Feeds

VMware names second ex-Microsoft exec to leadership role

Remember him as he was

Mobile application security vulnerability report

VMware's landed its second ex-Microsoft executive at the top, this time the individual who drove Redmond's developer outreach in the glory days of the 1990s.

Tod Nielsen has quit his current post as chief executive of Borland Software to take up the newly created mantle of chief operations officer for virtualization market leader VMware.

Nielsen joins former Microsoft colleague Paul Maritz at VMware. Maritz was named VMware chief executive last July, having initially joined to lead the company's cloud computing initiatives, after VMware co-founder Diane Greene was booted.

Maritz said in a statement that Nielsen's appointment would let him devote more time to product strategy and development, with Nielsen focusing more on business, marketing, and operations.

"Having worked closely with Tod in the past, I know that we will work effectively together and complement each other," Nielsen said.

The appointment comes as Microsoft seeks to undercut VMware's market share by giving away its own Hyper-V technology. VMware, meanwhile, has stumbled both technically and in terms of execution in the face of the growing assault.

R&D director Richard Sarwal, recruited by Greene, left soon after her and was quickly followed by Green's husband and VMware chief scientist Mendel Rosenblum. Amid the changes, VMware issued product updates that crashed virtual servers, leaving Maritz in the embarrassing position of issuing two apologies.

Quite how Nielsen can help in any of this is difficult to see, unless Maritz was overly focused on marketing and operations at the expense of product.

VMware talked up Nielsen's 20-year industry credentials. To be sure, Nielsen played an important role at Microsoft by helping create the massive Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), to feed and educate Windows developers with code and resources at a critical time during the life of Windows. That work helped established Windows as a platform, with MSDN becoming the envy of other software companies.

Since leaving Microsoft, Nielsen has gone from a start-up called Crossgain to hopping around in various marketing positions at BEA Systems and Oracle before landing the CEO role at application lifecycle management vendor Borland in 2005.

At BEA, Nielsen led marketing strategy and operations as well as research and development operations. Unfortunately for Nielsen, he stood out for under-delivering on a rash and over-optimistic commitment from his bosses to recruit millions of supposedly disillusioned Microsoft Visual Basic developers to BEA's then-new web services orchestration environment, WebLogic Workshop, and dev2dev online developer network.

Nielsen's Borland tenure was marked by ongoing attempts to reposition the company in a cut-throat market while saving money. An attempt to sell Borland's core tools business at an inflated $150m failed after eight months in 2006. Tools were then turned into a wholly owned subsidiary - CodeGear - and sold to Embarcadero Technologies two years later in 2008 at $127m below the original asking price.

During this time, it was decided to move the company's operations out of its home in Silicon Valley to more affordable facilities in Austin, Texas.

Nielsen's resignation from Borland was announced yesterday along with 15 per cent job cuts - 130 employees - and restructuring intended to save the company between $12m and $14m. Borland did not explain Nielsen's exit but said simply the changes were intended to position the company to executive on its OpenALM vision while managing through the period of global economic uncertainty. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.