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VMware Loses Another Key Executive

Virtualization industry leader VMware, already facing challenges on multiple fronts, took another body blow last night when Chief Scientist Dr. Mendel Rosenblum, a company co-founder, resigned.

The New York Times reported today that Rosenblum, who is married to recently ousted CEO Diane Greene, submitted his resignation last night and will return to Stanford, where he has held teaching positions in the past.

Rosenblum is the latest in a parade of top-level executives to leave the company. In addition to Greene, whose departure appeared to precipitate the exodus, VMware has lost Richard Sarwal, the executive vice president in charge of research and development, who quit last week, and Paul Chan, VP of product development, said he was resigning in October.

The timing of these changes could not be worse for VMware. Just yesterday, chief rival Microsoft announced a slew of new virtualization offerings which are aimed directly at VMware. Other companies, such as Citrix, have teamed up with Redmond to combine their efforts at unseating VMware. In addition, smaller companies like Red Hat, which just bought a vendor that gives it a foothold in the virtual desktop infrastructure market, are making inroads into the burgeoning virtualization field.

There are internal pressures, too. The company is struggling financially, disclosing last July that it would fall far short of earnings projections for the year. It's also clear from the resignations that the company is experiencing leadership turmoil as it adjusts to new CEO Paul Maritz.

All this happens as VMware prepares for the VMworld conference next week in Las Vegas. VMworld, its yearly showcase of all things virtualization, will try to convince the public and shareholders that despite all the negative news surrounding it, VMware is still a thriving, vibrant company that will continue to lead the pack.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization Review.

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