The Broadcom VMware Acquisition: A Complete Timeline

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Broadcom-VMware complete timeline of acquisition
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In late November 2023, after about 18 months of delays, chipmaker Broadcom closed its $61 billion purchase of multicloud software provider VMware. Since that time, Broadcom has enacted a string of controversial decisions around pricing, bundling, licensing, and channel partner programs and requirements. In this timeline, we review Broadcom-VMware’s major milestones.

But First, Where Does the Broadcom-VMware Merger Deal Stand Now? 

VMware is solidly under the direction of Broadcom and the impact is starting to come to light. Earnings figures from VMware’s first full quarter as a Broadcom company showed a drop in revenue. Some observers speculated that the decline pointed to Broadcom’s propensity to act like a private equity fund, sacrificing customer loyalty for financial performance — just as many channel partners have feared might happen to VMware

Of course, from a wider perspective, Broadcom’s ownership of VMware remains in the early stages. Broadcom executives and spokespeople have said from the deal’s start that they would focus on streamlining VMware’s offerings and trimming its spending, while also continuing to invest in VMware-centric research and development. As part of those efforts, Broadcom also cut some VMware resellers from its partner program and forced some cloud service providers to sell through larger peers. The lower revenue likely reflects impacts from those decisions as well. 

Related:Broadcom Buying VMware for $61 Billion in 'Landmark Moment'

What’s Next for Broadcom-VMware? 

The question of what comes next for Broadcom-VMware isn't an easy one to answer. All significant decisions, especially as they relate to VMware, come from Broadcom CEO Hock Tan. And he is not necessarily someone who executes predictable moves. 

Channel Futures TV: The Coffee with Craig and James podcast gets insight into how partners should advise customers on the Broadcom-VMware acquisition fallout.

From a high level, it seems safe to say that channel partners and end users can expect ongoing changes, starting with the VMware portfolio itself. On top of that, keep an eye out for any

A Timeline of the Broadcom-VMware Acquisition: 2022-Present 

All that said, Broadcom has made good on its plans for VMware, regardless of whether partners and buyers like or embrace the new directions. In this timeline, we review the most impactful milestones stemming from Broadcom’s May 2022 announcement that it would acquire VMware. Look for updates as more Broadcom-VMware news arises. 

May 23, 2022: Broadcom Reportedly Pursuing 'Cash Cow' VMware for Acquisition, Software Expansion

Related:Broadcom-VMware Fallout: Concerned Partners, Customers Brace for Change

Three days before the deal became official, rumors spread that Broadcom was in talks to snap up VMware. Just a few months earlier, Dell had spun off VMware into its own entity worth about $64 billion. When the Broadcom-VMware transaction was announced, analysts reacted right away, with several questioning Broadcom’s rationale, synergies and strategies.

“To be honest, Broadcom have killed CA and Symantec as brands (although these have helped Broadcom’s overall financial position), so I do not see any value other than they (Broadcom) may have cash to burn and need to make an investment that will also add to its overall financial performance,” Omdia’s Roy Illsley told Channel Futures. 

May 26, 2022: Broadcom Buying VMware for $61 Billion in 'Landmark Moment'

Broadcom, known worldwide as a chipmaker, announced it would purchase muticloud software vendor and industry stalwart VMware. Broadcom said it would pay $61 billion for VMware, marking the second-largest M&A transaction of 2022. Analysts immediately reacted with questions, citing Broadcom’s track record of buying old or struggling technology companies, and subsequently dismantling them or operating them on razor-thin margins and staff. 

May 27, 2022: Broadcom-VMware Fallout: Concerned Partners, Customers Brace for Change

Related:‘Start of a New Era’: $61 Billion Broadcom-VMware Deal Closes

The impact of a Broadcom-VMware pairing rocked the indirect channel.

"When a big fish swallows another big fish, you get a whale," one MSP told Channel Futures in a statement indicative of wider industry concern around the deal. Still, most sources expressed optimism to Channel Futures.

June 23, 2022: VMware Channel Head Sandy Hogan Leaving the Company

One month after the Broadcom-VMware pairing speculation started, Sandy Hogan, one of VMware’s most prominent channel program leaders, left the company. Ricky Cooper succeeded her.

