VMware's Mendel Rosenblum, who helped co-found the world's leading x86 virtualization company along with his wife Diane Greene, is leaving VMware to return to full-time teaching at Stanford University. Rosenblum's exit from VMware marks yet another management shakeup at the virtualization company that started when Greene was ousted earlier this year.
The changes within VMware's top management continued as Mendel
Rosenblum, the chief scientist and one of the co-founders of the
virtualization company, announced he would leave VMware and return to
academia full time.
In a statement released Sept. 9, a VMware spokeswoman confirmed that
Rosenblum, who created the company in 1998 with his wife and former CEO Diane Greene
, was leaving the company to return to a full-time teaching position at Stanford University.
Rosenblum's exit from the company he helped create comes two months
after Greene was ousted from her role as CEO and president of VMware. An article in The New York Times suggests that Greene
had a falling out with EMC-the parent company of VMware-and CEO Joseph Tucci, which led to Greene leaving the company.
In a statement, VMware spokeswoman Mary Ann Gallo did not offer a
detailed explanation of why Rosenblum decided to leave the company now.
Gallo did note that Rosenblum will no longer have any formal role with
"He [Rosenblum] played a leading role in creating the modern x86
virtualization market and contributed to our leadership
in that market," Gallo said in her statement. "His technical
legacy and influence on VMware-both the company and the many
engineers whom he mentored-will continue long into the future. He will
be missed and we all wish him the very best."
The shakeup at VMware comes just before the company's big
tradeshow-the 2008 VMworld conference in Las Vegas-which is slated to
start Sept. 16.
The departure of Greene and Rosenblum also comes when VMware, which
had dominated the x86 virtualization market for years and had a
successful IPO (initial public offering) in 2007, is being challenged
on several fronts by several major competitors, including Microsoft
with Hyper-V and Citrix with its XenServer
On Sept. 8, Microsoft increased the pressure on VMware by announcing new features to Hyper-V and a deal with Sun Microsystems
to create a new cross-platform virtualization initiative that validates
Sun's new xVM virtualization platform to run on the Windows Server OS.
Other vendors, such as Red Hat,
are also looking to take a piece of the virtualization market for themselves.
To meet these challenges, EMC turned to Paul Maritz, a former
Microsoft executive, who has had experience in developing cloud
computing. At VMworld, Maritz, who is now CEO and president, is
expected to demonstrate VMware's new suite of products that will
combine the company's virtualization know-how with new offerings to
develop a cloud-computing infrastructure.
is also looking to recover from a problem in August, where a faulty
patch created problems for customers who were using the company's ESX
and ESXi virtualization products.
VMware quickly fixed the problem and Maritz himself issued an apology on the VMware Web site.
"I think that Paul Maritz is a very bright and
able guy and his background at Microsoft and his understanding of Microsoft,
both its culture and its technology, makes him very good leader for the company
at this time," said Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Research. "If Rosenblum
left the company, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise. However, VMware does
have an enormous R&D effort and a lot of really smart people, so I'd say
the long-term impact will be minimal. It will give people a lot to talk about
In addition to Greene and Rosenblum, the VMware management shakeup also includes Richard Sarwal, VMware's executive vice president of research and development, who left earlier this month to return to Oracle.
In an interview earlier this year with eWEEK, Rosenblum said he was still interested in exploring operating systems within the confines of his academic work
At VMware, he said he was primarily concerned with opening up the
company's APIs to allow security vendors to create better protection
for the hypervisor. He was also working to improve VMware's virtual
"Now it's pretty widely established that
[virtualization] is a better way of doing things," Rosenblum said
during the interview. "So, as we got bigger and more aggressive, we
started to get more aggressive about the problems we took on. It's
always been sort of the focus of the company to look around and see
what the big pain points of the customers are and how can we solve them
through this virtualization technology."
Editor's Note: This article was updated to include a comment from an analyst.