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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Is the media talking about the same person

Last night I was reading an article in the Economist that was praising the CEO of VMware, Diane Green. I thought it was a particularly interesting article, This morning I read an article by Adam Lashinsky which had a distinctly different spin on her abilities.

You be the judge ... Did EMC make the right decision?

The Economist

The opposite of Steve Jobs

With her thinking on competition, however, Ms Greene may be onto something. To be sure, in the high-tech industry, competition and co-operation have always gone hand in hand. The phenomenon has come to be called “co-opetition”, but in the end, the competitive forces have always been stronger. However, as computing migrates into the cloud and becomes a service online, and as different pieces of software become ever more interconnected, then there is likely to be much more of a premium on co-operation. If computing used to be mainly about defending the citadel, it is now more about huddling with partners.

In which case, you would expect more high-tech companies to appoint leaders like Ms Greene. Indeed, that is one way of looking at the retirement of Bill Gates as Microsoft’s “chief software architect”, and his replacement by the more amenable Ray Ozzie. It is hard to imagine Mr Ozzie getting into public fights with Eric Schmidt, Google’s equally level-headed boss, the way Mr Gates did with Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive. Mr Jobs, by the way, will probably always remain something of an exception: his firm’s business today is still much more about control of the brand and the users’ experience than it is about co-operation. Interestingly, of all his colleagues in Silicon Valley, Mr Jobs is said to be particularly fond of Ms Greene. After all, opposites attract.

Adam Lashinsky

Adam Lashinsky's dispatches on finance from the West Coast
EMC to VMware CEO: Buh-bye

VMware (VMW) announced this morning that its co-founder and CEO, Diane Greene, is leaving the company, “effective immediately.” Her replacement is Microsoft (MSFT) retiree Paul Maritz. At the same time, the company lowered its financial expectations for this year in the last line of its news release: “While VMware is not updating guidance for Q2, we expect revenues for the full year of 2008 will be modestly below the previous guidance of 50% growth over 2007.”

"I wrote a feature about VMware’s CEO Diane Greene last year in which I wrote about her friction with EMC. It was a wrought situation. EMC controlled VMware, but VMware was the golden goose, giving Greene a great deal of power. Until, it seems, she couldn’t deliver. The executive quoted in VMware’s release noting Greene’s departure is VMware’s chairman, Joe Tucci, also EMC’s chief executive."

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