June 23, 2022
VMware’s Sandy Hogan
As Broadcom prepares to buy VMware, Channel Futures has learned that VMware channel head Sandy Hogan is exiting.
“We can confirm that Sandy Hogan has made a personal career decision to leave the company to pursue a new career opportunity, effective July 6,” a spokesperson told Channel Futures. “We thank Sandy for her passion and commitment and wish her well.”
Ricky Cooper will take over as lead for VMware’s Worldwide Partner and Commercial Organization, at least for a while. Right now, Cooper serves as vice president for global and transformational partners.
Hogan led the VMware channel as senior vice president of worldwide commercial and partner sales for a little more than two years. That’s about the average time a so-called channel chief lasts, and Hogan’s departure coincides with the pending VMware takeover by Broadcom. However, VMware says her exit does not come as a direct result of the $61 billion deal.
“This is a personal career decision not related to Broadcom,” the spokesperson said.
Channel Futures has reached out to Hogan with a request for an interview. We have not yet heard back.
Hogan’s VMware Legacy
During her time within the VMware channel, Hogan played a key role in helping transform the company’s partners from traditional, one-time sales models to those reliant on recurring revenue. As one part of that, she spearheaded the shift toward partner-to-partner incentives. That marks an important development in the channel as partners embrace a more rounded take on how to go to market.
Here’s our list of channel people on the move in May.
“When you consider the goal is to create ‘customer for life’ value, no single partner can sell or deliver value alone anymore,” Hogan told Channel Futures this spring (click through the linked gallery to learn more about how Hogan helped propel VMware channel partners). “It really requires a collaborative motion. … With the right programs in place, we are seeing less and less concern over coopetition, because the ultimate end game is creating that customer value and driving business outcomes, which ultimately leads to more profits and more opportunities for the entire partner value chain.”
That’s an important point of evolution for a company such as VMware, rooted as it is in the hardware and software world. With people including Hogan at the helm, VMware has emerged as one of the companies successfully making the difficult transition from old to new mindsets and business models — with much of that momentum coming from channel partners keen on cloud.
Changes Are Afoot for VMware Channel Partners
Indeed, VMware’s traction in cloud provides a big reason why chipmaker Broadcom wants the company. Broadcom continues to expand its software portfolio, but has more work to do to get away from infrastructure. With VMware, Broadcom expects to go from 23% net revenue from software to 49%. Even so, the pending purchase raises questions among some observers. Omdia’s Roy Illsley told Channel Futures in late May that Broadcom’s end game represents “the big unknown here.”
That’s because Broadcom already bought Symantec and CA Technologies, which Illsley considers “old technology.” He includes VMware in that assessment. To that end, he said, “Is this about holding the legacy technology and milking it dry over the next 10-15 years, or do they see the technology roadshow shifting at some point in the future back to modified ways of how things are done today? By that I mean, containers are not new. Unix v7 in 1979 introduced the concept of isolation in the OS. So is Broadcom betting on VMs becoming the environment of choice in 10 years, albeit in a modified way? The answer is not simple. To me it looks like a simple acquisition of companies in transition by Broadcom because they are relatively cheap, but it does not appear to have a clear strategy for these technologies.”
The apparent absence of a clear strategy has partners on edge. And with a new leader in charge of the VMware channel, the outcomes also remain unknown.
Who Is Ricky Cooper?
VMware’s Ricky Cooper
Cooper has worked at VMware for nearly six years. Located in the United Kingdom, Cooper has served as vice president of global and transformational partners since March. Before that, he held the title of global vice president and general manager for almost two years. And he started at VMware as vice president of EMEA.
Prior to VMware, Cooper worked for Digital Realty. His resume also includes six years at…
…Microsoft and eight years at Dell Technologies (Michael Dell owns slightly more than 40% of VMware shares).
As he takes over the VMware channel, Cooper should further the progress the company has made toward creating next-generation partner business models.
“We are moving to much more of a ‘market-in’ definition of partner business models, rather than a ‘VMware-out’ view of how we expect partners to construct their businesses around us,” as Hogan told Channel Futures in April. “This allows partners and VMware to innovate together, without the need to conform to a one-size-fits-all approach.”
There’s little reason to suspect that a new VMware channel leader would reverse that trend, especially given how it helps partner to profit — which in turn brings more revenue to VMware.
Of course, the looming Broadcom acquisition remains the biggest unknown in VMware’s ongoing transformation from legacy to next-generation company. And the crystal ball has yet to reveal the future.
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