VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the maker of software that helps data centers run more efficiently, appointed EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) President Pat Gelsinger as chief executive officer, replacing Paul Maritz.

Maritz will remain on VMware’s board of directors and join EMC as chief strategist, Palo Alto, California-based VMware said in a statement. Gelsinger’s move is effective Sept. 1.

The move puts Gelsinger, who is also chief operating officer for information infrastructure products at EMC, in charge of the world’s largest maker of so-called virtualization software, which can cut costs by consolidating different systems on a single server computer. His challenge will be fending off the slowdown that’s dragged down shares 3.5 percent this year.

“It’s clearly a move up for Gelsinger, and moving Maritz to EMC as strategist means they weren’t unhappy with him,” said Mark Moerdler, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York.

Gelsinger joined EMC in 2009 after about 30 years at Intel Corp. Hopkinton, Massachusetts-based EMC, the world’s biggest maker of storage computers, acquired control of VMware in 2004.

[EMC maintains a large presence in North Carolina with research and development as well as manufacturing operations around the Research Triangle area.]

VMware also said second-quarter sales rose 22 percent to about $1.12 billion, exceeding $1.11 billion, the average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Excluding certain costs, operating margin was 32 percent, compared with VMware’s earlier forecast of 30.25 percent to 31.25 percent.

Shares Rise

VMware stock rose to as high as $86 in late trading, after earlier dropping 4.9 percent to $80.29 at the close in New York.
Analysts are predicting revenue growth of 22 percent this year, for a third consecutive year of slower increases, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Maritz was the No. 3 executive at Microsoft Corp. before he left in 2000. He was appointed CEO of VMware in 2008 after EMC acquired PI Corp., the company he founded in 2003, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. VMware is the largest maker of software that lets computers run multiple operating systems.

Maritz helped double VMware’s revenue to $3.77 billion last year from $1.88 billion in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.