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VMware’s Tod Nielsen follows Maritz to Pivotal Initiative

Tod Nielsen, one-time COO of VMware  is moving over to the EMC-led Pivotal Initiative.

At that new outfit, Nielsen will report to Paul Maritz, who will head up that cloud computing/big data spinoff of EMC and VMware, according to a document filed with the Securities & Exchange  Commission.

The move, which according to the SEC document, was official as of December 5 but not widely known. But it comes as little surprise because Nielsen — who was most recently co-president of VMware’s application platform group — was heavily involved with  Cloud Foundry, one of the VMware technologies turned over to the new spinoff. And he and Maritz go way back — they worked together at Microsoft more than a decade ago.

Having said that, there is concern of a continued brain drain at VMware. CTO Steven Herrod, a widely respected exec, is leaving for a VC gig at General Catalyst Partners.

With Nielsen’s move, another piece of the Pivotal Initiative puzzle falls into place.  Personnel from VMware and EMC are shifting around to staff up this new effort which combines IP from both parent companies. Some GreenPlum big data know-how and Pivotal Labs agile development from EMC as well as Cloud Foundry PaaS, Cetas analytics, and vFabric from VMware are flowing into the spin off.  Mark Lucovsky, who helped spearhead Cloud Foundry, is staying at the VMware mothership.

EMC, VMware and Pivotal Initiative folks will talk more specifics about the cloud and big data spin off March 13 at a NY event, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said on Monday’s earnings call. 

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr user Luke Kilpatrick

2 Responses to “VMware’s Tod Nielsen follows Maritz to Pivotal Initiative”

  1. Roger Jennings

    I remember Tod from the early days when he was a marketing honcho for Microsoft Access (codenamed Cirrus in the beta days before Access 1.0.)

    He did a great job; standalone Access 1.0 sold a million copies a about US$200 a pop within a month or two after release.