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Ex-Microsoft guru Paul Maritz out as VMware chief, headed to EMC?

Following the defection of Google-lifer Marissa Mayer to rival Internet firm Yahoo, speculation over personnel shake-ups at top tech companies continues to mount.

Now, it has also emerged that Paul Maritz has been ousted as CEO of virtualisation software specialists VMware. He has been replaced by former EMC chief operating officer Pat Gelsinger, according to CRN.

"Maritz's departure would definitely be a loss for VMware, but Gelsinger has a great track record as well," the website's mystery source said.

The next move of Maritz - who spent four years at VMware - is unclear, but early reports point to him now looking to take the top job at EMC. VMware is a wholly owned subsidiary of the prominent Massachusetts-based cloud storage firm.

"I remember when EMC acquired VMware, and how it was all going to stay separate and they weren't going to swap executives, but no one ever believed that," CRN's anonymous pundit added.

VMware and EMC have so far declined to comment, noting company policy in regards to "rumours or speculation." Still, with current EMC CEO Joe Tucci looking to retire in the near future, the gossip hardly seems implausible.

Other hearsay points to a potential leading role for Maritz at Cloud Foundry, a popular platform-as-a-service environment noted for its developer friendly environment that originally evolved from VMware.

Maritz is widely regarded as one of the tech world's leading minds, based on a career that dates back to a 1981 break with Intel and includes a 14-year stint with Microsoft, during which he is thought to have been responsible for most of the company's desktop and server software, including the development of Windows 95, Windows NT, and Internet Explorer.