VMware files lawsuit against Nutanix CEO Rajiv Ramaswami

Nutanix had appointed Ramaswami as chief executive on December 10, after founder Dheeraj Pandey had announced that he would be stepping down from the role.

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Cloud infrastructure company VMware said on Monday that it had initiated legal proceedings against former chief operating officer Rajiv Ramaswami for what it called material and ongoing breaches of legal as well as contractual duties and obligations.

India-born Ramaswami quit VMware to join Nutanix as chief executive on December 10, two days after leaving the company.

“For at least two months before resigning from the company, at the same time he was working with senior leadership to shape VMware’s key strategic vision and direction, Mr Ramaswami also was secretly meeting with at least the CEO, CFO, and apparently the entire Board of Directors of Nutanix Inc to become Nutanix’s Chief Executive Officer,” VMware said in a statement.


In response, Nutanix said VMware’s action was ‘misguided’ and in ‘response to losing a deeply valued and respected member of its leadership team’.

“It is disappointing to see VMware’s management sue him just because he chose to pursue an opportunity to become a public company CEO,” it said in a statement.

Nutanix appointed Ramaswami after founder Dheeraj Pandey said he would step down as CEO.
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“Mr Ramaswami and Nutanix have gone above and beyond to be proactive and cooperative with VMware throughout the transition. Mr Ramaswami is proud of his tenure at VMware and counts many VMware team members as friends,” Nutanix said, adding it would defend itself in court.

VMware said it had tried to resolve the matter without litigation, but that Ramaswami and Nutanix had refused to engage with it in a satisfactory manner.

“Mr Ramaswami demonstrated poor judgement and had a clear and extended period of conflict of interest. He should have disclosed this conflict of interest to VMware so that the company could have taken steps to protect itself. But he did not notify VMware, and thus deprived the company of the ability to do so by concealing his Nutanix-related activities,” VMware said in the statement.

Ramaswami led VMware’s networking and security business and was with Broadcom prior to that.
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He earned his B. Tech in electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and a Master’s and PhD in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley.
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