Nutanix, VMware end legal fight over CEO Rajiv Ramaswami

Now they can get back to arguing about computers and clouds


Nutanix and VMware have ended a legal fight sparked when the hyperconverged upstart lured Rajiv Ramaswami away from Virtzilla and into its CEO seat.

Ramaswami was VMware's cloud boss when he made the jump, but started talking to Nutanix about a new gig while still on the payroll and without telling Virtzilla. VMware alleged that was a conflict of interest due to the possibility that Ramaswami's knowledge of the company's strategies and plans were of obvious benefit to Nutanix.

The matter landed in California's Superior Court and the Court of Chancery for the State of Delaware.

The latter matter has now concluded, with VMware walking away from the case.

Nutanix has characterised that decision as a sign the lawsuit was flimsy.

"VMware's lawsuit was misguided and inappropriate, as there was no wrongdoing on Mr Ramaswami's part," reads a statement from Nutanix. "VMware has agreed to dismiss the lawsuit and we are very pleased that the matter has been favorably resolved."

VMware has also said it's pleased the matter is behind it, so it can get on with the job of developing software that delights customers (unlike its recently withdrawn vSphere release).

Both companies have doubtless paid their lawyers decent sums to make this happen. VMware can afford it – the company recently reported another quarter of strong growth. Nutanix's Q1 2022 numbers were less nice – while the company neared cashflow positivity it posted a loss.

In conversation with The Register, Ramaswami said the company has developed a better understanding of how – for example – the US federal government's tendency to buy products in Q1 impacts its year. He also said that Nutanix's "Era" database-as-a-service offering is growing well and has potential to create new business.

Nutanix and VMware have spent years sniping at one another in public, but those fights disappeared while litigation over Ramaswami was ongoing. The Register has previously suggested both companies face formidable competitors, which makes their public brawls unseemly and inappropriate. They were fun to watch, though, as a rare example of un-sanitised comment. ®


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