Insider Raghu Raghuram is new VMWare chief; COO Poonen quits

Insider Raghu Raghuram is new VMWare chief; COO Poonen quits
Raghu Raghuram  |  Photo Credit: VMWare

Cloud computing and virtualization software provider VMware, as many in the industry had predicted, has found its CEO in an internal candidate -- Raghu Raghuram, an 18-year company veteran and the current executive vice president and chief operating officer of products and cloud services. 

Raghuram will take over as the CEO and a member of the board of directors, effective June 1, 2021. He will replace Pat Gelsinger, who moved to chipmaker Intel as a CEO in February. VMware CFO Zane Rowe had been serving as VMware’s CEO in the interim. 

“I am honored and thrilled to lead @VMware  as the next CEO. We have an enormous opportunity in front of us and are uniquely poised to lead the multi-cloud computing era,” Raghuram tweeted.  

In a related development, Sanjay Poonen, currently the COO and reportedly the top contender along with Raghuram for the CEO job, has quit.

Poonen, who was responsible for the customer operations and sales of the company, on Wednesday, announced he is leaving the Palo Alto headquartered company. He was credited with building VMware’s end user compute capabilities.  

VMware, in a statement, termed his exit as a “personal decision” of the CXO, who served for close to seven years.   

“It's been a great time  @VMware the past 7 yrs; friendships created, all we’ve built together, employees touched, and customers/partners impacted,” Poonen tweeted.  

Per a Reuters report, Raghuram was appointed as the CEO after external candidates turned the job down. TechCircle hasn’t independently verified the report.  

Under Pat Gelsinger’s leadership, VMware succeeded in expanding its capabilities beyond server virtualization technologies and move into an era of cloud computing.  

The task at hand for the new CEO would be to build on the software-as a-service (SaaS) momentum at the company.  

Raghuram, who joined company in 2003, has been a part of the transformation journey. According to the statement, he has played a key role in driving VMware’s software defined data center strategy as well as constructing and guiding VMware’s cloud business and SaaS efforts. 

“VMware is uniquely poised to lead the multi-cloud computing era with an end-to-end software platform spanning clouds, the data center and the edge, helping to accelerate our customers’ digital transformations,” Raghuram said in the statement. 

Watch: Mark Lohmeyer on VMware's big SaaS push with the launch of Cloud Universal 

VMware will be reporting first quarter financial results for fiscal 2022 will be announced after market close on May 27. On Wednesday, the company reported preliminary results for the quarter. It expects revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 to be $2.994 billion, an increase of 9.5% from the first quarter of fiscal 2021. 

The combination of subscription and SaaS and license revenue is expected to be $1.387 billion, an increase of 12.5% from the first quarter of fiscal 2021.  

VMware also announced that Sumit Dhawan has been named President and that Rowe will continue as the CFO.