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VMware's GM for networking and security jumps to Google

Veteran Jeff Jennings to get the band back together with VMware founder Diane Greene

Jeff Jennings, VMware's senior veep and general manager for security and networking has left the company to join Google.

Jennings was a 20-year VMware veteran and had been entrusted with VMware's hottest growth business, networking. VMware also sees a great future for its security business, with the hypervisor-native App Defense thought to be one of several products the company has up its sleeve.

Losing the head of those businesses therefore looks like a bit of a speed bump for VMware.

A VMware spokesperson told us Jennings "… has made a personal career decision and left the company effective February 16. We thank Jeff for his passion and commitment and wish him well. As we look for a new leader, Rajiv Ramaswami will assume the role of acting leader for the Networking and Security Business Unit."

VMware's lost senior people before and sailed on unharmed. The departures of CFO Carl Eschenbach and NSX daddy Martin Casado had little impact on the company, if its strong results are any indicator.

Jennings is a little different, as he's a twenty-year VMware veteran and is going to work for VMware founder Diane Greene, who heads Google's cloud.

Greene was hired by Google in part because she took VMware from an upstart to a dominant position in server virtualization, seeing off Microsoft in the process. If she can do the same job for Google, she'll have done amazingly well. But while Google has struck several promising deals during her tenure and has leveraged the company's networking tech in interesting ways, Google's cloud lags AWS and Azure in terms of users, revenue and breadth of services.

Hiring Jennings away from VMware may therefore put as much pressure on Google as it does on Virtzilla! ®

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