VMware’s board has chosen the company’s next CEO. It will be Raghu Raghuram, currently an executive VP and COO at the data center software powerhouse.
Sanjay Poonen, who was reportedly also vying for the top spot, and who several analysts believed was the obvious choice, is leaving VMware, apparently because of the board’s decision. VMware announced his departure – and Raghuram’s appointment – in the same press release.
On June 1 Raghuram will be taking over for Zane Rowe, VMware’s CFO who’s been filling in as interim chief exec since Pat Gelsinger left the role in February to take the helm of Intel.
Raghuram came to VMware as director of product management in 2003 and rose through the ranks to his current position as COO of products and cloud services. Poonen joined the company a decade later than Raghuram did, after seven years at SAP, including about four as president and corporate officer.
“I extend my warm congratulations to Raghu on his promotion to CEO and know he will take the company to new heights,” Poonen said in a statement. “I will be cheering on the company’s success, as I embark on my next adventure.”
The new CEO is stepping in as VMware prepares to be severed from Dell Technologies, its parent company for about five years. He’s taking charge of a company that has so far successfully navigated massive, industrywide shifts that had all the potential to leave it behind as they did other big enterprise IT tech vendors.
VMware has leveraged its strong engineering capabilities and the presence of its virtualization software in most enterprise data centers to carve out a role for itself as the glue that binds companies’ own computing infrastructure with their public cloud resources (including across multiple major cloud platforms).
It’s also leveraged those same strengths to formulate and execute a vision for making Kubernetes, the biggest thing that happened in enterprise IT since the cloud, an integral part of its hybrid and multi-cloud platform.
VMware is now working to present all its products as subscription-based services – another big ongoing trend.
In a statement, Raghuram indicated he had no immediate plans to change VMware’s current course in any significant way. “We have enormous opportunity, we have the right solutions, the right team, and we will continue to execute with focus, passion, and agility,” he said.
In preliminary financial results included in the announcement, VMware said it expected to report $2.99 billion in revenue for the most recently completed fiscal quarter – a nearly 10-percent increase year over year.