In Citrix cloud shakeup, Sameer Dholakia and other CloudStack leaders exit

Structure 2012: Marten Mickos - CEO, Eucalyptus Systems, Chris C. Kemp - CEO, Nebula and Co-Founder, OpenStack, Sameer Dholakia - Group VP and GM, Cloud Platforms Group, Citrix, Jo Maitland - Research Director, GigaOM Pro

In what appears to be a major shakeup, several key Citrix cloud executives, including Group VP and General Manager Sameer Dholakia, have left the company and company veteran Klaus Oestermann will lead a newly formed cloud group.

Citrix made an “important organizational change” last week in combining its Cloud Platforms Group and Cloud Networking team into a single unit under the Networking, Cloud & Service Provider Group (NCSP) label, according to a Citrix spokeswoman responding by email. The integrated group, she said, will “optimize Citrix cloud and networking delivery infrastructure for enterprise and service provider customers” and also gels well with Citrix’s Mobile Workspaces.

Sameer Dholakia

Sameer Dholakia

Dholakia is moving on to “explore new opportunities,” the spokeswoman said.

I’ve reached out to Dholakia, who’s been a featured guest at Structure for the past few years, but no response yet.

Shannon Williams, former VP of market development for cloud platforms and Sheng Liang, who was CTO, are going to do their own thing, Williams said via email. “The last three years at Citrix have been a great experience. Sheng and I have decided to get back to our entrepreneurial roots and are starting a new company, he said. “I am incredibly proud of how far Apache CloudStack has come and excited for its future. It powers so many of the worlds most successful clouds, and is thriving as an open source project.”

Citrix, by virtue of its 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com, became the primary sponsor for CloudStack before turning it over to the Apache Foundation for governance. Citrix sells a commercial version of the cloud framework.

CloudStack has battled the perception that OpenStack, for all its issues, has won the marketing war for open-source cloud even though CloudStack itself was seen as more mature.  For better or worse, OpenStack has many, many corporate backers from IBM and HP to Red Hat and Ericsson and that multi-party support seems to resonate with prospective cloud customers.

Here’s a video of Dholakia speaking at Structure 2014:

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