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Summary:

VMware CTO Steve Herrod is leaving his post to join venture capital firm General Catalyst, where he’ll be managing director. I think this is a big loss for VMware, which has already been hemorrhaging technical talent to younger, nimbler companies.

herrod
photo: Pinar Ozger

VMware CTO Steve Herrod is leaving his post to join venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners, where he’ll be managing director. Herrod had been with VMware since since 2001 and oversaw — from a technology perspective, at least — the company’s transition from a server virtualization vendor into one of the loudest voices for data center transformation via cloud computing and automation.

Steve Herrod (left) and I onstage at Structure 2012.

Steve Herrod (left) and I onstage at Structure 2012.<br />(c)2012 Pinar Ozger pinar@pinarozger.com

I think this is a big loss for VMware, which has already been hemorrhaging technical talent to younger, nimbler companies (and CIO Mark Egan left in December). But even as VMware grew older and more staid, Herrod always seemed to push the envelope. SpringSource, Cloud Foundry, Project Serengeti, software-defined data centers — all of these are bets on a future of application development and data center management — things that don’t pay VMware’s bills today.

Now, former CEO Paul Maritz is heading the Pivotal Initiative (essentially a mix of the cloud and data business lines from VMware and parent company EMC), and former EMC exec Pat Gelsinger took Martiz’s role at VMware. With VMware narrowing its focus back to servers and virtualization, it’s possible there isn’t too much room for innovation within Herrod’s old company.

Getting into the VC space, of course, means Herrod can spend a lot more time trying to shape the future by finding, supporting and financing the new companies trying to carry VMware’s initial vision into the next generation.

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  1. Looks like reblogging was disabled but any how.

    VMware’s CTO leaving is a concern from a strategic perspective. I liked the push into other areas outside of their bread and butter. I believe it would have ultimately brought innovation to their core x86 products. I’m having a difficult time figuring out how VMware’s infrastructure focus moves to an application centered product model without a platform. They have sold us on Applications as the focus of Cloud. I just don’t know how VMware plans to get us there now without these visionaries.

  2. “The graveyards are full of indispensable men.” – Charles De Gaulle

    Sometimes new blood is a good thing. Even in the tech industry. ;-)

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