5 Big VMware Exec Departures As New CEO Takes The Reins

Here are five significant VMware executives who recently left or announced their upcoming exit that you should know about.

New VMware Leadership Team Is Taking Form

The new VMware executive leadership team is coming into focus as Raghu Raghuram prepares to officially take over the reins as CEO on June 1.

However, several of VMware’s top executives won’t be along for the journey as the virtualization and software superstar enters the Raghuram era aimed at making VMware the kingpin of multi-cloud computing. With VMware poised to become an independent company for the first time in over 15 years following its spin-off from Dell Technologies later this year, Raghuram is bullish about the future.

“The fact that we’re getting spun out of Dell, you can almost think of us as the Switzerland of multi-cloud,” said Raghuram, VMware’s executive vice president, chief operating officer and soon to be CEO, in an recent interview with CRN. “We’re hardware agnostic, cloud agnostic and we can really focus on helping our customers run their applications and run their IT however they want to run it. We’re providing the tools to help them build new applications faster, run them across all of these locations, manage these applications, secure and protect them, etc. – that’s what we’re trying to do in a nutshell.”

CRN breaks down five important VMware executives who have recently left or announced their plans to leave VMware that you need to know about.

Ravi Kagalavadi

Former Position: Vice President, Networking, Security and Automation Solutions Engineering

Years At VMware: 17

Ravi Kagalavadi was a longtime VMware top engineer and executive who left last week after a 17-year tenure with the company. He was most recently responsible for leading VMware’s engineering teams in the Americas around software-defined networking, security, storage, automation and management.

Kagalavadi first joined VMware in 2003 as a principal engineer for global accounts. He worked his way up the ladder to become director of systems engineers in 2014, driving virtualization across global and enterprise accounts. Other top executive roles during his tenure include vice president of the Americas software-defined data center solutions engineering.

“As I look back, VMware is one of the most innovative companies that forever changed the IT industry and drove the digital transformation for our customers,” wrote Kagalavadi on LinkedIn. “After an incredible 17+ years I am leaving VMware to pursue a new opportunity. It has been a privilege to work at a company that focused on customers, EPIC2 values, Diversity and Inclusion and built a culture of innovation.”

New Position: Kagalavadi joined data analytics and automation specialist Alteryx this week as senior vice president of worldwide sales engineering.

Sanjay Poonen

Position: Global Chief Operating Officer

Years At VMware: 8

One of the front-runners to replace former CEO Pat Gelsinger this year, Sanjay Poonen said he is leaving VMware to pursue his “next adventure.” Poonen is a highly respected and well-known IT executive who currently oversees all of VMware’s sales, alliances and customer operations on a worldwide basis as chief operating officer of customer operations. He also leads the Security Business at VMware and was previously general manager of VMware’s end-user computing (EUC) group, driving the business into a $1 billion run rate.

On social media last week, Poonen said he was proud of the friendships and products he built at VMware. “Also excited about what I’m going to be doing next. More on my next adventure in the next few weeks and months, stay tuned,” he wrote.

He also congratulated Raghuram on winning the CEO role. “Big week for Raghu Raghuram,” Poonen wrote on Twitter this week. “New CEO of VMware, delighted for him, he’s been like an elder bro to me!”

New Position: Poonen has yet to announce his next move after he departs VMware this year.

Clement Pang

Position: Co-Founder Of Wavefront, Principal Engineer, VP Modern Application Platform

Years At VMware: 4

Clement Pang is an engineering all-star who was one of the founders of Wavefront, which VMware acquired in 2017 for $375 million. He is currently a principal engineer and vice president of VMware’s Modern Applications Platform business unit.

Wavefront is now a large part of VMware’s Tanzu portfolio of Kubernetes offerings. VMware Tanzu Observability by Wavefront delivers enterprise-grade cloud monitoring and analytics from proactive alerting to instant custom metrics.

Last week, Pang unveiled that he would be leaving VMware in July. “It’s been an absolute honor and privilege in my career to have been part of this amazing journey that is Tanzu Observability by Wavefront for the last 8+ years,” wrote Pang on LinkedIn.

New Position: Pang hasn’t unveiled his next move after he leaves VMware on July 9.

Rajiv Ramaswami

Former Position: Global Chief Operating Officer, Products And Cloud Services

Years At VMware: 4.5

VMware’s former COO Rajiv Ramaswami shocked the IT industry when he jumped ship to become CEO of competitor Nutanix, which VMware competes with on a worldwide basis around hybrid cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure software. VMware countered Ramaswami’s departure by filing a lawsuit against him this year, charging him with “material and ongoing breaches” of his legal and contractual duties to VMware as he was being courted by Nutanix in late 2020.

At VMware, Ramaswami was responsible for all business units developing products, cloud services and cloud operations.

“As I looked at Nutanix and my own background, my background is well suited for taking Nutanix into its next growth phase,” said Ramaswami in an interview with CRN earlier this year. “Nutanix has done a great job going from zero to $1 billion. Now it’s about building the next billion at Nutanix. That’s where my experience in terms of operating at scale as well as my prior technology background in the development area can help Nutanix get there.”

VMware’s new CEO Raghuram, for his part, told CRN he plans to “vigorously” compete with Nutanix.

New Position: Ramaswami now runs San Jose, Calif.-based Nutanix as its CEO.

Sanjay Jindal

Former Position: Head Of Worldwide Partner Investment And Incentive Sales

Years At VMware: 9

Sanjay Jindal was a major executive leading VMware’s national partners and commercial sales for nearly nine years before leaving the company this month to lead Facebook’s WhatsApp global partner sales.

Jindal was head of worldwide partner investment and incentive sales from 2018 to May 2021, managing global partner investments and incentives aimed at accelerating sales and maximizing return-on-investments, according to his LinkedIn profile. Other executive roles he held at VMware include senior director of North American national partner and commercial sales.

New Position: Jindal has become head of global and North American partner sales for Facebook’s WhatsApp business.