The move, effective immediately, surprised many observers. There were few public indications of problems or issues within the company that suggested the need for new management.
With impeccable technical and engineering credentials, Greene co-founded VMware in 1999 with her husband, Dr. Mendel Rosenblum. Under her leadership, VMware became the clear market leader in the emerging virtualization market.
However, increasing competition from Microsoft, Citrix, Oracle, IBM and others have caused concern among investors over the last year.
The man chosen to be her successor, Paul Maritz, is also an industry heavyweight. Maritz left Microsoft in 2000 where he was instrumental in developing several high-profile products including Windows 95 and Windows NT. In 2003, he founded Pi Corporation, a startup acquired by EMC last February. Maritz also served as president and general manager of EMC's Cloud Division at the time of the acquisition.
In a statement, VMware offered no reasons for the personnel change, although the timing of the announcement coincides with its quarterly earnings -- which ended on June 30 -- and a lowering of its revenue forecast.
Greene served as the company's president and CEO since its inception, and retained the title of president after EMC acquired it as a "separate software subsidiary" in late 2003 for approximately $625 million.
Becky Nagel contributed to this story.
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