Bull's Eye Awards: Chief Executives of the Year

  • By

    Carolyn April

    | Posted 2009-12-22



Paul Maritz
Take a company that owns most of a segment’s market share with no signs of losing it – well, that would seem like a cushy job for a CEO. But mix in a handful of formidable competitors, including ones like Microsoft (which has been known to easily eliminate challengers under former executives, like, say, Paul Maritz) and maybe it’s not such an easy job after all.

That’s just the place Paul Maritz inherited when he was appointed CEO of VMware a little more than a year ago, and his strategic moves to advance the technology, shore it up with acquisitions and make the right competitive moves have won him the Challenger award in Channel Insider’s Bull’s Eye CEO of the Year Award.

Maritz is no stranger to Microsoft, having spent more than a decade of his career there, and having led Microsoft’s battle against Netscape’s Internet browser, eventually crushing the upstart company. Now Maritz is defending VMware’s formidable market lead in the virtualization market. And he’s doing so handily.

Case in point: Analysts say that VMware oversold licenses of its vSphere server virtualization technology into the enterprise in 2008 in anticipation of Microsoft’s first release of its own hypervisor, Hyper-V. The strategy has worked so far. Even though many companies are running trials of Microsoft’s Hyper-V-based virtualized server environments, very few are using Microsoft’s technology for production servers. VMware still rules the enterprise.

Another case in point: VMware’s acquisition of SpringSource in September. Maritz has called the company a leader in Java development, and its framework is being extended to a new generation of Web programmers. That potentially leads to new development capabilities for VMware in cloud configurations, something that Maritz’s VMware is exploring in the form of its vCloud initiative through partnerships with AT&T, Verizon, Savvis, Terramark and others.

And finally, Maritz’s VMware has released the long-awaited VMware View 4, which enables PC-over-IP. The desktop virtualization technology that can deliver a virtualized desktop to thin client hardware comes at a time when it could disrupt the also long-awaited enterprise PC refresh.

So watch out VMware competitors. Paul Maritz is our Challenger winner in Channel Insider’s Bull's Eye Award for CEO of the Year.


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