EMC's leadership shuffle involving subsidiary VMware comes as the two companies face a crossroads. What comes next for virtualization, storage and cloud computing? Pat Gelsinger, formerly president and COO of EMC's information infrastructure products division, has been named the new CEO of VMware. Meanwhile, VMware chief Paul Maritz is taking a new role as technology strategist at EMC. He will remain a board member at VMware, and reportedly recommended Gelsinger for the top spot Gelsinger spent 30 years at Intel, where he gained deep knowledge of the x86 ecosystem. He has been considered a potential successor to EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci, and may well still be. Maritz, meanwhile, brought software expertise from Microsoft, where he was a VP. He said of moving back to EMC:
There is an opportunity to basically make best use of the talent we have to address two of these very big opportunities in front of us, cloud infrastructure and all that implies and then what you can do on top of cloud infrastructure.
Maritz will focus on big data and a new generation of cloud-oriented applications. Gelsinger had previously said that EMC will be adding virtualization to all its storage products. It's due to start rolling that out next year. Sources told CRN that the move is part of bringing the two companies' strategies closer together, though VMware will remain independent with storage-agnostic technology. VMware faces new priorities in the data center, CRN says, and Gelsinger's business acumen might be just the ticket to sell enterprise customers on the hybrid approach to data center management. Meanwhile, VMware is trying to quell rumors that it plans to spin off its platform-as-a-service Cloud Foundry and big data asset Greenplum, which could put it in contention with Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Cloud. As to the succession prospects, analyst Rob Enderle is lauding Tucci for moving the two execs into new positions that will broaden their skills and potentially create a better future CEO for the company. EMC last week promoted two other CEO prospects, William "Bill" Teuber and Bill Scannell. In an interview with Dice, EMC’s VP of recruiting, Tom Murray, said the company is “aggressively” hiring tech talent as it focuses on big data, analytics and cloud computing.

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