Image Credit: Jenny Nilsson
VMware might have faded somewhat into the background as another large public cloud computing company, but it reached this point after blazing a trail for itself and others to follow..
Founded by Diane Greene, Mendel Rosenblum, Scott Devine, Ellen Wang and Edouard Bugnion, VMware was the first commercially successful company to virtualize the x86 architecture — and if you don’t know what that is, you aren’t alone.
VMware made it possible to allow multiple virtual machines (VM) to run on the same physical server. Each VM can run its own operating system (OS), which means multiple OSes can run on one physical server.
The company just announced the completion of its spin-off from Dell Technologies, which acquired VMware’s parent company EMC in 2015 in the largest tech deal in history. The new era will let VMware operate as a standalone company again, while still partnering with Dell and its joint go-to-market synergies developed over the past six years.
“As a standalone company, we will continue to bring our multi-cloud strategy to life by providing our customers the power to accelerate their business and control their destiny in this new era,” CEO Raghu Raghuram said in a press release.
Raghuram joined the company back in 2003 and has worked his way up the ladder, coming into the top position in May after CEO Pat Gelsinger stepped down to join Intel as its chief executive. Raghuram was most recently COO of Products and Cloud Services, where he was responsible for all VMWare’s product and service offerings, support and operational functions.
Before Raghuram stepped into the CEO office, EVP and CFO Zane Rowe served as the interim company leader from February 2021 to May 2021.
Rowe actually began his executive career in the airline industry, initially at Continental Airlines where he rose to CFO and eventually EVP and CFO of United Continental Holdings. He bounced around several different industries as an executive before starting at VMware in 2016. Rowe now leads the strategy and corporate development team in its long-term planning across VMware businesses, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic investments.
Directly reporting to Rowe is VP and Chief Accounting Officer Andrew Munk, an experienced corporate controller with over 30 years of finance experience under his belt.
In June, longtime company veteran Sumit Dhawan was promoted from Chief Customer Experience Officer to President. In his new role, Dhawan oversees the company’s large umbrella of go-to-market functions. Things that fall under his oversight would be sales, strategic corporate alliances, customer experience and success, marketing and communications.
Though Dhawan started at VMware in 2013, he briefly left to run the computer tech company Instart for two years and led it to an acquisition by Akamai.
Replacing Dhawan as Chief Customer Experience Officer is former Splunk Chief Customer Officer John Sabino. At Splunk, Sabino led the customer success organization within the company. He also oversaw Splunk’s journey to an SaaS-based revenue and operations model while maintaining its expansive installed base.
Starting just last month, Sabino is one of the most recent additions to the VMware team. His experience in strategic operations, commercial operations and sales was a big pull for VMware as it looks to maintain its own customer base as a new standalone company.
Mike Hayes has been working as the Chief Digital Transformation Officer to help with that on the digital front. His title came as part of the push to drive VMware into a full-blown SaaS company. But before joining one of the largest computer technology companies, he spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy SEALs. His military experience led him into Chief of Staff roles and COO roles at Bridgewater Associates and Cognizant Technologies.
At VMare, Hayes also leads the company’s worldwide business operations. Some of his direct reports include Jason Conyard, CIO; Wendy Batchelder, Chief Data Officer; and Alex Tosheff, Chief Security Officer.
As VMware focuses on carving out an individual space for itself once again, forward-thinking solutions will be essential for its survival. Some of the spearheading for these solutions can be seen just below the C-suite, in particular with its modern applications business. Led by Ajay Patel, an enterprise software expert, the modern applications team is dedicated to accelerating enterprise app modernization. Patel’s team runs VMware’s Tanzu business line, which helps to simplify and update software infrastructure.
One of its most recently formed business units is working on the future of finance: blockchain. Brendon Howe leads this effort as VP/GM of Blockchain. The primary goal of his team, which sits within the CTO Kit Colbert’s office, is to drive growth of the company’s first blockchain-based DLT services..
VMware will be one to watch as it stands by itself as a company again, no doubt with the goal of becoming a trailblazer a second-time around for developing cutting-edge technology.