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Shake-Up at VMware as COO Eschenbach Leaves for Sequoia Capital

He will not be replaced.

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Carl Eschenbach, the COO and No. 2 at VMware, the software company controlled by EMC, is stepping down to join the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, the latest executive shake-up ahead of EMC’s effective acquisition by Dell later this year.

The company did not name a new COO, but instead split up Eschenbach’s portfolio of responsibilities among other executives at the company who were all promoted. Eschenbach will remain as a strategic advisor to CEO Pat Gelsinger. Fortune first reported that Eschenbach will join Sequoia.

The company said Maurizio Carli has been promoted to executive VP for worldwide sales. He most recently led the sales organization for the Americas region. Peter McKay was promoted to lead the Americas field sales operations.

Ray O’Farrell, named CTO last summer, has added the title of executive VP. He’ll take over the global service operation and runs customer advocacy, essentially taking charge of customers after they’ve bought something from VMware.

Sanjay Poonen, a former president at SAP who joined VMware in 2013, was also named executive VP and general manager for end user computing. He’s also going to lead worldwide marketing and communications.

The move follows a big departure at VMware last week as Martin Casado, senior VP and head of its fast-growing NSX business unit, left to join the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as a general partner. He was co-founder of Nicira, the networking software startup that VMware bought in 2012.

Additionally, CFO Jonathan Chadwick left the company in January, replaced by Zane Rowe, the former CFO of EMC. (Chadwick had also shared the COO title with Eschenbach. It’s complicated.)

Tony Bates, the former CEO of Skype and current president at GoPro, was appointed to VMware’s board last month, sparking internal rumors that he might be in line to replace CEO Pat Gelsinger sometime soon (though there’s no hint of that in today’s news).

VMware is considered the crown jewel of the group of companies that constitutes EMC’s federation. It’s one of the reasons privately held Dell is raising more than $50 billion in debt to buy out EMC in a deal expected to close later this year.

The timing of the news is also interesting, as Dell is holding its worldwide leadership conference in Austin today. And while much of it is a formality, CEO Michael Dell is expected to name the executives who will report directly to him in the new corporate structure that will take effect after the deal closes later this year.

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