As Broadcom-VMware Deal Seeks Progress, VMware Replaces Exited R&D Execs

Find out who’s succeeded Mark Lohmeyer, Ajay Patel and Tom Gillis in cloud, apps, networking and security.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

December 20, 2022

5 Min Read
Employee turnover

As the Broadcom-VMware merger efforts march on, VMware on Monday officially named the replacements for the three top R&D execs who just left the amid the pending acquisition. The company also has added a fourth leader.

Recall that, on Dec. 12, VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram told employees via internal memo that Mark Lohmeyer, vice president of cloud infrastructure, Ajay Patel, vice president of applications and management, and Tom Gillis, vice president of networking and advanced security, all were leaving the company.

One week later, in a move that seems quite fast for a global, bureaucratic organization, VMware has officially announced their successors. On Dec. 19, VMware confirmed the replacements for Lohmeyer, Patel and Gillis, and added another executive.

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in November.

“These new leaders will continue to drive our multicloud strategy and offerings as the company remains committed to helping customers transform their businesses and unlock the full potential of multicloud,” VMware said in a Dec. 19 blog.

Lohmeyer, Patel and Gillis aren’t the only high-profile leaders to bow out of VMware as a Broadcom purchase looms. This past summer, former channel chief Sandy Hogan exited for Google Cloud managed service provider SADA. And more departures could be on the way. VMware’s top five executives stand to make bank if they leave when Broadcom closes.

A Look at the Replacements


VMware’s Krish Prasad

First up, Krish Prasad will head the Cloud Infrastructure Business Group, picking up where Lohmeyer left off. Prasad, senior vice president and general manager, has worked for VMware for seven years, helming various cloud divisions. Those include vSphere, the VMware Cloud Foundation product lines, and VMware Cloud infrastructure.


VMware’s Umesh Mahajan

Next, Umesh Mahajan takes over within the Networking group. With this appointment, VMware appears to have split networking and advanced security responsibilities between two people. Mahajan, senior vice president and general manager, comes to the job with more than 30 years of product and leadership experience, including at Cisco, VMware said. Mahajan has been at VMware for almost seven years. He will oversee developments for networking and networking security platforms including VMware NSX, NSX Load Balancer and NSX Distributed Firewall.


VMware’s Jason Rolleston

Meanwhile, Jason Rolleston, vice president and general manager, now leads the Security Business Unit. He hails from vendors including McAfee, Cisco and Symantec. He has worked for VMware for three years. Rolleston takes on ownership of VMware’s security strategy and the Carbon Black portfolio.

“Excited and honored to take over as the General Manager for VMware Carbon Black,” Rolleston wrote on LinkedIn. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the past 15 months leading product management and working with my peers to accelerate our innovation. Looking forward to making a broader impact and helping to chart the path forward for Carbon Black.”


VMware’s Purnima Padmanabhan

Finally, Purnima Padmanabhan, senior vice president and general manager, moves from cloud management to run the Modern Apps and Management Business Group. Padmanabhan has been in charge of the Cloud Management division for more than six years. She came to VMware from firms including Cavirin, MokaFive and BMC Software, where she held titles including CEO and chief operating officer.

VMware’s Take

Here’s what VMware said about the changes in its blog: “We want to … say thank you to the leaders who recently left VMware, Tom Gillis, Mark Lohmeyer and Ajay Patel, for their years of service to the company. Their leadership laid important groundwork for the advancement of VMware’s multicloud strategy. Umesh, Jason, Krish and Purnima will continue to accelerate against that strategy to help VMware customers adopt a cloud-smart approach.”

Interesting Timing

The new appointments come as behemoth chipmaker Broadcom continues with its efforts to buy VMware. Indeed, the departures of Lohmeyer, Patel and Gillis all appear to have to do with timing around a Broadcom-VMware combination, Omdia analysts Roy Illsley and Dominika Koncewicz recently told Data Center Knowledge (both Omdia and Data Center Knowledge share parent company Informa with Channel Futures).

“These VPs know that some changes are coming in 2023 and they have reached a point where they could take any bonus or stock and leave without losing money,” Illsley and Koncewicz said.

In fact, the $61 billion Broadcom-VMware deal, once it closes, is bound to result in “a big reorganization,” the analysts said.

As such, Lohymeyer, Patel and Gillis seem to have read the tea leaves and made their exits on their own terms.

Channel Futures on Tuesday reached out to VMware for comment on the four new executives and to request insight into what partners may expect from them. We did not hear back by time of publication.

The Broadcom-VMware merger, announced last spring, represents the second-largest in 2022, followed only by Microsoft’s pending takeover of Activision Blizzard. However, the acquisition has hit some snags. The European Commission, the regulatory arm of the European Union, has decided to scrutinize the proposed purchase more closely. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also is analyzing a Broadcom-VMware pairing. All of that extends the amount of time before Broadcom can close on VMware — barring any unforeseen hiccups that might put an end to the deal altogether.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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