The right stuff

VMware has finally found a replacement for the charismatic Pat Gelsinger, by looking inwards, and finding Raghu Raghuram.

Raghu Raghuram, VMware Raghu Raghuram, VMware
In mid-May, VMware announced that Raghu Raghuram would become CEO, stepping into the role left by Pat Gelsinger icompany for eight years, and has returned to Intel, where he spent over three decades.
A technologist to the core, Raghuram, 57, has been at the company for 18 years, and had been its chief operating officer for products and cloud services. He will also join the company’s board of directors, and report to Michael Dell, who chairs the boards of VMware and Dell Technologies. Dell and Silver Lake own about 52% of VMware.

Raghuram’s appointment will also mean the departure of Sanjay Poonen, who was in charge of the company’s sales and customer operations. Rumours are that he wanted the top job. Poonen, who has been at the company for seven years, said in a tweet that he was excited about his ‘next adventure’, which he will announce in due course.
Dell said he was thrilled to have Raghuram as the new CEO, as he has played an instrumental role in the company’s success. Raghuram was in charge of the company’s ESX and vSphere products, which have played no small part in the VMware’s fortunes. He’s said to have coined the phrase ‘software-defined datacentre’.
New boss, new company
Raghuram’s first big job will be to oversee the separation from Dell, which wants to spin off its 81% stake for a cash dividend of $9.7 billion. Reuters reports that Raghuram was offered the job after an unsuccessful search for an external candidate, and that VMware declined to comment on who else was in the running. In an interview with the news agency after his appointment, Raghuram said he would be continuing the company’s multicloud and hybrid cloud strategy, and that he subscribed to what he called a ‘Switzerland mentality’ of working with different computing providers.
“VMware is uniquely poised to lead the multicloud computing era with an end-to-end software platform spanning clouds, the datacentre and the edge, helping to accelerate our customers’ digital transformations,” said Raghuram in a statement. “I am honored, humbled and excited to have been chosen to lead this company to a new phase of growth. We have enormous opportunity, we have the right solutions, the right team, and we will continue to execute with focus, passion, and agility.”
In an interview with the CRN website, he said the fact that it was now an independent company would see it enter into strategic partnerships with other vendors, something that may not have happened if it was still part of Dell.
Raghuram will receive an annual salary of $1 million, according to the company’s filing with the SEC, and will be eligible for annual target bonus of 150% of his base pay, from June. He has also been granted restricted stock and performance stock unit awards, worth a target value of $8 million, as well as equity awards worth a target value of $5 million, according to CRN. Gelsinger made an estimated $23 million in total compensation in 2019.
The company also named Sumit Dhawan as president, leading all go-to-market functions, including worldwide sales, worldwide partner and commercial organisations, customer services, marketing, and communications.

The company has released its preliminary results for Q1, fiscal year 2022. It said revenue was expected to be $2.994 billion, an increase of 9.5% from the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Subscription, SaaS and licence revenue is expected to be $1.387 billion, an increase of 12.5% from the first quarter of fiscal 2021.