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VMware CEO Gelsinger On Disrupting The Security Industry, Pushing Subscriptions And Cracking The Code On The AWS Partnership

"Your customers are looking for more, and just giving them another warm blanket, expecting that's going to stop bullets doesn't do it," said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at the 2018 Best of Breed conference. "We've got to get more sophisticated capabilities."

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You've climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity. What's that like? How did you prepare?
I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in July. My training regimen was to do lots of stairs. I got up to the point where I was doing 5,000 steps an hour with a 20 lb. pack. I was super fit and ready for it with the exception of downhill. If you go up to 20,000 feet, you also have to come down from 20,000 feet. Man, did that hurt. Seventeen of 22 of us made it to the top. There was a team of four from VMware on the climb with me. I made sure they were younger and stronger so they could carry me up. I had a watch that had the GPS. We had it online. We had one of those things where you could follow us online as we went to the top. We had to be a little geeky. Amazingly we had cell connectivity up to like 17,000 feet. I get better cell connectivity on Mt. Kilimanjaro than I do in the Bay Area.

What was the purpose of the climb?
It was a fundraiser. We've been supporting work in the slums of Nairobi, my wife and I, for 17 years. When we started, it was less than 500 kinds. Now we have 17,000 kids in 22 different schools that we helped to start in the slums of Nairobi. They fund-raise specifically for building a women's high school. Women and girls are highly susceptible to tribalism. Many of them are being raised by aunts, uncles, grandparents. The women are married off at 11 or 12 years old to become the third, fourth, fifth wife of a tribal chief. That pattern of tribalism is heavily imbued. Building a girls boarding high school breaks that cycle. We set a goal to raise $175,000 for a girls high school. We raised $325,000.

Can you share a the success story of anyone who's gone through that program?These are slum kids. The average income in the slum is less than $1 a day. The housing density of these slums is higher than the density of Manhattan. My favorite story is a boy who went through the program. Both of his parents died of AIDS. He was raised by his grandmother. Her job was selling charcoal. He entered the program, went through it from four years old all the way through high school graduation. They get two meals a day, probably the only food they get. They get school training. They get medical support, spiritual training. That boy is now in his second year at Stanford Business School. Forty percent of those 17,000 kids are now going to college, and several, like this boy, on international scholarship.

 
 
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