CEOs can come across as the chief sales officers in interviews, aggressively repeating bullet points that may or may not answer the question at hand. Paul Maritz, CEO of VMware, is not that type of guy. From all appearances, he is a deep thinker with a philosophical bent -- not to mention he has bona fide technical credentials that stretch back to first half of the 1980s, when he helped Intel create programming tools for its emerging x86 platform.
Before becoming CEO of VMware, where he replaced founder and CEO Diane Green in 2008, Maritz was best known for his 14-year stint at Microsoft, during which time he oversaw the development and marketing of Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Visual Studio, and SQL Server, as well as the Office and Exchange product lines.
Clearly, Maritz has been eyewitness to tremendous change in the industry, which he sees ramping up again as we enter the post-PC era. At VMware, Maritz has helped his company solidify a dominant position in virtualization, but as he made clear in a recent interview conducted by IDG Enterprise Chief Content Officer John Gallant and InfoWorld Editor in Chief Eric Knorr, he has no intention of standing still. The conversation began with Maritz's assessment of where VMware stands today and how it plans to step beyond virtualization.
John Gallant: People know VMware -- your strength in both server and desktop virtualization -- but what's your overall strategy going forward?
Paul Maritz: We're at an interesting juncture in our history. The company has obviously been very successful and continues to have a very compelling value proposition, which is kind of remediating the sins of the client-server generation. So people have bought our technologies to deal with server sprawl and have saved a lot of capital expense by consolidating servers -- and in the process found that they can actually address some operational efficiencies as well. And that's what has really propelled our company to date.