When Pat Gelsinger left his job as a top exec at EMC to become CEO of VMware, he immediately landed in a pickle.
Gelsinger cozied up with one of EMC's arch enemies, NetApp, and his former colleagues gave him a hard time about it, he confessed in an onstage interview with Om Malik on Wednesday at the GigaOM Structure Event in San Francisco.
Although VMware is publicly traded, it's really a subsidiary of EMC, which owns an 80% stake. But VMware is independently run, so EMC is like a big shareholder, not an overlord.
That means that VMware has partnership agreements with EMC's competitors, like NetApp.
Here's what happened: Last August during VMware's customer conference, NetApp CEO Tom Georgens invited Gelsinger to a party at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, hosted by NetApp.
Gelsinger, who'd officially taken over as VMware CEO earlier that day, wore a NetApp baseball jersey to the party.
"Unfortunately a picture of me with the NetApp T-shirt got tweeted to the EMC salesforce and I was called a traitor by whole EMC sales staff," Gelsinger laughed.
Here's the pic that got Gelsinger labeled as a traitor.
— Christopher Wells (@vsamurai_com) August 29, 2012
Gelsinger did a YouTube interview while wearing the shirt, too. So here's a closer shot of the shirt.
Pat Gelsinger in NetApp T-shirt with Silicon Angle's David Vellante
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