OK, so that is a strained headline. But she is a champion sailor and windsurfer. I interviewed Diane Greene at EMC’s Cambridge, Mass office in the spring along with eWeek reporter Scott Ferguson (who asked all the good questions). Now, she has parted ways with EMC as the company stated that their revenues might not meet its growth forecast.
I’d argue that any company showing any growth in the current economy (except those oil companies sucking my wallet dry) should be up for a meritorious service medal rather than a dinging by not topping a fifty percent growth figure.
I’d guess that Greene simply had enough of corporate life for a while. Balancing between being a good EMC loyalist while keeping her employees motivated and customer/competitors H-P and IBM from continuous whining would wear down anyone. Add to that being asked 5,000 times a day, “What are you going to do now that Microsoft is in the market?” would be sufficient to prompt anyone to take their couple hundred million in profits and leave. Greene’s history is one of the more interesting in high tech and include stints as a champion dinghy sailor, treasure hunter and windsurfer. The biggest fear I have is that she will leave high tech and I’ll watch the scoreboard change as one really interesting, far ranging intelligent manager is replaced by yet another Powerpoint driven number cruncher.
Greene is being replaced by former Microsoft platform exec Paul Maritz. Maritz was at Microsoft for fourteen years and his Microsoft eras include Win 95, NT and Win 2K. NT was and is the best operating system ever developed at Microsoft. He made a pile of money and took off to form Pi (bought by EMC) and was put in charge of EMC’s cloud computing strategy. Maritz is an engineer to the core and, somewhat like Greene, is better at small group discussions than stage presentations. The ex-Microsoft millionaires as a group have not done that well at going on to run other companies, one reason being that at Microsoft you never had to worry about money and all the decisions were made by Bill and Steve anyways.
The bottom line? Diane Greene and her husband created a company which took the lab curiosity of virtualization and turned it into the next big thing in computing. I bet she is not done with that next big thing thinking yet.