Joe Tucci, former CEO of EMC
Photograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Barb Darrow
February 9, 2016

VMware has named former American Airlines (amr) chief executive Donald Carty and tech veteran Tony Bates to its board, according to an SEC document filed Tuesday.

Carty, interestingly, has been on the board of VMware (vmw) parent company EMC (emc) since last year, and was also at one time vice chairman and chief financial officer of Dell, when it was a publicly traded company.

The additions come as Dell and VMware’s parent company, EMC, try to push through their proposed $67 billion merger, which has hit turbulence after VMware shareholders resisted the move. Just a few weeks ago, VMware replaced its chief financial officer with his counterpart from EMC Zane Rowe.

Dell and EMC make the merger talk official.

It seems fairly obvious that EMC chief executive and chairman Joe Tucci is operating the levers here.

“If I didn’t know better I’d say they’re stacking the decks to make sure this purchase goes through,” said one source close to VMware.

And as Re/Code pointed out, there are those at VMware who suspect that Tucci may be lining up Bates as a potential replacement for VMware chief executive Pat Gelsinger.

Both VMware and EMC have announced layoffs, as belt-tighteners to help the proposed plan, which carries a heavy load of debt, come to fruition.

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Bates, who has been president at action-camera maker GoPro (gpro) since 2014, was previously president of Skype and an executive for more than a decade at Cisco (csco).

For more about Dell, watch:

Bates helped drive the success of Skype’s popular computer telephony product before engineering its $8.5 billion sale to Microsoft (msft) the next year. Bates was one of several top Microsoft execs reportedly under consideration for that company’s CEO job, which went to Satya Nadella.

This story was updated at 6:20 p.m. with information on cost cutting at EMC and VMware and again at 8:30 a.m. January 10 to add context from Re/Code.

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