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Summary:

Cloud rivals snap up former VMware execs for their own infrastructure pushes. Can VMware sustain these losses as it moves to a broader IaaS strategy?

The number of former VMware execs now showing up at various cloud competitors may not be a flood, but it’s definitely more than a trickle. The latest examples are Rick Jackson, previously CMO at VMware, who now assumes that title at Rackspace and Scott Musson, former director of global alliances at VMware, who is now VP of Global Alliances at Red Hat .

In addition, former VMware sales chief Mike Clayville joined Amazon Web Services as VP of worldwide commercial sales last month, according to his LinkedIn profile. Clayville most recently was VP of product marketing for VMware’s cloud infrastructure but before that he was head of North American sales.

Rick Jackson, once CMO at VMware, is now CMO at Rackspace.

Rick Jackson, once CMO at VMware, is now CMO at Rackspace.

There is bound to be some moving and shaking at VMware as it tries to transition from a provider of server virtualization and related tools into a broad-scale enterprise Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider. In fact CEO Pat Gelsinger (pictured above) telegraphed as much on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in January when he said the company would de-emphasize non-core offerings in favor of its IaaS push. It also offloaded some key execs to the Pivotal spin-out, headed by Paul Maritz, Gelsinger’s predecessor at VMware.

Other VMware exec alums that recently landed elsewhere include Jerry Chen, who joined Greylock Partners and Javier Soltero, who launched startup Acompli last month. Patrick Chanezon, who wooed developers for VMware Cloud Foundry, joined Microsoft as director of enterprise evangelism in April. At the end of last year, VMware CTO Steve Herrod left  to join General Catalyst as a managing director. Tod Neilsen, who helped drive VMware’s Cloud Foundry effort, was ostensibly headed to Pivotal but is now CEO of Heroku .

Many of these departures have been in the works for months. For example, Jackson stepped down as VMware CMO in March to take on a “transitional” senior VP role, according to TechCrunch. But taken altogether they seem to constitute a bit more than a corporate refocusing.

VMware critics say the company has played out its hand in server virtualization and will have a hard time reprising that market dominance in the cloud where enterprise customers fear vendor lock in. And, its bread and butter server virtualization business itself is under fire, with Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM (backed by Red Hat and HP in their respectivve clouds) also gaining ground.

This story was updated at 10:00 a.m. PDT with additional information about VMware alums who have surfaced elsewhere.

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  1. Keith Townsend Monday, July 8, 2013

    This post got me wondering what truly exciting is happening at VMware. They doubled down on server virtualization but where is that going long term. The hypervisor is a commodity and management of the hypervisor will become more a commodity over the next couple of years.

    Does VMware Hybrid cloud excite? What about Network Virtualization?

    I see Hybrid Cloud is a necessary product to help keep Amazon at bay in the enterprise but I don’t see VMware as a services company long term.

    Network Virtualization is an exciting technology. I personally see it in a infancy similar to ESX years ago. I called it vaporware and got hammered by some folks. But, do we see Network Virtualization (NSX) taking up the slack for a maturing x86 virtualization market?

    I still see too many parallels between VMware and Novell as it tried to figure out what to do with it’s market dominance. Love the company and its products but where do they go from here? Is this the true reason behind the exodus?

  2. Don’t forget Derek Collison, who left a little over a year ago to found Apcera.

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