Sandy_Hogan_formerly_VMware_2024.jfif

Sandy Hogan left her role as senior vice president at VMware for SADA. She's now the CRO at LivePerson.

June 24, 2022: Broadcom Software President Reviewing VMware’s GTM with an ‘Open Mind’

In those early days of the Broadcom-VMware deal, Broadcom stated its intent to review VMware’s go-to-market strategy with “an open mind.” Tom Krause, then-president of Broadcom, seemed ready to preserve and enhance VMware’s ecosystem, per reports, and attentive to the problems Broadcom created with the acquisitions of CA Technologies and Symantec. (Less than a month later, Krause left Broadcom to become CEO of Citrix parent company Cloud Software Group.)

June 28, 2022: VMware Continues Shift to Subscription Model with vSphere+ and vSAN+

Despite the changes happening at the corporate level, VMware plowed ahead with its plans to shift to subscription-based licensing. The legacy company stood out as one of the stragglers in the technology sector, taking a long time to move to this model. Ultimately, Broadcom stepped in and made that transition happen much faster. 

VMware Updates Channel Program as Partners Remain Cautiously Optimistic

Aug. 18, 2022: As Broadcom Deal Looms, VMware Revamps Partner Connect in a Big Way

Despite the looming Broadcom acquisition, VMware kept operating independently, working toward its original goals of moving to subscription licensing and implementing related channel partner program changes along the way. In mid-August 2022, VMware debuted its long-awaited new structure and details for Partner Connect. Broadcom ended up scrapping much of that work later on. 

Aug. 31, 2022: VMware Explore: Partners Hope for the Best with Broadcom Acquisition

During its penultimate VMware Explore as a standalone company, VMware talked up the benefits of a Broadcom purchase and channel partners expressed cautious optimism about the deal. Many partners’ tones would later change as Broadcom implemented sweeping and largely unpopular decisions. 

VMware-Explore-2022.jpg

Sept. 29, 2022: VMware Execs in Line for Big Money Once Broadcom Takes Over

In late September, it became clear that Broadcom shareholders wouldn’t be the only beneficiaries of a VMware purchase. Indeed, Broadcom Securities and Exchange Commission filings showed that five top VMware executives were in line to take home millions if they agreed to leave Broadcom once the acquisition closed. They agreed. 

Oct. 17, 2022: Broadcom Accelerating VMware Acquisition Approval Process

With much of the business details nailed down, Broadcom set about trying to secure regulatory approvals. As it turned out, this process dragged on much longer than the chipmaker anticipated. But, Broadcom started out thinking it could fast-track agreement from authorities including the European Union — which became one of the key entities holding back its rubber stamp. 

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan Speaks

Oct. 26, 2022: Broadcom CEO: Innovation, Investment Coming with VMware Acquisition

Not long after Broadcom started seeking regulatory blessings, CEO Hock Tan began issuing blogs offering some insight into his plans for VMware. The first came in late October and, in it, Tan said Broadcom would not raise VMware prices. While Broadcom has since maintained that its portfolio changes did not increase end-user costs, many buyers and partners vehemently disagree. 

Nov. 1, 2022: VMware Takes Wraps Off Multicloud Adoption Program for Channel Partners

Once again, even as Broadcom was pursuing regulatory approvals, VMware was acting on its own plans, this time with multicloud and partners in mind. Its overall aim was to build recurring revenue and bring in money faster. The initiative largely revolved around VMware Cloud on AWS, which no longer exists in its original form. 

Nov. 7, 2022: One Step Closer: VMware Stockholders Say Yes to $61 Billion Broadcom Buy

On Friday, Nov. 4, VMware shareholders approved Broadcom’s $61 billion acquisition. Michael Dell, who held the most shares, stood to collect more than $26 billion as a result. 

Nov. 16, 2022: Broadcom's VMware's Acquisition: EU Could Take Another Month to Decide

In what would prove the first in a series of delays, EU regulators said they could decide by late December whether to approve the Broadcom-VMware deal. They also left open the possibility of a four-month investigation into the matter if they saw any competitive risks. 

EU regulation
Zerbor/Shutterstock

The acquisition had to jump through a series of regulatory hoops, particularly in the European Union.

