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EMC II CEO David Goulden leaves VMware board

Cloudfather Tucci's two most likely heirs are now running their own races

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David Goulden, chief executive officer of of EMC Information Infrastructure and chief financial officer of EMC, has left VMware's board.

Goulden will be replaced by Paul Sagan, a partner executive-in-residence at venture capital outfit General Catalyst Partners. Sagan is also on EMC's board and is a former CEO of Akamai.

The canned statement about the change is full of bonhomie about both men. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger praises Goulden for having provided “a broad range of expertise on the various financial, marketing and business development issues facing a global organization.” Sagan is lauded as likely to “ bring invaluable counsel and insight to the VMware board and executive team” thanks to his past and current engagements.

As we've opined in the past, Goulden and VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger are considered the most likely candidates to succeed current EMC Chair and CEO Joe Tucci, who has signalled he'll be in the building until early 2015.

EMC is the parent company for all EMC ventures and EMC Information Infrastructure is the company's storage and security business. Goulden is therefore CFO for the group and leader of the group's biggest business and has plenty of runs on the board in both roles. Gelsinger came to VMware after it had conquered the server virtualisation market and did much to pioneer private clouds. He's now trying to grow new lines of business for the company, with end-user computing and software-defined data centres the two big hopes.

He's now free to pursue that goal with a little less oversight from EMC. And Goulden? He scored the CEO gig back in January, so having one less item on his plate is probably welcome. It also more-or-less equalises his status vis a vis Gelsinger.

The changes don't signal EMC backing off from VMware as there's still plenty of cross-pollination between the two companies' boards, as Tucci and Sagan serve on both. ®

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