I have had about 20 or people ask me, "what do you think of Paul Maritz?" and after a conversation I had with Kevin Goodman, CEO of RTO Software, I decided to post up my thoughts and what I think of VMware's new CEO.
First, let me say that I haven't spent any time with Paul to have a one-on-one (don't get me wrong I would love to). So this is just my observations from talking with others, reading, and listening to him speak here at VMWorld 2008.
I think Paul is a guy that knows how to develop a strategy and then, more importantly, execute it. As I have said in the past, anyone can create a strategy, but it's how you execute it that determines your success. Obvious right? Paul seems to be a very operationally-oriented person that will get things done. Now I have heard from numerous people here at VMWorld that he isn't the "fire and brimstone" person like Balmer and that he doesn't really fire the troops up, but you know what I have an argument to that point. When I was with HP and Carly Fiorina took over she was polished and the "rock star" CEO. She delivered the message well, but the execution of her strategies were lacking. Enter in Mark Hurd. An operationally-focused CEO and a person that can execute. He wasn't a great orator or a person that was known to really "fire the troops up". But here is the underlying current that came into being. As Mark started to change strategy and execute and drive revenue and get back to being innovative again the company rose from the disaster that was the "Carly era" to a "new" company where they are today. Now I'm not saying that the Diane Greene era was a disaster, she took the company as far as she could and it was time for a change. Enter in Paul Maritz.
VMware's best days are ahead of it. I truly believe that. Paul brings fresh ideas and perspectives and that operational focus like I mentioned above. Change is painful and disruptive and VMware should be used to that. Their technology is still a disruptive force in IT (and I think their new initiatives are going to be as well). Good luck Paul, we'll be watching.