According to a statement issued by VMware early this morning, VMware President and CEO Diane Greene has been replaced by Paul Maritz, a former Microsoft executive.

Greene was one of the founders of VMware, and helped lead the company to a dominant position in the virtualization market. In a recent interview with Windows IT Pro, Greene stressed that VMware was well-positioned to face new challenges from Microsoft, which released the final version of their Hyper-V hypervisor-based virtualization technology late last month.

"Other companies are just coming out with an entry level, 1.0 product that is just basic virtualization," Greene said. "VMware gives our customers a complete portfolio to manage, to \[help them\] deploy their data center, while integrating the desktop and server."

The looming battle between Hyper-V and ESX Server must have been on the minds of EMC executives when they selected Maritz to replace Greene. EMC acquired VMware in 2004; VMware's IPO was in August 2007. 

According to the VMware statement, Maritz spent more than 14 years at Microsoft, where he managed marketing and development for Windows 95, Windows NT, and other Microsoft tools and applications. Since February 2008, Maritz had served as the President of EMC's Cloud Division.

Related: