that VMware is mulling a spinoff of certain cloud-centric parts of its business, including its Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service and assets from EMC Greenplum and Project Rubicon, a joint venture infrastructure-as-a-service involving VMware and EMC.

Tod Nielsen, co-president of VMware’s application platform business, and Mark Lucovsky, vice president of engineering in charge of Cloud Foundry, are said to be in the running to lead the spun-off company, according to the GigaOm report.

Last week, EMC announced that Vice Chairman William "Bill" Teuber is now a member of the Office of the Chairman, tasked with oversight of strategy and business development in emerging markets. Teuber will continue sponsoring EMC's largest accounts and will work with EMC to develop future executives.

EMC also promoted 27-year veteran sales executive Bill Scannell to president of global sales and customer operations, which was previously Teuber's role.

VMware may shed more light on the leadership change and rumored spin-off plans in its second quarter earnings July 23.


JOSEPH F. KOVAR contributed to this story.