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Leadership shake-up sees Gelsinger named VMware CEO

VMware has now officially announced that CEO Paul Maritz will step down and be replaced by Pat Gelsinger, confirming the move we had speculated earlier this week.

Gelsinger is the current president and COO of EMC Information Infrastructure Products, which acquired VMware in 2003.

In a Wednesday note to investors, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White called the move "a rather bizarre change of events," given that Gelsinger had positioned himself to take over the CEO job from Joe Tucci at EMC, and Maritz had done "an exceptional job" at VMware.

"[VMware] believes the time is right for a change in leadership to capitalise on the next leg of VMware's journey into the cloud," White wrote.

Gelsinger said in a statement that he is familiar with VMware, having worked with the team for 10 years, and has developed an appreciation for the company's people and technology. "I am really excited about the mission and becoming part of the team," he said.

Gelsinger spent 30 years at Intel, before joining EMC in 2009.

In a press release, VMware said that Maritz will continue with the company as a board member, while taking on a technology strategist role at EMC. Gelsinger was also named to the board of directors.

"I'm very proud to have been part of an exceptional team of people who have accomplished a great deal over the past four years," Maritz said in a statement.

He also praised his successor, saying that Gelsinger, "with his deep passion for technology and track record," will complement the current management team.

"This all means that I can devote my time to developing the strategy of EMC as it relates to big data and a new generation of cloud-oriented applications," Maritz said.

Maritz and Gelsinger released to VMware customers a joint statement Tuesday, assuring clients that the company will continue to provide the best products and services it can.

In the same breath, VMware announced preliminary second quarter results, including record quarterly revenues around $1.123 billion (£720 million), 22 per cent higher than the same time last year.