BOSTON — EMC and VMware’s close relationship was on full display here at EMC World 2010 this week, as evidenced by the many announcements about VMware storage integration and other virtualization strategies.
Even though EMC has owned VMware since 2003, the two companies haven’t always been so buddy-buddy. Yesterday, an EMC executive said what many have suspected for a while: that EMC and VMware get along so well now because VMware co-founder Diane Greene isn’t in the picture anymore.
“It’s completely due to the change in leadership,” EMC senior vice president Dennis Hoffman told me in an interview.
EMC CEO (and VMware chairman) Joe Tucci fired Greene as VMware CEO in July 2008, citing her lack of “operational experience.” We learned a few months later that, according to the New York Times, it was an ugly scene: Tucci fired Greene in front of her husband, VMware co-founder Mendel Rosenblum, then turned and offered Greene’s seat on the board to Rosenblum (who declined).
Hoffman works with VMware a lot these days, as he’s EMC’s lead representative in the Virtual Computing Environment coalition with VMware and Cisco. He didn’t mention Greene — or her successor, Paul Maritz — by name during the interview. But he told me that before said leadership change, VMware had an “anti-EMC” attitude.
“There were folks around EMC that felt it was a very disadvantageous situation,” he said.
Maritz, a former longtime Microsoft exec, was running EMC’s cloud computing business before Tucci tapped him to replace Greene. Since then, “we’re getting closer, and we all certainly feel that,” Hoffman said. “It’s easy to be close when you share the same vision.”