VMware confirmed after the New York markets closed July 17 that which had been reported the previous evening: CEO Paul Maritz is moving on and that an executive from the parent company's front office, EMC Chief Operations Officer Pat Gelsinger, will replace him at the helm in Palo Alto.
Gelsinger (pictured at right), who joined EMC in 2009 after a 30-year career as one of the top execs at Intel--including five years as CTO--takes his new position on Sept. 1. He also will join VMware's board of directors.
"It's been a pleasure to work with the best IT leadership team in the industry," Gelsinger said on a conference call to analysts and journalists to discuss the management changes.
'Big Shoes to Fill'
"Having worked with Paul for nearly 30 years now, he leaves very big shoes to fill, and my commitment is to work my very hardest to fill them. It's an honor to take the baton from Paul at VMworld (set for the end of August in San Francisco) for this next lap of the journey."
Maritz, who has supervised a highly successful four years at the world's largest virtualization software provider, remains on the VMware board and ostensibly will become EMC's CEO-in-waiting. In the meantime, he will work as a "technology strategist" within the EMC corporate empire.
"This will be a full-time position, a job that can be done from anywhere," Maritz said on the conference call. "This transition also frees up my time to think about some of the interesting things that can be done on top of this new foundation of cloud infrastructure. There are ways to deliver business value in ways that have not been possible before."
EMC's CEO Says He Will Stay on Through 2013
EMC's President, CEO and Chairman of the Board Joe Tucci, 65, said on the call that he intends to stay on in his current positions "at least through 2013."
"I'm feeling energized, and as long as the board thinks I add value, well, I feel good about staying." Tucci said.
Tucci had told an interviewer a year ago that he would call it quits in 2012. Later, he told investors and analysts during the company's quarterly earnings call in January that EMC's board of directors had asked him to stay on into 2013. "Besides, I'm having too much fun doing this job!" he said on that conference call.
So Maritz (pictured at left) apparently will have to wait his turn if he wants the top job at EMC, which has a market cap of $48 billion--$38 billion more than NetApp, the second-largest independent storage marker--and annual revenues of $20 billion.
Tucci has supervised EMC during a highly successful 11-year run as CEO and has been board chairman for the last six years. EMC has become the world's largest independent storage and security company during his tenure and owns far-and-away the most market share in storage hardware and software.
VMware: From Startup to Tech Heavyweight
"Maritz has done a tremendous job at VMware, transforming them from tech startup to global heavyweight," Gartner Research Vice-President Chris Wolf told eWEEK. "At the same time, Joe Tucci may be considering life after EMC and perhaps Maritz is getting closer to Tucci to be a possible successor.
"Cloud is extremely important to EMC, and Maritz's track record as a technology visionary speaks for itself. He is very well suited to lead EMC's next generation cloud and product strategy. The position seems like a very good fit for Paul.
Gelsinger is a logical fit to succeed Maritz at VMware, Wolf said. "Gelsinger is a proven technology executive who isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and talk tech at a deep level. His technical chops will give him immediate credibility inside VMware," Wolf said.
VMware also pre-announced its second-quarter 2012 earnings July 17, a week early.
The wholly owned EMC subsidiary turned in record quarterly revenues of $1.123 billion, up 22 percent from a year ago. Guidance from the company for the quarter had been in the $1.1 billion to $1.12 billion range.
Editor's note: This story was updated to include the analyst's perspective.
Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features and Analysis at eWEEK. Twitter: @editingwhiz