Leadership restructure has little impact as VMWare reports 5% growth

VMWare campus logoVMWare has reported healthy growth during its Q1 earnings call despite disruptions in the management team over the period.

Revenues for the first quarter were reported at $1.59 billion, an increase of 5% in comparison to the same period in 2015, though license revenues saw a drop of 1% to $572 million. The company now expects second-quarter revenue of $1.66 billion to $1.71 billion, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $1.66 billion.

“Q1 was a good start to 2016, both for results and against our strategic goal of building momentum for our newer growth businesses and in the cloud,” said Patrick Gelsinger, CEO at VMWare. “Our results were in line with our expectations for the period and support our outlook for the full year.”

Over the course of the period, there may have been concerns surrounding changes in the leadership team, and how a restructure would impact the performance of the business on the whole. Carl Eschenbach announced last month he would be leaving his post as VMWare President and COO to join venture capital firm Sequoia Capital as a Partner. CFO Jonathan Chadwick also left the business in January.

Eschenbach joined the firm in 2002 as VP of Sales, was appointed as co-President and COO in 2011 and eventually as the stand-alone President in 2012. During Eschenbach’s time at VMWare, revenues grew from $31 million in 2002, to more than $6 billion in 2015. The changes in leadership would not have appeared to have stifled the company’s performance, as its cloud business units performed healthily over the first quarter.

“We think on the executive side, it really is the combination of being able to attract new players than – I mentioned Rajiv (Rajiv Ramaswami, GM, Networking and Security) we brought in a leader for China, Bernard (Bernard Kwok, Greater China President); we’ve been able to continue to attract talent,” said Gelsinger. “We’ve also had commented on our very strong bench, and – like Maurizio (Maurizio Carli, VP Worldwide Sales), we had brought him over from Europe a year plus ago to prepare for this eventuality, and so we had been grooming and preparing for these transitions.”

The company also reported healthy growth for its cloud business unit, including NSX, VSAN, End-User Computing and vCloud Air Network. The company highlighted standalone vSphere license bookings were less than 35% of total bookings, a figure which was more than 50% two years ago. The team claim this reduction demonstrates the product offering has been successfully diversified.

“Turning to hybrid cloud. Total bookings for vCloud Air Network grew over 25% year-over-year,” said Zane Rowe, CFO at VMWare. “We see significant interest from cloud and service providers around the world wanting to utilize our hybrid cloud technologies. For example, as Pat mentioned earlier, IBM will be delivering a complete SDDC offering based on VMware’s technologies across their expanded footprint of cloud data centres worldwide. vCloud Air also performed well in Q1 with large enterprise customer adoption.”

In terms of long-term strategy, Gelsinger outlined a three-point plan to facilitate VMWare’s growth in the cloud market segment. Firstly, the business will consolidate its position in the private cloud space, a segment which it describes as the ‘foundation of our business’. Secondly, through the vCloud Air service and vCloud Air Network, the company aims to encourage its customers extend their private cloud into the public cloud. And finally, connecting, managing and securing end points across a range of public clouds, including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.