Thoughts on VMware’s New CEO – Paul Maritz
Written By: Bernd Harzog
A bit of personal history. From 1985 to 1992, I was in Product Management at DCA (remember IRMA cards?). As LAN’s started to take off, SAN communications was undergoing a shift from being something that you did in each PC, to something that you did via a server or gateway on each LAN. DCA started building an OS/2 (remember OS/2?) Communications Server, a product for which I was the Product Manager.
IBM had OS/2 Extended Edition which included built in LAN, Database, and SNA functionality. Microsoft struck up partnerships with 3COM on the LAN front, Ashton-Tate and later Sybase on the Database front, and DCA on the SNA front. DCA ended up in the joint development and marketing arrangement with Microsoft around the SNA Server that I was managing. The key people involved in this project on the Microsoft side were Steve Ballmer (now CEO of Microsoft), Bob Muglia (now in charge of Windows), Rob Glaser (now the CEO of Real Networks), and Paul Maritz. This was a pretty high testosterone group of people, all of whom were competing in their own way to make their own marks in the high intensity culture established by Bill Gates.
I remember Paul Maritz as being a careful, deliberate, analytical and thoughtful member of that team. He was calm, mature, and lead with a steady hand on the tiller. I was a fan of his then, and I think that he might be exactly the right person to lead VMware through its competition with Microsoft and Citrix to the next level of growth. This is not to suggest anything negative about Diane Green. I have never met Diane Green and therefore have no basis upon which to compare these two executives. All I can say is that VMware is at a point where it faces both enormous challenges and enormous opportunities and that Paul Maritz strikes me as exactly the right kind of person to lead VMware through both these challenges and opportunities.
Great competitors bring out the best in Microsoft, and other than Google it has been a while since Microsoft faced such a credible threat to its core Windows franchise. VMware represents such a threat. Paul, I wish you good luck and all of the success in the world. Your success will make this industry more interesting and better for customers worldwide.