Raghuram, currently VMware’s chief operating officer in charge of products and cloud services, will take the reins in June, the company said on Wednesday. Chief financial officer Zane Rowe has been serving as VMware’s interim CEO since February.
Raghuram has been with VMware since 2003, when the company was still a startup. Over the years, VMware has grown into a nearly $12 billion business, selling so-called virtualization software that allows a single corporate server to operate like multiple servers, improving the performance of a company’s IT operations.
Raghuram told Fortune he has been spearheading VMware’s push into selling software that lets companies run their internal and external apps in multiple cloud computing services and in-house data centers. Companies like IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are all pushing this notion of multi-cloud, or hybrid cloud, technology as the future of corporate IT.
Compared with Gelsinger, Raghuram said he considers himself “more of a technology-centric leader.” Although Gelsinger was a trained computer engineer, he developed a leadership style like an “industry statesman,” Raghuram said, willing to opine on topics like politics in media and analyst interviews.
For instance, Gelsinger told Fortune in 2019 that Bitcoin was “bad for humanity,” criticizing how people use the cryptocurrency for illicit activities.
Raghuram said he has “no intention” to follow in Gelsinger’s footsteps as an executive more akin to Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff who regularly comments on politics and society.
“Fundamentally, I’ll be spending most of my time on what’s good for VMware, customers, and associated industry technologies,” Raghuram said.
Asked about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on businesses, Raghuram said he expects companies to spend more money on IT software and technology in the second half of the year after initially pausing or cutting back on spending.
VMware also plans for its employees to continue working remotely and will not require them to return to physical offices full-time, he said. Similar to tech companies like Salesforce and Google, VMware employees will work in a hybrid model.
VMware also named Sumit Dhawan to be the company’s president while COO of customer operations Sanjay Poonen will leave the company.
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