VMware now under massive reorganization

Posted by virtualization.info Staff   |   Wednesday, October 7th, 2009   |  

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Over the last few months virtualization.info tracked a growing number of leaders that are leaving VMware and are being replaced by seasoned executives coming from Microsoft, Borland, Oracle, IBM and CA.
But the reality is that, despite our effort, the number of departures we tracked is just a fraction of the real number. We simply can’t keep up the pace at the current rate.

This silent turnover is now further accelerating and morphing into a massive re-organization.

A number of trusted sources informed virtualization.info that VMware recently laid off up to 40 people in the IT department and no less than 65 senior engineers in the Global Support Services (GSS).

Even before this, VMware fired or lost most of its people in the Analyst Relation (AR) and Press Relation (PR) teams, just two weeks before the VMworld 2009.
And this list includes people who heavily contributed to make the VMware brand so successful since the early days as a startup.

In the US, the company even replaced the Vice President and General Counsel Rashmi Garde
In India, the new Managing Director T Srinivasan, appointed in July, already called in a former colleague at Oracle: Shrimathi Ambastha, now working as the new Director of Technology.

There are probably many others we are not yet aware of.

Whatever is happening at VMware, it is taking on major proportions, and it may have a serious impact on the products that make the company a leader in the virtualization space.
For sure it’s having a serious impact on employee morale, which is reflected in the reviews appearing at Glassdoor.com (we already used this website to track the sentiment about the original CEO Diane Greene):

Going down a steep decline
Sr. Staff Engineer in Palo Alto

Management bloat. All brought on board in the last couple of years. This used to be a place run by engineers. These days, it’s run by middle management. Most of them utterly incompetent. There used to be like 2 Product Managers for each product category. Now it’s more like 20 of them. All of them egotistical maniacs, more interested in getting on their soap box and telling you what their vision of the world is than in working with you. Engineering managers are no exception. They seem to care more about their own well being than of the people below them. Things like process and protocol and often held in higher regard than the product itself.

Once was cool, now bloated management just like any other company
VMware Anonymous (Current Employee) in Palo Alto 

The people in the trenches are great, but like everyone else has mentioned, it’s the management that makes you want to pull your hair out. In the Diane Greene days, management lines were clear and direct but since her departure there have been stacks and stacks of middle managers. The company has grown to be diamond-shaped: A few C-level guys on top, lots and lots and lots senior directors, directors, group managers, senior managers, and managers in the middle, and almost nobody at the bottom to execute. The people at the bottom are completely overworked and underpaid, while important decisions can’t be made because of CYA middle managers who don’t want to take any responsibility.
There has been a “hiring freeze” for the past 3 quarters, yet they have been stacking VPs and senior directors left and right. People who have left are not replaced, so guess what that does? Yup, more work for everyone else. And what happens to those people? They eventually leave too.
Egos and incompetency run wild with most middle and upper management. The fact is engineering and product development are the most important teams because they generate the products that make VMware great. Very few middle managers realize this and continue to push for useless programs with poorly developed infrastructure that ends up costing tons of money in the long run because of poor implementation and complete lack of vision.
Lines of communication are as clear as mud. Despite the glass offices and conference rooms (that Diane wanted as a symbol of transparency), it is very difficult to get information from one team to another because of lack of processes and workflow…

Mantra of Middle Managers… delegate delegate delegate the work.. take take take all the credit…
VMware Anonymous (Current Employee) in Palo Alto

…you can have all the work delegated to you but your manager, your managers manager and your managers managers manager will take all the credit.. worse yet, they will show up to meetings you set up and grand stand, make you look stupid in front of your internal customers and disrupt the whole meeting.. because they can!
this would be ok if the middle managers were these incredibly smart and talented people frm whom you might learn something, but for the most part, you will find that you have more experience and are more seasoned than the person you work for.. this leads to a feeling that you have no mentor, no growth opportunity and no soul….
HR team- not sure what that group does.. we dont even have a set of core values that are evangelized.. its completely acceptable for the person higher up than you in the chain of command to treat you like you are nobody on a conference call and then turn around and kiss up to a a “senior director” in the same meeting…
what is this, feudal england??? guess I’m a serf…
if not for the engineers and the technology, this company would go down the drain and fast.. just my humble opinion.. I am just a serf after all.

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