6 Things To Know About Nutanix’s New CEO, Rajiv Ramaswami

From his vast knowledge of VMware’s cloud strategy to his vision for Nutanix, here are six things you need to know about Nutanix’s new president and CEO, Rajiv Ramaswami.

Nutanix’s New CEO, Rajiv Ramaswami

Nutanix partners are hailing new President and CEO Rajiv Ramaswami as the “perfect fit” to take the company to new heights.

Ramaswami has been chief operating officer of products and cloud services at VMware for the past four years and joined Nutanix Wednesday.

“To get a guy who competed with Nutanix from your biggest competitor is exactly the person you want to join Nutanix because he knows the pluses and minus of VMware,” said Tim Joyce, president and CEO of Roundstone Solutions, an Orinda, Calif.-based Nutanix partner. “He can most likely help the Nutanix teams figure out how to beat VMware, and is a perfect fit. … He sounds like the kind of guy Nutanix should have been looking for and they did, which is really good to hear.”

Here are six things channel partners and customers need to know about Nutanix’s new CEO.

Leader Of VMware’s Cloud, SaaS And Subscription Strategy

Ramaswami joined virtualization and hybrid cloud software superstar VMware in 2016 and has served as chief operating officer of products and services at VMware until this week. Ramaswami understands VMware’s cloud strategy inside and out and has been influential in the company’s global cloud strategy, co-leading all the business units developing products, cloud services and cloud operations for VMware.

He was responsible for driving new areas of growth and was key to VMware’s successful transition to Software as a Service and subscription. For the first time in the company’s history, subscription and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) revenue is surpassing on-premises licensing sales as VMware continues to double down on areas like VMware Cloud on AWS and hybrid cloud management.

For its recent third fiscal quarter, VMware generated $676 million in SaaS and subscription revenue, up 44 percent compared with $470 million one year ago. VMware’s SaaS and subscription revenue now makes up 24 percent of the company’s total revenue, a figure that continues to climb quarter after quarter.

Big Player In VMware’s Future With Project Monterey, Virtual Cloud Network

Ramaswami understands VMware’s biggest technology strategies and its long-term vision, arguably, more than nearly anyone.

Prior to joining Nutanix this week, Ramaswami was a key player in some of VMware’s most bullish and biggest long-term technology projects, including Project Monterey and its Virtual Cloud Network.

Project Monterey is VMware’s new strategy to evolve its architecture for the data center, cloud and edge to address next-generation applications like artificial intelligence and 5G.

When VMware unveiled Project Monterey at VMworld 2020, Ramaswami was the sole VMware executive on the news release providing insight into the launch. “We’re announcing Project Monterey to help customers address the shifting requirements of next-gen apps,” said Ramaswami in a statement in September. “By re-imagining the architecture of the data center, cloud and edge, we expect to offer customers the freedom to run these apps in the best environment.”

Likewise, when VMware unveiled new innovation around its bold Virtual Cloud Network strategy at VMware 2020, Ramaswami was the sole VMware executive on the company’s news release who provided insight. “The VMware Virtual Cloud Network delivers the automation and economics of the public cloud across every element of the network and spanning the entire distributed enterprise at a time when agility and cost matter more than ever,” said Ramaswami at the time

Ramaswami ‘Couldn’t Be Happier To Join Nutanix,’ Expects To Fuel Software And Subscription Growth

In a LinkedIn post Wednesday, Ramaswami said he “couldn’t be happier to join Nutanix today as president and CEO.”

“Now it is time for the next stage in our evolution, completing the ambitious transition to a software subscription model and advancing our leadership in the emerging hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure space,” he said.

Ramaswami said he’s focused on continuing Nutanix’s vision of delivering simple, flexible and cost-efficient solutions intact with a “relentless focus on customer delight.”

“2021 brings the next stage in Nutanix’s evolution and transition to a software subscription model, reinforcing our leadership position in hyperconverged infrastructure and advancing our leadership in multi-cloud infrastructure. All while innovating and creating customer value in new and adjacent areas, as well as deepening our investment and commitment to our partners,” he said.

All-Star Resume Leading Technology Titans

Ramaswami has an impressive 30-year track record of IT experience, including top roles at VMware and Broadcom, as well as at Cisco Systems and Nortel. He began his career at IBM in 1988. Ramaswami’s successes include building and scaling businesses in cloud services, software and network infrastructure.

“Over that time, I have gained an appreciation for the important role that people, technology and product together play in building winning enterprises,” Ramaswami said in a LinkedIn post Wednesday.

At Broadcom, Ramaswami was executive vice president and general manager for infrastructure and networking, where he helped establish the company as a leader in data center, enterprise and carrier networking. At Cisco from 2002 to 2010, he held various executive roles including general manager of Cisco’s Data Center Switching Technology Group. His last role at Cisco was vice president and general manager of the Cloud Service and Switching Technology Group, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He’s Been ‘Watching Nutanix Grow,’ Has Big Respect For Pandey

Ramaswami said he’s been watching Nutanix grow for years as a “feisty and formidable competitor” to VMware.

Nutanix pioneered and created the rapidly growing hyperconverged infrastructure market, which is revolutionizing the data center, according to Ramaswami. He was impressed with Nutanix co-founder and now former CEO Dheeraj Pandey’s (pictured) ability to guide the company over the past 11 years from a startup through its first $1 billion and winning over more than 18,000 customers.

“In fact, I remember Dheeraj pitching Nutanix back around 2010 at a Silicon Valley get-together. It is amazing to see how far Nutanix has come since then, from its embryonic stage to a public company at scale,” said Ramaswami. “I have long admired its innovative product hallmarks of simplicity and reliability as well as the deep level of trust and satisfaction that the company has built with its customers and partners.”

Education And Background

Ramaswami earned his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1986. He followed that up with earning his master’s degree and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

He is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow and holds 36 patents, primarily in optical networking, according to Nutanix.

On a personal note, Ramaswami is an avid bridge and tennis player. He is also passionate about building infrastructure for needy rural schools in India.