Nov. 22, 2022: Broadcom CEO: Cloud Sovereignty ‘Extremely Important’ with VMware

In an apparent attempt to ease European authorities’ qualms, Broadcom CEO Hock Tan issued another blog. This one addressed the topic of cloud sovereignty as news surfaced that antitrust bodies in the UK and Europe would indeed investigate Broadcom’s pending purchase of VMware.

Broadcom's Promises

Dec. 1, 2022: No VMware Price Increases, SMB Neglect, Broadcom CEO Vows

As the weeks crept on, it became apparent that Broadcom CEO Tan was working behind the scenes to convince regulators that his company would not use the VMware purchase as a reason to jack up prices or overlook important end users. Reactions from partners and analysts varied. 

Dec. 12, 2022: Broadcom’s VMware Acquisition to Face 4 Months of EU Scrutiny

The European Commission officially decided to start a four-month investigation into the Broadcom-VMware pairing, putting a significant crimp in Tan’s plans for closing the deal. Despite that snag, Broadcom had received acquisition approvals from Brazil, Canada and South Africa. 

Feb. 6, 2023: Broadcom-VMware Update: EU Stops Its Investigation Clock

The EU’s four-month clock stopped in early February after Broadcom failed to provide “missing information.” The procedural pause went into effect as the European Commission waited for Broadcom to supply requested data. It never became clear what that exactly constituted but the clock restarted once Broadcom gave the EU what it sought. 

Feb. 10, 2023: Broadcom CEO: VMware Partners ‘Will Remain Essential’ After Purchase

One of the big questions around the Broadcom-VMware deal concerned whether Broadcom would value channel partners as VMware did. In what appeared to be another attempt to assuage regulators’ concerns, Broadcom CEO Tan wrote a blog stating that partners would remain “essential” to strategic goals. Not all VMware partners feel that way these days. 

Feb. 22, 2023: Broadcom-VMware Now Won’t Close Until at Least End of May

In what would prove a major part of ongoing major delays, VMware told the SEC that it would not join Broadcom as soon as expected. In mid-February, the multicloud software provider said the transaction would not close until at least May 26. That projection marked a far cry from the actual close date. 

Broadcom-VMware Regulatory Concerns Continue

Feb. 28, 2023: Broadcom's VMware Buy Prompting a European Antitrust Warning ... Again

Broadcom had a hard time convincing European regulators that it would not enact anti-competitive practices once it owned VMware. In fact, EU antitrust authorities slapped Broadcom with a warning in late February and gave it a chance to respond to “remedy” their concerns. Much of those fears stemmed from the EU’s previous encounters with Broadcom in 2019, after which Broadcom had to amend key customer contracts. 

March 20, 2023: VMware Partner Connect Now in Full Swing Worldwide

All the acquisition holdups not withstanding, VMware’s channel executives kept plugging along with changes to the partner program. In late March, Tracy-Ann Palmer, who later departed VMware by Broadcom, told Channel Futures that Partner Connect had achieved its “complete end state” and would hold for years to come. Palmer and her colleagues could not predict Broadcom’s sweeping actions to the contrary later in 2023. 

March 24, 2023: Hock Tan: Broadcom-VMware ‘A Win-Win-Win’ for Channel Partners, Buyers

In yet another lobbying effort from its CEO, Broadcom tried to assure regulators and investors that it was committed to protecting “a robust partner ecosystem.” The latest blog came as Tan continued Broadcom’s campaign to convince authorities that buying VMware would only bolster the channel and end users’ experiences with Broadcom-VMware. “Together, we have a shared goal and responsibility of addressing our customers’ needs and delivering superior outcomes. It’s a win-win-win,” Tan wrote.

Broadcom's Hock Tan

Channel Futures recognized Broadcom CEO Hock Tan as its Channel Influencer of the Year for 2023 due to his decision-making during the acquisition process and for the impact those decisions had on the partner community. 

May 19, 2023: Broadcom-VMware Saga Drags on in Europe

Just days before Broadcom hoped to close the VMware purchase came word that EU antitrust officials still would not deliver consent. In fact, European Commission authorities extended their deadline for a decision on the transaction to July 17. On May 16, Broadcom had submitted interoperability remedies to the commission but those were not sufficient to alleviate misgivings. 

