Who is the CEO of VMware?

VMware is one of the world’s leading providers of cloud computing and virtualization software and services. The company has been hugely influential in advancing virtual machine and related technologies.


VMware has a long history of strong and impactful leadership guiding the company’s success. Understanding VMware’s current CEO provides insight into the future direction and priorities of this technology giant.

History and Background of VMware

Before diving into VMware’s current Chief Executive Officer, it’s helpful to understand the company’s origins and high-level history.

VMware was founded in 1998 in Palo Alto, California by Diane Greene, Mendel Rosenblum, Scott Devine, Ellen Wang and Edouard Bugnion. The company was one of the pioneers in developing virtualization technology and the x86 compatible virtual machine monitor known as VMware Workstation.

Virtualization allowed hardware to be simulated through software, enabling more efficient computing infrastructure utilization. By abstracting physical hardware layers, virtual machines could share hardware resources dynamically.

VMware’s early success was primarily within the desktop environment, allowing users to run multiple operating systems concurrently. However, by the early 2000s, the company adapted its virtualization for the server market.

In 2004, VMware released its first enterprise-focused product, VMware Infrastructure (later called VMware vSphere). vSphere became highly successful in enabling server hardware consolidation.

This breakthrough server virtualization and associated management tools provided immense value for companies struggling with server sprawl. VMware quickly became a stock market darling following its IPO launch in 2007.

VMware CEO History

Given its tremendous market success over more than two decades, VMware has understandably had relatively few Chief Executive Officers guide the company. Let’s briefly highlight past VMware CEOs:

Diane Greene

As one of VMware’s founders and earliest technical driving forces, Diane Greene led the company as CEO from 1998 to 2008. Under her leadership, VMware’s annual revenues grew from virtually nothing to over $1.3 billion. She also oversaw the company’s successful public stock offering in 2007.

Paul Maritz

Greene handed over VMware’s reins in 2008 to Paul Maritz, a former senior Microsoft executive who was deeply involved in the creation of Windows NT and Internet Explorer 4.0 in the 1990s.

Maritz served as VMware’s CEO until 2013. He pushed VMware to broaden its scope beyond just server virtualization into providing a comprehensive cloud computing software platform. Key developments during his tenure included the launch of vCloud, VMware’s cloud computing-focused product line.

Pat Gelsinger

Maritz passed leadership of VMware to Pat Gelsinger in 2012. An engineer by training, Gelsinger spent 30 years at Intel Corporation, becoming Chief Technology Officer before joining EMC (which had acquired VMware in 2004). As CEO of VMware from 2012 to 2021, Gelsinger focused on evolving virtualization into tightly integrated hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategies.

Rangarajan (Raghu) Raghuram

VMware’s current CEO is longtime executive Rangarajan Raghuram, known more commonly as “Raghu Raghuram.” With Raghu Raghuram moving into the top leadership spot in 2021, he took responsibility for guiding VMware into its next major transition.

Current VMware Chief Executive Officer Profile – Raghu Raghuram

As only the fourth CEO in VMware’s nearly 25 year history, Raghu Raghuram stepped into a large leadership role with high expectations. Mr. Raghuram has worked at VMware for over 17 years however across a number of critical senior roles.

Professional Background

A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology with an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State University, Raghuram started at VMware in 2003 as a software engineer focusing on embedded systems and networking software.

Raghuram demonstrated strong technical competence and management capabilities which resulted in his advancement into executive positions heading up VMware’s networking and cloud platform divisions. Key milestones included:

  • 2008 – Vice President of R&D for server software
  • 2012 – Corporate Senior Vice President leading Cloud Infrastructure
  • 2016 – Executive Vice President directing cloud management
  • 2021 – Chief Executive Officer

During his career progression at VMware, Ranghuram Raghuram oversaw several major product introductions including vSphere, VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware Tanzu and VMware Cross-Cloud services. These solutions exemplified VMware’s strategies around hybrid cloud computing and platform abstraction.

As CEO, Raghuram continues leading VMware’s broad efforts enabling consistent application, infrastructure and tooling deployment across diverse on-premises data center and multi-cloud environments.

Leadership Philosophy and Priorities

Since assuming the CEO role in 2021, Raghu Raghuram has communicated a three-pronged high-level vision:

  1. Supporting customer acceleration into multi-cloud computing
  2. Empowering people and culture
  3. Focusing on social equity and responsibility

This overarching vision drives investments in expanding VMware’s hybrid and multi-cloud platform offerings, strengthening inclusion programming, and launching environmental sustainability initiatives.

Raghuram sees leveraging VMware’s foundational virtualization technologies to advance enterprise adoption of multi-cloud and Kubernetes container strategies as key to future growth and industry leadership.

He advocates modernizing applications, infrastructure, connectivity and security to support executing workloads across heterogeneous environments spanning private data centers, public clouds, edge computing, 5G networks – leveraging VMware software to abstract underlying complexity.

Reaction from Industry Experts

VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram is widely acknowledged as a deeply technical yet business savvy executive who relates well to IT leaders and practitioners.

