VMware co-founder joins Google board

Diane Greene, co-founder and former CEO of virtualisation software vendor VMware, has been appointed to web giant Google’s board of directors.

The appointment has been interpreted as a bid to bolster the company’s enterprise business. Google sells cloud-hosted productivity applications to a growing number of enterprise organisations, as well as ‘platform-as-a-service’ cloud development platform called Google App Engine.

“Diane is a special person who combines a sharp business acumen with a brilliant technical mind,” said Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt in a statement. “We know she will be a great contributor and we are grateful to have her insight.”

A filing by Google to the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that Greene will receive $1 million-worth of shares in the company. She will also receive an annual grant of $350,000-worth of shares and a $75,000 retainer.

Having previously worked at Silicon Graphics Inc. and Sybase, Greene co-founded VMware in 1998, along with her husband, Stanford University computer science professor Mendel Rosenblum.

She oversaw the company’s meteoric rise to become one the most significant players in the enterprise IT sector, but was unexpectedly fired in 2008. A report in the New York Times alleged that Greene had fallen out with directors at EMC, which had acquired VMware in 2004, over the company’s strategic direction.

Since the appointment of Greene’s successor, former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz, the company has increased its focus on cloud computing.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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