VMWare Drops After Saying CFO to Depart

VMware Inc. (VMW) fell the most in three months after the software maker announced a management shuffle including the departure of Chief Financial Officer Mark Peek.

VMware fell 2.5 percent to $107.61 at the close in New York, the largest decline since Jan. 13. That trimmed year-to-date gains for the Palo Alto, California-based company to 29 percent.

Peek will leave on June 1 to become CFO of Workday Inc., a Pleasanton, California-based maker of software, where he currently serves on the board of directors, VMware said today in a statement. Earnings at VMware have more than doubled to $723.94 million since 2008, the first full year after Peek joined. The company is initiating a search to replace him.

“Investors are disappointed to see him leave because he’s been a key ingredient in the company’s success,” Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets, said in an interview.

Peek, who helped take VMware public in 2007, will probably be replaced by an outsider, Ives said.

The move to Workday reflects larger shifts in the $113.8 billion business-applications market. Workday and other providers of software over the Internet, including Salesforce.com Inc., have been nabbing customers from bigger, older business-software makers, such as Oracle Corp. and SAP AG.

Workday, which plans to file for an initial public offering this year, replaced Oracle and SAP systems at companies including Flextronics International Ltd., Kimberly-Clark Corp., Sun Life Financial Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. Companies as varied as Bayer AG, Zynga Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. have opted in recent months for Salesforce over Oracle.

COO Eschenbach

In other VMware changes announced today, Carl Eschenbach was promoted to chief operating officer and co-president, while Raghu Raghuram was promoted to executive vice president of cloud infrastructure and management.

Financial results for the first quarter will meet or slightly exceed the forecast provided in January, VMware said. The company projected revenue of $1.02 billion to $1.04 billion, compared with the average estimate of $1.03 billion compiled by Bloomberg.

The company, which is majority-owned by EMC Corp., is scheduled to report earnings on April 18.

Workday, which makes software to help companies manage operations, may raise as much as $500 million in its IPO, two people with knowledge of the matter said in December.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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