Breaking: EMC Ventures Executive Shawn Douglass Joins ServiceMesh as CTO

EMC cloudChanges at EMC Ventures are happening big time.  We saw Pat Gelsinger put his stamp on EMC now VMware. Paul Maritz was sitting at EMC ventures cooking up his next “meal” – the Pivotal Initiative.  Of course there was the big Nicira acqusition by EMC VMware.  Lots happening there at EMC VMware et al.  Now changes at EMC Ventures with their top star Shawn Douglass stepping down.

I have confirmed the rumors swirling around Silicon Valley that EMC Ventures Managing Director Shawn Douglass has stepped down as key player in EMC Ventures to take the CTO job at ServiceMesh, which provides software enabled enterprise grade DevOps or as we say at here at SiliconANGLE “Infrastructure as Code”.

I contacted Shawn to verify the rumor and Shawn declined to comment in standard EMC fashion.   However, I was able to confirm through multiple sources that Shawn is moving to ServiceMesh as their Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and has already left EMC Ventures.

So whats happening at EMC Ventures ?

EMC Ventures is smoking hot and going to the next level.  From my sources in the venture community Shawn left in great standing at EMC and is highly respected by Pat Gelsinger and other top executives in EMC and in the industry.

Shawn’s move to ServiceMesh was driven by his success in defining strategy and investments in Cloud, Software Defined Datacenter (Networking/Storage/Compute), Big Data and OpenStack.

{Note:  For details on this software defined trend SiliconANGLE and Wikibon have been covering this mega-trend and have coined the term SLI – Software-led Infrastructure (it certaintly isn’t “defined” yet). } See link here

Shawn was the key player at EMC that turned their primarily east coast corp dev driven VC arm into a Silicon Valley venture capitalist powerhouse.  EMC Ventures over the past few years set a great foundation in the emering enterprise marketplace specifically the software defined trend (software defined networking, compute, storage, datacenter).  More notably is EMC appetite for big acquisitions always a friend to the top VCs and bankers here in Silicon Valley.  For more about the EMC exec behind the M&A activity watch this video I did with David Goulden their chief M&A guy and President.

At EMC Ventures, Shawn was the key figure within EMC that has been moving the company in the direction of the modern datacenter.  More notably Shawn was the lead at EMC/VMware that scored the coup in acquiring the leading Software Defined Networking (SDN) startup Nicira.  Since that acqusition the marketplace has been in a rapid transformation with means disruption and reconfiguration.  Juniper and Cisco and others are scrambling to “retool” their old offerings.

EMC Ventures recent momentum and success is being compared to the magic that Intel Capital had in its’ glory days in the late 90s.   Shawn roles in building out EMC Ventures with that in part to his peers Mark Lewis, Kevin Chew, and Andy Jenks.

Shawn has been at EMC for 10+ years. Prior to joining EMC, Shawn was an early employee at Digital Island and Loud Cloud/Opsware staying on through their IPO’s.  Shawn had a long list of success at EMC starting in engineering and working his way up to running Technology Alliances then on to the CTO office working for Jeff Nick, where he participated in countless investment/acquisitions and ran a global Research and Advanced Development team incubating new technologies/businesses for EMC.

Most recently for the past 3 years Shawn had been totally committed to building a world class corporate venturing organization pushing tirelessly to breathe life into EMC Ventures..  EMC now is recognized as a player in the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial venture communities, which in the past has been a tough nut to crack.

With Joe Tucci, Dave Golden, and Pat Gelsinger EMC has established the company as a big player in both investments and M&A.   Every startup has EMC on their radar as a possible acquirer.

As I mentioned above Shawn left in great standing with the EMC team and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shawn back at EMC.  ServiceMesh is a great enabler for EMC and possible acquisition target (that is another post).   More importantly, Shawn developed and championed the SDN investment thesis and pursued investment opportunities aggressively and widely socialized those within the executive team at EMC/VMware which likely influenced the acquisition of Nicira and investments in several other SDN players.

With Shawn  going to ServiceMesh I’m sure we’ll see some action in the cloud management area.Shawn is rumored to have sat on the BoD of and a few other companies in the Big Data space.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Shawn.