June 12, 2023: EU Reportedly Plans to Approve Broadcom's $61 Billion VMware Acquisition

Broadcom received some cause for hope from European regulators toward the middle of June 2023. That’s when news broke that antitrust commissioners were set to approve the Broadcom-VMware deal with some remedies in place around interoperability matters. July 17 would become Broadcom’s new target date for securing the EU’s blessing. 

July 12, 2023: Broadcom-VMware On Verge of Go-Ahead from EU

Broadcom didn’t have to wait until July 17. Instead, the European Commission gave its conditional approval for the VMware purchase on July 12. Broadcom had to agree to make its technology interoperable with that of certain competitors.

July 19, 2023: UK Regulator Gives Green Light to Broadcom Acquisition of VMware

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority followed suit a few days after the European Commission issued its decision on the Broadcom-VMware transaction. The CMA said it did not see Broadcom’s ownership of VMware threatening rivals in the server market. Even so, the United States and China remained among the last holdouts. 

Layoffs Loom

Aug. 3, 2023: Rumors: Broadcom Planning VMware Layoffs As $61 Billion Deal Closure Looms

Long-held fears came to fruition in early August as rumors spread that Broadcom would indeed lay off scores of VMware employees after closing the $61 billion purchase. The predictions came as a legal filing Broadcom sent to UK regulators came to light. It indicated that Broadcom had little faith in VMware’s ability to execute on its cloud strategy and said “VMware has failed.” This first round of rumors proved accurate and, eventually, more than 2,900 people throughout the world lost their jobs at VMware.

Aug. 18, 2023: New Broadcom Debt Financing to Pay for Not-Yet-Approved VMware Buy

Broadcom ponied up in mid-August for its pending VMware purchase. The chipmaker borrowed money from Bank of America in the form of term loans and a bridge loan. The total amount replaced the bridge loans Broadcom had previously put in place for the VMware deal in 2022, but those expired as regulatory approvals dragged out.

Aug. 21, 2023: Broadcom-VMware Deal Takes Major Step Toward Closing Date

Broadcom’s financing timing was prescient. A few days later, the company got its final blessing from the UK’s CMA to buy VMware. Meanwhile, U.S. regulators had yet to make a decision on Broadcom-VMware. And they never did. Per the provisions in a certain law, the time came and went for officials to act. They didn’t and Broadcom was free to proceed with the VMware acquisition. The UK and United States (by default) by that time joined the European Union, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, South Africa and Taiwan and other “necessary jurisdictions,” as Broadcom called them, in giving Broadcom-VMware the go-ahead. Still, a big outlier, China, would cause Broadcom some heartburn. 

Aug. 23, 2023: VMware Explore: VMware Partners 'Cautiously Optimistic' About Broadcom Acquisition

During the final VMware Explore hosted by VMware as a standalone company, channel partners expressed cautious optimism as Broadcom hoped to close the deal sooner rather than later. “They’re saying all the right things with what they’re going to do with the business. So we’ll see what happens,” one partner told Channel Futures. 

Sept. 15, 2023: What's Next for VMware Employees? Leaked Broadcom Email Shows 3 Options

As the reality of the Broadcom-VMware deal closure neared and layoff rumors abounded, Broadcom finally started giving VMware staff a glimpse of their futures. A leaked memo indicated they would have three options: full-time employment, a transitional job or immediate severance. 

Sept. 22, 2023: China Starts ‘Advanced Remedy Talks’ Regarding Broadcom-VMware

While VMware employees had some answers about their fates, Broadcom itself still lacked clarity from the last regulatory authority it needed to close on VMware. China instituted “advanced remedy talks” that threatened to move out Broadcom’s timeline even further. 

Sept. 26, 2023: Is VMware Losing Customers with Broadcom Buy Imminent? Surveys Say Yes

In what would become the first in a spate of external surveys and reports, a cloud integrator and a data center provider published their users’ takes on what Broadcom-VMware would mean to them. Takeaway: They feared Broadcom would raise VMware prices and they were seeking ways to get out from under VMware vendor lock-in. 

