VMware -- What Is Really (Not Virtually) Going On?

Last Updated Jul 9, 2008 11:27 PM EDT

Sweeping his head under the rugAs the smoke clears at VMware, many are trying to figure out exactly what went on as CEO and co-founder Diane Greene was shown the door:
Analysts agree that VMware's collapsing stock price and lower revenue warning probably prompted its board to oust Greene. "It is a bit of a shocker-- but there were signs," says Drue Reeves, a vice president at Burton Group, a tech consulting firm.
And certainly moving from a start-up to multi-billion dollar business is no easy feat. But whether or not you agree that Greene just wasn't getting it done, it's hard to disagree that EMC is quickly trying to make the whole sticky issue go away. As Wendy Tanaka's Forbes.com piece notes:
VMware-- had hardly finished announcing that its chief executive, Diane Greene, was stepping down when the company pulled references to the co-founder off its Web site and put up the bio of its incoming chief executive, Paul Maritz.
Chad Sakac, a senior director of the VMware Strategic Alliance at EMC, is also the author of Virtual Geek, which bills itself as "an insider's perspective, technical tips n' tricks in the era of the VMware Revolution." He writes that that he had no idea the shake-up was coming:
It is a true statement to say that VMware does indeed operate as a separate independent company. The decision was by the VMware board, and EMC operates as a partner to VMware. I suspect I found out the same moment that my peers at IBM, HP, Dell, NetApp, HDS, etc.
True, except that EMC still owns 86 percent of the company and only two of the currently listed board members (EMC forgot to erase Diane Green from that page, by the way) were neither current or former executives or board members of EMC. Saying, as Sakac does, that "[t]his is not 'EMC exerting control' - it was a change the VMware Board unanimously (excepting Diane of course) wanted," seems like a touch of wishful thinking.

I understand that Sakac says that the blog is his, and not VMware's:

The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by EMC and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of EMC. This is my blog, it is not an EMC blog.
However, EMC itself calls Virtual Geek the "new, public EMC blog, focused exclusively on VMware, [that] offers information you won't find anywhere else." Maybe it's just some faulty communications.

Sweeping his head under the rug image via Flickr user eob, CC 2.0.

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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.