Tod Nielsen: Borland's Loss, VMware's Gain

Tod Nielsen is Borland's loss and VMware's gain. Nielsen, formerly president and CEO of Borland Software, has been named chief operating officer at VMware.

Tod Nielsen is Borland's loss and VMware's gain. Nielsen, formerly president and CEO of Borland Software, has been named chief operating officer at VMware.

Nielsen, who joined Borland in 2005 and oversaw the spin-off and later sale of its developer tools unit, was named VMware's COO on Jan. 5. At VMware, Nielsen will join his former colleague Paul Maritz, who Nielsen worked closely with at Microsoft. Maritz is president and CEO of VMware.

Prior to Borland, Nielsen held several executive management positions at leading software companies including Microsoft, BEA Systems and Oracle. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the business of building, marketing and managing manpower and processes in the enterprise software and developer tools business.

"I am delighted to have Tod join VMware and bring his passion for software and wealth of leadership experience to our executive team," Maritz said in a statement. "In this newly created role, Tod brings unique skills and capabilities that will help us improve our operational focus and enhance our execution across all areas of the business. With Tod on board, I will be able to devote more of my time to the product strategy and development, while Tod focuses more on business, marketing and operations. Having worked closely with Tod in the past, I know that we will work effectively together and complement each other."

As VMware bolsters its ranks with Borland's former honcho, Borland gears up for another round of belt tightening - something the company has grown accustomed to over its many years of existence.

Meanwhile, also on Jan. 5, Borland not only announced Nielsen's resignation, but the application lifecycle management (ALM) software maker also announced a work force reduction of about 15 percent and preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008, including revenue if $38.5 million to $40 million. This would represent a shortfall compared to previous forecasts.

Borland officials said the company will reduce its work force by approximately 130 employees, which amounts to the aforementioned 15 percent of the company's regular full-time staff. Borland said the work force reduction and cost cuts will save the company $12 million to $14 million.

The company said the majority of the planned work force reductions are part of a plan to recalibrate Borland's go-to-market strategy under Rich Novak, the company's recently appointed senior vice president of worldwide field operations. The new structure unifies sales and marketing, creates an enterprise solutions team focused on selling the newly delivered Borland Management Solutions, and provides for growing a global inside sales team, Borland officials said.

In a statement, Borland's acting president and CEO, Erik Prusch, said: "Over the past two years, I've seen Borland make enormous strides both in terms of operational improvements and delivering on its Open ALM vision. We have the products, talent and financial footing to withstand near term economic uncertainties and continue the strategy we've outlined to investors. I'm excited to lead Borland through its transformation to an innovative leader in the ALM market, committed to delivering the highest quality products and services to our customers."

Meanwhile, Borland said Peter Morowski, senior vice president of research and development at Borland, will be leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.