Oct. 30, 2023: Broadcom’s VMware Purchase On Hold as China Stands in the Way

Broadcom was supposed to close on VMware on Oct. 30. But the holdup in China — a move intended to retaliate, according to observers, for President Joe Biden’s export controls on advanced computer chips — kept that from happening. In the ensuing couple of weeks, Broadcom touted its commitment to the channel and one analyst gave Broadcom-VMware a two-thirds chance of completing.

Nov. 21, 2023: Broadcom-VMware: Partners Face ‘Too Many Unknowns’

On Nov. 21, Broadcom said it had “received all regulatory approvals” and would tie up its $61 billion purchase of VMware in a move that would add cloud computing to the chipmaker’s business model. China's State Administration for Market Regulation said Broadcom would have to concede to some "restrictive conditions," especially around storage adapters, Ethernet network cards, non-public cloud virtualization software and fiber channel adapters. In the meantime, analysts talked about the “unknowns” surrounding the Broadcom-VMware combination. 

Broadcom-VMware Deal Closes

Nov. 22, 2023: ‘Start of a New Era’: $61 Billion Broadcom-VMware Deal Closes

After 17 months of stops and starts, Broadcom closed the long-awaited purchase of VMware on Nov. 22. One cloud computing vendor called the milestone “outright terrifying.” 

Nov. 28, 2023: Broadcom Layoffs: VMware Sees Mass Cuts Post-Merger

True to rumor and leaked emails, Broadcom implemented VMware layoffs almost immediately after closing the $61 billion purchase. The number would reach almost 3,000 by the end of 2023, with rumors restarted in June 2024 of another round soon to take place. 

Dec. 8, 2023: Broadcom ‘Refocusing’ VMware: Will Spend $1B, Sell EUC, Carbon Black

Broadcom said it would spend $1 billion over the coming year to get VMware on the track it wanted. At the same time, it also said it would offload VMware’s Carbon Black division and the end-user computing group, which housed Horizon and other platforms. “[W]e … do not want to be distracted by non-core focus,” CEO Tan said at the time. 

Dec. 12, 2023: VMware by Broadcom Debuts Simplified Portfolio, Licensing Model

Broadcom incurred more controversial reaction in mid-December when it “simplified” the VMware portfolio. Broadcom trimmed VMware’s product set to two main categories: VMware Cloud Foundation and the new VMware vSphere Foundation. 

Broadcom Axes Traditional VMware Channel Program

Jan. 2, 2024: VMware Partners, Rival Vendors React to Broadcom Axing Channel Program

Just before Christmas, and right as most people were out of the office, Broadcom notified VMware channel partners that many would soon lose their placement. “[W]e will be transitioning all of VMware’s partner programs to the by-invitation-only … Broadcom Advantage Partner Program,” Broadcom told partners. That announcement set off a roar of controversy and opened the door for opportunistic VMware competitors to step in. 

Jan. 17, 2024: All Is Not Lost: Vendors Rescuing VMware Partners Stranded by Broadcom

As Broadcom turned its back on hundreds of VMware partners, including cloud service providers, smaller companies came to the fore with safety nets for the channel and end users.  

Channel Futures TV: Scale Computing is one of many providers pitching itself as a VMware alternative, the company's Kyle Fenske told Channel Futures editorial director Craig Galbraith.

Jan. 19, 2024: ‘Unprecedented': Half of VMware Partners ‘Urgently Want to Dump Broadcom’

A poll run by Canalys showed that, by mid-January, VMware partners were fed up with Broadcom’s actions and half wanted to “urgently … dump” the chipmaker from their portfolios.  

Feb. 8, 2024: Broadcom Invites 18,000 ‘Active’ VMware Resellers Into Partner Program

After weeks of controversy, Broadcom announced it had invited more than 18,000 active VMware resellers into the Broadcom Advantage Partner Program. “Active” represented the key factor. VMware had a number of non-active partners who simply paid the $895 fee that allowed them to display the VMware logo on their websites and other materials. A source told Channel Futures that 95% of VMware partners were invited to Broadcom’s program. 

Feb. 26, 2024: Broadcom Offloads ‘Non-Core’ VMware EUC to Private Equity Firm KKR

Following through on its promise, Broadcom sold the VMware end-user computing unit. The buyer? Private equity firm KKR. KKR pledged to run VMware EUC as a standalone company, complete with existing management. 