Initial reactions to his appointment highlighted several strengths Raghuram brings to the CEO role:

  • Proven track record delivering successful products
  • Strong communicator with robust technical understanding
  • Deep internal knowledge of VMware people and technologies
  • Commitment to core offerings while expanding into emerging areas like cloud native development

Industry analysts have responded positively to strategic moves made under Ranghuram’s leadership so far. Early decisions to enhance multi-cloud and application modernization capabilities signal continued cloud computing centrality within VMware’s evolving platform ecosystem.

The Future of VMware

With Raghu Raghuram at the helm as CEO, VMware looks well positioned to continue as an enterprise computing powerhouse enabling digital transformation.

Backed by rich virtualization inheritance while expanding into cloud, edge, networking and security – VMware develops software infrastructure enabling customers to “run any app on any cloud”. Over 75,000 enterprise customers globally trust VMware for production systems.

As emerging technologies present new opportunities and challenges, this leading organization appears in steady hands under the leadership of CEO Raghu Raghuram. VMware’s ongoing success delivering innovative software solutions helps explain why Raghuram narrowly trails only Diane Greene for longest tenure as Chief Executive Officer.

Key Takeaways

  • Founded in 1998, VMware pioneered virtualization for enabling efficient infrastructure utilization
  • Four highly capable CEOs have led VMware including current chief executive Raghu Raghuram
  • Raghuram brings deep technical and business expertise with VMware experience across engineering and key products
  • As CEO since mid-2021, Raghuram focuses VMware on accelerating multi-cloud migrations and driving growth
  • VMware remains well positioned moving forward given strong leadership and foundational technologies

Frequently Asked Questions on Raghu Raghuram and VMware’s CEO

  1. Who is VMware’s current CEO?
    VMware’s current Chief Executive Officer is Raghu Raghuram. He assumed this role in June 2021.

  2. How long has Raghu Raghuram worked at VMware?
    Ranghuram Raghuram has worked at VMware for over 17 years. He started in 2003 as a software engineer.

  3. What is Raghuram’s educational and early career background?
    Raghuram holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State University. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology. His early career involved working on embedded systems and networking software development.

  4. What senior leadership positions has Raghuram held at VMware?
    Key roles included Vice President of R&D, Corporate Senior VP of Cloud Infrastructure, Executive VP of Cloud Management before becoming CEO.

  5. What products and initiatives has Raghuram overseen at VMware?
    As an executive, Raghuram had responsibility over major solutions including vSphere,VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware Tanzu and Cross-Cloud services.

  6. How is Raghuram driving VMware’s strategies as CEO?
    He is guiding VMware’s focus on supporting enterprise adoption of multi-cloud computing using VMware’s software to simplify.

  7. What core elements make up Raghuram’s vision for VMware?
    His vision has three components – accelerating multi-cloud, empowering people/culture, and driving social equity/responsibility.

  8. Why do industry experts respond positively to Raghuram as CEO?
    Experts cite his technical and business competence, successful track record, strong communication, and commitment to VMware’s core plus emerging technology strengths.

  9. How critical is VMware’s virtualization foundation to its future outlook?
    Virtualization remains essential to VMware’s platform ecosystem and offerings that abstract infrastructure complexity.

  10. How has VMware performed since Raghuram became CEO?
    VMware has continued solid performance under Raghuram’s leadership thus far while investing into key growth areas like multi-cloud.

  11. How long was Diane Greene VMware’s CEO?
    Diane Greene served as VMware’s CEO for 10 years from 1998 to 2008.

  12. Who was CEO of VMware before Raghu Raghuram?
    Pat Gelsinger was VMware’s CEO prior to Raghu Raghuram from 2012 to 2021.

  13. When did Raghuram take over as CEO of VMware?
    Raghuram Raghuram became VMware’s CEO in June of 2021, taking over from Pat Gelsinger.

  14. What was Raghuram’s role before becoming CEO?
    Just before becoming CEO, Raghuram was VMware’s Executive Vice President guiding cloud management related initiatives.

  15. How important is VMware in enterprise computing markets?
    VMware is very widely used – supporting production systems for over 75,000 global enterprise customers with its technologies.

  16. What is Raghuram’s leadership philosophy as CEO?
    He strives to support customer’s shift to multi-cloud, empower VMware’s people, and heighten focus on social
  17. What are some key emerging technologies Raghuram is guiding VMware into?
    Areas include edge computing, 5G networks, cloud native development, Kubernetes container integration.

  18. How does virtualization continue to be important to VMware?
    Virtualization remains a critical foundation that VMware then extends into cloud, networking, security and other domains.

  19. Where is VMware headquartered?
    VMware global headquarters are located in Palo Alto, California reflecting its Silicon Valleyroots.

  20. How has VMware performed financially under Raghuram as CEO thus far?
    VMware has demonstrated solid revenue, earnings and stock price performance since Raghuram took over leadership of the CEO role.


In summary, VMware veteran Raghu Raghuram started as CEO in 2021 after an impactful 17 years in various R&D and cloud leadership positions guiding pivotal VMware product introductions. Industry observers see Raghuram as upholding VMware’s innovative culture while evolving its solutions portfolio for emerging enterprise IT imperatives around multi-cloud adoption. Backed by proven operational excellence and respected strategic vision, Raghuram Raghuram heads VMware as it continues advancing its indispensable place in powering workplace digitalization. Committed long-term VMware executives like Raghuram represent key strengths sustaining the company’s future progress.

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