Innovation in Everything: VMware’s Story, According to its Founders

Like all great stories, the company we now know as VMware began with a single idea. That single idea launched a company that, 20 years later, is now a global enterprise technology leader. With a motto of “innovation in everything,” the original founders share the VMware story and how the original culture of innovation drives the company’s success to this day.

“When we started VMware, we had a clear conviction and knowledge. We were the only team that was trying to solve a well-defined problem, which was the proliferation of IT systems,” says Edouard Bugnion, one of the original five VMware founders.

On February 10, 1998, in Palo Alto, Calif., Bugnion joined friends and colleagues Diane Greene, Scott Devine, Mendel Rosenblum and Edward Wang. One year later, the team introduced Workstation 1.0 at the iconic DEMO conference. The product tackled one of the largest IT issues of the day and transformed the industry through virtualization. Workstation 1.0 did what was then impossible, allowing users to run multiple operating systems on a single computer. Fast forward to today, and VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure for over 500,000 customers.

This focus on technical innovations that drive transformation laid upon a powerful cultural foundation. Twenty-one years later, that cultural mission is stronger than ever.

“I spent most of my time with Diane Greene, who was the CEO and the founder,” says Betsy Sutter, now VMware’s chief human resources officer. “She was fierce about building a great company, a great technology company. And she was as fierce about building a sustainable company with a very solid culture.”

I came here for the technology. I stayed for the people. Great group of people make a great company.

Mehrdad Amir, 21 years at VMware

VMware Interactive Timeline

From virtualization to cloud computing, with a commitment to be a force for good, find out how VMware’s 20 years of innovation have given rise to a better, more connected world.