This week, we saw the news that Dr. Steve Herrod is leaving VMware. Herrod has been with VMware since 2001 and most recently served as the CTO. Herrod, to me, has really been the face of virtualization and cloud computing effectively since it became cool.

When I diverted my career in 2007 to focus nearly entirely on virtualization, Steve Herrod became the personality that really led us to cloud-based technologies. This was evident in big and small ways. One big example is VMworld. Which keynote did everyone look forward to at the global virtualization conference? Herrod’s. It’s the cool stuff. It is what the techies in all of us looked forward to.

So, it was entirely a surprise on Wednesday when we saw Herrod tweet (which, by the way, how cool is it that the CTO Tweets!) that he was leaving VMware. But, in the scheme of things, I’m not surprised. It takes a lot to stay at a technology company for a long time nowadays, and a year in virtualization can feel like two or three years elsewhere. Herrod’s tweet is shown in Figure A below:

Figure A

This will be a big change for Herrod, but surely his insight will be well used at General Catalyst. For me, this does mark the end of a legacy. What’s more, these are some big shoes to fill at VMware! The CTO role at VMware is a critical influencer in the industry, and Herrod has set the bar high.

In the scheme of things, business will go on. I deal with a lot of VMware people in professional, personal and social media capacities; and they are very talent-rich, so I’m not worried.

Best of luck, Steve Herrod!