Feb. 29, 2024: Carbon Black Facing New Fate?

Despite its success selling EUC, Broadcom put the intended sale of Carbon Black on hold after it couldn’t muster enough interest. Speculation began that Broadcom would fold Carbon Black into Symantec — and indeed, that ended up happening. 

VMware Cloud Partners Learn of Changes

March 21, 2024: VMware by Broadcom Revamps VCSP, Adds Option for Small Cloud Providers

Just as Broadcom stood to come under more scrutiny from European regulators, the company announced significant changes for VMware cloud providers. 

April 15, 2024: CEO Hock Tan Addresses Broadcom-VMware Questions ‘Head On’

In his latest blog, Broadcom CEO sought to “address … questions head on” around Broadcom-VMware — specifically, Broadcom’s treatment of VMware, from innovation and pricing to subscriptions and channel partners. 

April 23, 2024: CISPE and Broadcom: VMware Tussle Continues as EU Sends Info Request

Responding to a European cloud provider trade group’s request, the EU started a new look into Broadcom’s VMware decisions. CISPE’s efforts to pressure the EU to investigate Broadcom appeared to take off. 

May 1, 2024: Broadcom Makes Concessions for Upset VMware Cloud Partners

After taking a publicity hit, Broadcom pulled back on some of its more controversial new requirements and deadlines. 

May 7, 2024: Broadcom CEO: VMware Cloud on AWS ‘Alive, Available’

Hock Tan tried to quash rumors that the VMware Cloud on AWS service is going away. It’s not, but Broadcom did impose significant changes. 

June 13, 2024: VMware Revenue Drops at Broadcom in First Full Quarter

VMware revenue dropped during its first full quarter as a Broadcom company. Observers pointed to the decline as evidence that Broadcom could be sacrificing customer loyalty for financial performance. 

June 18, 2024: Broadcom-VMware Affair Disrupts 2024 MSP 501 Companies

We polled some of the Channel Futures MSP 501 class of 2024 about Broadcom's acquisition of VMware. Like many in the industry, these MSPs said their emotions have ranged from confused to angry. They've had to spend a lot of time advising customers on the right move going forward.

“This is very disruptive,” Expedient SVP Allen Skipper told us. “With disruption comes opportunity, and this acquisition has been the most disruptive IT event that we've seen in many, many years.”

June 25, 2024: 'Intense Focus' on High Quality Products for VMware Cloud Foundation

VMware by Broadcom said big changes to VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) will mean end users see faster time to value in their hybrid cloud deployments.

The new version of VCF aims to deliver compute, networking, storage, management and security across endpoints in a move to take the products and "make them look, feel, act and behave like a single private cloud platform," the company said.

July 2, 2024: VMware EUC, Which Broadcom Shunned, Becomes KKR-Owned Omnissa

The VMware end-user computing (EUC) unit, considered a "non-core asset" by Broadcom after closing its acquisition of VMware, is back in business under a new name.

Shankar Iyer, who was SVP and general manager of VMware EUC from 2018-2023, announced the official launch of "Omnissa," an independent software company. Omnissa is owned by private equity firm KKR, which bought VMware EUC in February.

Omnissa brass told us about their channel philosophy.

July 9, 2024: Eileen Gibson Leaving Broadcom, Retiring After 40 Years in Channel

Eileen Gibson, who led global channel accounts for VMware before it was acquired by Broadcom, retired after less than two years with the combined company. She joined a long list of execs who have headed for the exits.

Gibson started in technology at IBM back in 1982. She's also an Avnet, Tech Data and TD Synnex alum. Furthermore, she co-founded a consulting firm in 2006 that Avnet bought three years later.

July 12, 2024: Roger Egan, VMware Leader for Tanzu Sales, Exits Broadcom

Roger Egan is the latest executive to announce his departure from the company. Egan had been with VMware (and subsequently Broadcom) since 2020, where he started as VP of Americas for Tanzu, VMware's cloud-native application platform, eventually moving up to SVP of worldwide sales in that division.

Egan took a job as CRO at data security and governance provider OneTrust.

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