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Jan 7 2009   12:21PM GMT

Tod Nielsen tapped as VMware COO

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

VMware snagged Tod Nielsen,  former CEO of Borland, as its new COO.

For a 43 year old, Tod’s been around the block more than a few times. Some remember him as the sacrificial lamb Microsoft sent out to deal with–and try to woo–the notoriously cranky dBase, FoxPro and Paradox database fans when Microsoft decided to enter the PC database fray. Say one thing for Tod, he kept a smile on his face in some pretty tough situations.

He also did yeoman’s duty wooing the Washington press corps during some of the Microsoft antitrust unpleasantness back in the day.

Nielsen caused a stir when he left Microsoft after more than a decade for startup Crossgain. Then again, there was some more legal unpleasantness surrounding that move, this time on Microsoft’s part.  When BEA Systems bought Crossgain he went there for awhile, then off to Oracle — beforeOracle bought BEA. Then on to Borland Software, once known as Borland International, another company that famously ran afoul of Microsoft.

 Like VMware CEO Paul Maritz, he’s seen Microsoft from inside and out. That’s probably not bad preparation for VMware executives.  It’s clear as Microsoft drives its Hyper-V virtualization onslaught there will be more unpleasantness for incumbents in this market.

Also seems clear that VMware is still recovering from the unceremonious dumping of former CEO Diane Green last year.

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