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VMware's Number Two, Carl Eschenbach, Leaves Virtualization Giant for VC Firm

Carl Eschenbach 

Carl Eschenbach, VMware’s president and chief operating officer, has announced that he is leaving the company after 14 years of service.  In an official company statement made today, VMware confirmed that Eschenbach has resigned from his operational role to "pursue a new career opportunity."  VMware also stated that he would continue to strategically advise VMware chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger, the VMware Board of Directors and the executive team.

Although the official announcement did not specify where Eschenbach was headed, Fortune reported that he will land at venture capital firm Sequoia Capital as a partner.

Eschenbach's move into the world of venture capitalism is the second such move from a VMware executive in the past week, following network and security chief Martin Casado, head of VMware's NSX business, who recently departed the virtualization giant for Andreessen Horowitz. Casado was co-founder of Nicira, the networking software startup that VMware bought in 2012.

Chief financial officer Jonathan Chadwick also left the company back in January and was replaced by Zane Rowe, who was previously CFO at EMC.

The list of departures comes as Dell closes in on completing its $67 billion acquisition of EMC, the majority owner of VMware.  Yesterday, the deal edged a little closer when the European Commission granted "unconditional clearance" for the proposed combination.

With this most recent departure, VMware said it was not going to replace but rather split the duties of Eschenbach among several other executives.  Maurizio Carli has been promoted to executive vice president, worldwide sales, responsible for Americas, APJ and EMEA as well as pre-and post-sales engineering, and all worldwide channels; Peter McKay, from the Desktone acquisition in 2013, will lead the Americas field organization; Ray O'Farrell has been promoted to executive vice president and will be expanding his role as chief technology officer and chief development officer to include responsibility for VMware's Global Services and Customer Advocacy; and Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, will expand his role to also lead the company's worldwide marketing and communications functions.

The executive changes are effective April 1.

"Today, as I share a very personal decision to start a new journey for my family and me, I thank VMware for all of the opportunities it has afforded me," commented Carl Eschenbach, president and chief operating officer, VMware. "As I transition into the role of strategic advisor for a company I have been a part of for over 14 years, I see incredible opportunities that lie ahead for VMware and for our customers. Having worked with Maurizio Carli for the last seven years, I have tremendous confidence in his ability to lead VMware's global sales team."

Somehow, when VMware announced in January that it would be cutting about 800 jobs over the next couple of months ahead of the Dell/EMC acquisition deal, I don't think these type of exits were what we were expecting.

Published Tuesday, March 01, 2016 4:48 PM by David Marshall
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