Report: VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger Stepping Down After Dell/EMC Merger

The report has been denied by VMware and EMC, and allegedly by Gelsinger himself.

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A media report has stated that VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger plans to step down after the merger of parent company EMC with Dell, a union expected to be completed this summer. A story by CRN that was published Tuesday night cites "multiple sources with knowledge of the executive's plans," and goes further by stating that a CEO search to replace Gelsinger is underway.  

In the story, both VMware and EMC refute the story's assertions. From the article:

"Spokesmen from VMware and EMC denied that Gelsinger is planning to leave the company. "That is categorically untrue," said the EMC spokesman."

Reached for comment today, a VMware spokesperson had little to add, except to verify the denial. "Yes, we have officially denied the claims in the CRN story. As has EMC," the spokesperson stated in an email to Virtualization Review.

Furthermore, Gelsinger apparently denied the story himself earlier today. "Also, I know Pat said he "categorically denies" he's leaving, at the Jefferies 2016 Technology Conference this morning," the VMware spokesperson wrote in a followup email.

The Jefferies Technology Conference is taking place in Miami, FL today and tomorrow. Gelsinger Tweeted Wednesday that he was "Happy to be in sunny Miami to give the keynote at the Jefferies Technology Conference today." Virtualization Review was not immediately able to corroborate the VMware spokesman's claim that Gelsinger did in fact deny that he's leaving. As of the time of this writing, Gelsinger had made no statements on his future with VMware via his Twitter feed.

The story, if true, would be a further blow to VMware, which has experienced a series of high-level executive defections since the original acquisition by Dell was first announced last October. The latest was Bill Fathers, who led vCloud Air, VMware's hybrid cloud platform. Other top leaders who have left include (listing their titles at the time of their departures) President and COO Carl Eschenbach;  CFO Jonathan Chadwick; and Martin Casado, who headed up the NSX business unit that led the way on software-defined computing.

Gelsinger, of course, would represent a much larger loss than any of those executives, and further complicate VMware's future direction. There are already fears that Dell might try to micromanage VMware once the virtualization giant's brought under its control, and VMware has been less than successful in some major efforts, the most public one being its cloud strategy and offerings.

Gelsinger joined VMware in August 2012 from EMC, where he was President and Chief Operating Officer, EMC Information Infrastructure Products. He made his name originally at Intel, where he served as the first Chief Technology Officer in the chip-making behemoth's history.

UPDATE: Gelsinger officially did deny the report, several times, at a conference this morning.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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