VMware Adds AI Technologist, Venture Capitalist To Its Board

‘Ken is an experienced technologist and corporate director with deep roots in software, mobile and AI technologies,’ says VMware board member Paul Sagan.


With VMware’s fearless CEO Pat Gelsinger leaving for Intel and Dell Technologies eyeing a spin-off of its majority stake in VMware later this year, the virtualization superstar is adding seasoned technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist Ken Denman to its board of directors.

Denman is a venture partner at Sway Ventures but was previously co-founder and CEO of Emotient, an artificial intelligence startup that analyzes facial expressions which was acquired by Apple in 2016. He was also the CEO of software communications specialist Openwaves Systems, as well as cloud-based service manager and Wi-Fi company iPass for which he led a successful IPO in 2003.

“Ken is an experienced technologist and corporate director with deep roots in software, mobile and AI technologies,” said Paul Sagan, who is the lead independent VMware board member and chair of the compensation and corporate governance committee, in a statement.

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Sagan is now leading VMware’s global search for a new CEO to replace Gelsinger. Denman is currently a board member for Motorola Solutions, where he leads the Independent Director and Chair of the Nominating Governance Committee.

[Related: Pat Gelsinger And 3 VMware Execs Who Recently Jumped Ship]

Denman will join Gelsinger, who will still be a member of VMware’s board after he departs to become Intel’s CEO next month, as well as VMware Chairman Michael Dell, founder of CEO of Dell Technologies.

Denman said he is “thrilled” to be on VMware’s board and team. “VMware is a proven market leader that is continuing to evolve and is committed to helping its customers transform in these unprecedented times,” he said in a statement.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware is losing its longtime CEO Gelsinger on Feb. 15 to Intel with VMware CFO Zane Rowe taking on the interim CEO role as the company’s searches for a new leader.

VMware has also recently lost two of its top cloud leaders to competitors.

VMware is currently suing its former Chief Operating Officer Rajiv Ramaswami after his departure from VMware to become CEO of rival Nutanix. Ramaswami was chief operating officer of products and cloud services at VMware for the past four years before jumping to Nutanix in December. Additionally, VMware’s cloud management leader Ajay Singh left two weeks ago to become Chief Product Officer for storage standout Pure Storage.

VMware hasn’t skipped a beat during the global COVID-19 pandemic with sales growth and technology innovation roaring throughout 2020. For its third fiscal quarter financial earnings, VMware generated $2.86 billion in revenue, up 8 percent year over year.

VMware’s stock is up 1 percent today trading at $133.79 per share as of Wednesday morning.