back to article EMC CEO's ego has cost investors billions

By firing VMware chief Diane Greene, EMC's top dog Joe Tucci has sent a message to investors that his personal likes and dislikes come before their broader interests. That's not exactly what you want to see from an executive who has already done so very little for investors over the past five years. We've written more than any …


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  1. Jason Harvey

    user=ID ten T

    I wonder if this is in Tucci's config.sys file at work.

    If not, it may be user=PEBKAC

    mine's the one with the KTHXBYE on the back

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ego central

    If you've ever seen any of the EMC management at work, you'll realise that there's no place for any other ego anywhere near any of them. Nothing is ever their fault. Ever. And they could always do every and anything better/faster/more profitably etc

    And it all starts at Joe.

    Bless. He's such a darling.

  3. David Sloane

    Thanks Joe

    I've mostly dealt with EMC sales reps and they are, consistently, the most unpleasant and aggressive I've met in IT. When I was deciding on a storage purchase, they brought two sales people and their manager in to try and close the deal. When I suggested that their products were more difficult to operate (i.e. Windows 3.1-style GUI), more expensive to expand and didn't provide a significant performance advantage, the senior guy said "Who will you call when your equipment breaks? You can't call us, who will you call?" I don't think he had any idea what he was saying. This half-mad, adversarial approach may work for some customers, but I never understood the appeal. The tech staff at EMC, in contrast, seemed sufficiently talented and reasonable. Perhaps there's a crazy VP of Sales driving this culture, but it seems more likely to come from the CEO.

    The VMWare reps are entirely different. They tell you about their offerings and relative strengths, they don't deny any weaknesses, but they don't attack. VMWare has done something very difficult: continue to improve their core ESX product while extending their portfolio with cool, powerful tools. Let's hope Paul Maritz doesn't destroy this once-great operation.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    What an absolute idiot. We may look back on this five or ten years and say that this was the thing that lead to VMware's demise. If the new guy starts to run it into the ground, EMC's institutional investors and the non-EMC VMware shareholders should go after them with pitchforks and torches. VMware has been an unusual company, as it actually delivers products that do what it says they will. I guess shipping garbage and charging a premium for it makes for higher margins in the short term. I guess she made Tucci feel inadequate. Too bad he didn't try to do better himself. It's a shame that mediocrity can't tolerate talent.

  5. Mark


    When you're at CEO level and earning $1m a year, money is nothing. Ego is all you're there for now.

    That these egos drive the company is the fault of the board giving these bozos such a large salary for being there while the product sells.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Ego central

    Have you ever worked with any EMC staff I wonder? I used to work at EMC, as a delivery consultant and from what I saw I'd say you're talking utter shite.

    The general attiutude of people (especially managers) at EMC is "Can-Do" and if there is a problem they'll all rally round and bring the entire weight of the corporation behind it till it's fixed, even if it means bending HLC's with dev work etc to get the client happy.

    My email inbox was constantly flooded with consultants, architects and developers swapping solutions and information regarding issues that clients faced.

    One thing that has been said here which is bang-on, is the sales staff, they were all fucking ruthless wankers and I couldn't stand them. Some of the sales women scared the shit out of me.

    So yeah, some of the software and hardware they make is crap and the documentation is fucking beyond a joke, but to slag off the people is a bit much in my opinion.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    @AC, RE: Ego central

    No, I think he's closer than you are.

    "Can Do" - sorry, I had to laugh for 10 minutes. Then cry, because we have a room full of EMC crap and sadly can do nothing to hurry it out of here fast enough, because there is a sweet deal^H^H CAN DO between them and my company.

    (which is why I'm posting AC)

  8. The Cube

    EMC is a marketing, not a technology company

    So it is no wonder that somebody who could turn on her own microwave had to go, the last thing EMC needs is technology or a product worth selling getting in the way of their sales strategy...

  9. MYOFB

    Oh F*ck!!!

    We're implementing VM ESX at the moment and this does not make for good reading!!

    Having dipped deeply into VMWare's world and found it to be the most stable product for our requirements, we've gone the whole hog and shelled out a Sh!t load of money.

    Wouldn't say we dived headlong into the deal because of Diane Greene or Mendel Rosenblum but not happy to see one of the driving forces behind VM being invited/shoved to 'pursue their interests elsewhere' and getting the feeling the remaining one will go the same way!!

    The worst part of the bad news is that Paul Maritz is stepping into Diane's shoes. Whether you view that comment metaphorically or literally, the outcome is still the same, he can't and won't !!

    Look, I could rattle on a lot more than I have already but you really need to go look for yourself, as well as see for yourself . . . Wiki is not a bad place to start from.

    I will sign off with a couple of comments/questions:

    1. Is there not a smell of fish in the air, at least a faint whiff? There is to me considering MS 'Hyper-V' is round the next corner or two!!

    2. I believe the saying "Once O.N.I. always O.N.I." is appropriate and fitting in this case . . . or should that read . . . "Once MS always MS"??

    You tell me.

    PS . . . To Diane and Mendel, if you are "pursuing your own interests elsewhere" then you may want to consider cashing the majority of them in now, BEFORE MS's EX employee Paul M truly flushes them down the shitter!!

  10. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    EMC spin-off plans for VMware + former MS exec =

    MS buys VMware and relabels it as Hyper-V. ESX runs on a Win2008 console instead of Linux.

    Guest OS must only be from MS in the future.

    I hope I can retire from my job by then...

    I also hope I'm just kidding...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    from the inside

    Being in the rank & file at VMware... let me tell you, today was an interesting day.

    As you might imagine, there was maybe a little bit of confusion, anger and worry in the air.

    Over the course of the day, we heard from multiple sources that one of the main concerns in this transition was that they wanted to make sure that the culture that Diane helped create, particularly in Engineering/R&D is maintained.

    This afternoon when Paul was introduced to the crowds, he stressed that he had the utmost respect for Diane as a person, and hoped to continue the work she'd started, etc.

    Sorry I cannot offer anything juicier than that, but as one might imagine, it was a long day and I'm wiped out-- but I really wanted to express my thoughts.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft hits the jackpot

    Champagne corks are popping in Redmond.

  13. youvegot tobejoking

    EMC sales are tossers, but the after sales is good

    I heartily agree that EMC sales are wankers, you get the impression that you need to get everything written down because taking their word for it could be an expensive mistake. IIRC a salesman rose through the ranks and is now in charge of EMC UK, you can bet that the culture in there is "its all about the margin baby"

    But later on when the kit in in use and something goes wrong, thats when you are happy that you got EMC kit.

  14. Nigel

    The remarkable thing about VMware

    The remarkable thing about VMware is that theirs are extremely complex technical products of astoundingly high quality. Which is why I fear for the future. Sooner or later someone will put short-term revenue above quality control and shipping stunningly reliable software. Boardroom bust-ups resulting in the ousting of a "perfectionist" suggest sooner.

    At least there's an open-source alternative, should VMware quality ever decline.

    PS it's far faster to install XP from CD into a VMware VM running under Linux, than it is to install XP natively onto the same underlying hardware. It also boots faster. Go figure!

  15. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    If you employ an ex-MS manager...

    Is it in his best interests to improve the value of your company, or is old share options?

  16. Jack Pastor

    Just a matter of time

    Ashlee is probably spot on about it being a mistake to sh*tcan DG because of VMware's market woes.

    NO company can expect to maintain 95% market share forever, and with both Citrix and Microsoft double-teaming them, VMware did the best they could to inoculate big customers with long-term agreements (for slim margins.)

    However, with nothing left to do but charge a premium price for a rapidly-becoming- commoditized product, or begin looking at little add-ons to sell like B-hive to keep the boat afloat.

    Customers smell their fear, Wall Street smells their fear, and all of a sudden those nice laid-back VMware Salesfolk and SEs turn into EMC versions. It's inevitable when Sales Managers drive that kind of defensive do-or-die behavior.

    It really doesn't matter at this point who runs the company. The days of explosive growth are done. Microsoft and Citrix will be enhancing Hyper-V and XenServer VERY rapidly, and within a year ot two will erase any feature-function advantage VMware has built up over the decade.

    VMware still has an excellent product and a large, satisfied user base with a significant investment in their flagship product. That being said, it is no longer a rising star growth company, but a cash cow, and its role as a strategic IT provider is rapidly diminishing.

    Any competent manager can now guide this company off into the pasture, and maybe it's better for Diane Green that she not be the one to do that.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    @Nigel, re: The remarkable thing about VMware

    > At least there's an open-source alternative, should VMware quality ever decline.

    Sure there's an O.S. alternative, as long as you want to run either Linux or Windoze in it.

    Kinda like "you can have this car in any color you want, as long as it's black."

    And yes, I've heard of people coercing other things than Linux and Windoze to run in Xen, but I've also heard that Xen is losing favor to KVM, and frankly my experience with Xen has left me underwhelmed.

