VMware Fights Fire with Fire

VMware has imported another ex-Microsoft veteran to fight Microsoft, its worst enemy. This time it’s Tod Nielsen plucked out of Borland, where he’s been CEO for the last three years, to be VMware’s chief operating officer, a specially created job that reports to fellow Microsoft veteran, VMware CEO Paul Maritz.

Back in Microsoft’s golden age, Nielsen filled various roles such as general manager of database and developer tools, vice-president of developer tools and vice-president of its platform group. He was there 12 years so he presumably knows how it works.

After Microsoft Nielsen was CEO of Crossgain until BEA bought it and made him its chief marketing officer and executive vice-president of engineering. After the BEA stint he moved to Oracle as senior vice-president of marketing and global sales support.

In a canned statement Maritz said, “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.”

Right before Christmas VMware’s parent company EMC tapped Harel Kodesh, another Maritz crony from Microsoft, to be president of its newfangled cloud infrastructure and services business as well as CEO of Decho, the subsidiary EMC recently created to focus on personal information management in the cloud.

Decho includes Mozy, EMC’s cloud backup unit, and Pi Corp, the mystery “personal information” start-up that Maritz founded and sold to EMC before EMC’s impatience with VMware co-founder Diane Greene led to her ouster and Maritz replacing her.

At Microsoft all through the 90s, when Maritz was two heartbeats from the top, Kodesh held various executive positions, including VP of its Information Appliance Division and founder of the Windows CE operating system. He’s now entrusted with Maritz’s baby, Pi

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