    Can't think of a good Paris tie-in, so I'll have to go with a de rigeur "my coat's the one with the friendly little daemon on the back"

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @AC, Re: from the inside

    Sorry to tell you this, mate, but what they told you is the same old bollocks they say all the time.

    Culture has already changed (new big cheese), so don't fight it. In time it will get to you too: you either embrace it or you are off the door.

    This doesn't mean that things will go for the worst. It just means that whoever tells you that things will remain the same is lying and knows it too!

  19. Jon Green

    An alternative option, now VMWare's rudderless

    Anyone who wants to bail out of VMWare Workstation or VMWare Server/Player following Greene's departure should check out It's a Sun-backed hypervisor that runs under Windows, Linux, MacOS X and OpenSolaris, and can host most current operating systems (other than MacOS).

    It's nearly as polished as VMW-Workstation, and works just as nicely, at least for us. In the company I run, we're running Windows under Linux, and vice-versa, and have had no problems at all with either. I can't see us punting for another VMWare licence for a while yet.

    It's free to use. whether you go for the closed-source or Open Source "edition". The Open Source version doesn't yet have USB, eSATA or RDP Server support, but these features are expected to be merged into the closed-source version at some point.

    No interests to declare here: I just want to see uptake of what's a pretty neat tool that hasn't had nearly enough coverage in the technical press. And there are few nicer prices than free!

  20. tony trolle

    @Jon Green :

    Free...nice .

    runs with XP...very nice

    USB support (closed-source version)...very very nice

    OK I'll add to the top of by 'test' list now I have rebuilt the 'main' XP box,...stil not tested server 2008 nor 8.04 ubuntu's happy hardon.

    arrr from the FAQ will run a win98 image NICE

    one for the die hards; sort of runs on OS/2!!!!

    Your right about lack of coverage I'm sure this is news to me.

  21. James

    Two Words

    Virtual Iron

    It is the only true VMware competitor. Unlike Hyper V, Xen, Virtuozzo, etc, blah blah, it has all the required features: HA, DRS, VMotion, VirtualCentre. Intel own some of it via Intel Capital as does SAP. The only major downside is that it uses hardware virtualisation features found in newer Intel and AMD chips and so you cannot reuse older servers when virtualising.

    Someone needs to buy this company and then drive it as the only product that currently exists, works and matches and is significantly cheaper (about 80% less) than VMware.

  22. multipharious

    Paul Maritz

    Has anyone actually checked out what this guy did/does? He is no slouch himself.

    Do some digging on Paul through some of the back news articles in Google. He is a pretty interesting fellow, and he comes from Microsoft Alumni Class that is tough as nails and smart, scary, and saavy. Keep an eye on him, because I do not necessarily think that crying Chicken Little is going to be the best course of action here. I doubt that Redmond is popping champagne corks over this.

    Good article Ashlee and good post Jack Pastor!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone has always known EMC's sales force is a bunch of brutal jocks

    Perhaps anyone contemplating sale of their company to EMC (or other possible overlord) should attend a sales call at another company incognito to get the correct impression of corporate culture.

  24. Jack Pastor

    re: Virtual Iron


    You are right about Virtual Iron on almost all counts, but despite their well-developed features and dirt-cheap pricing they don't stand a chance alone, and I don't know who could possibly buy them that would help.

    They have next to ZERO channel momentum, and if the most channel-friendly and channel LOYAL company on the planet (that would be Citrix) can't get first-tier reseller to wean themselves off the VMware teat, what chance does vFe have ??

    All the resellers I speak to HATE VMware with a passion, and ADORE Citrix, but are addicted to the run-rate, and have invested a lot of time and money to train their SEs.

    Virtual Iron has what ?? A sales force of a dozen ??

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Not good news...

    As an insider, people are not happy after this. We hate being associated with the EMC arrogance. We try and do the right thing for the customer within reason.

    This just further associates us with the Tucci led arrogance and short term greed.

    Look at to see how much Diane was liked internally. Let's hope the culture is embraced by the new boy.

    As for our long term future? No-one is indespensable, but it is such a shame to see the EMC bludgeoning tactics taking Diane.


  26. Charles Richmond

    Technology at EMC

    I was a consultant at Conley Corp when we were purchased by EMC. Conley was responsible for the multipath SCSI concept that became 'PowerPath' at EMC, I know a number of the engineers at EMC and have the utmost respect for their competence and skills. None of which has much to do with the CEO/CTO/CIO/CXX levels.

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