Eric Gales named VMware Canada boss

Eric Gales

New VMware Canada country manager Eric Gales

Those who’ve been wondering what’s next for onetime Microsoft Canada SMS&P chief and former Microsoft Canada president Eric Gales since he left the software giant earlier this year now have an answer – Gales has been introduced as VMware Canada’s country manager.

It’s the first time VMware has formally named someone country manager for Canada, and the company says the new position “marks a continued investment and growth strategy for VMware in Canada.” In the new role, Gales will be responsible for all of the company sales efforts in both enterprise and commercial accounts, and will head up technical consulting, professional services, and field marketing.

Grant Aitken, who has headed up Canadian operations under the title of area vice president, still holds that title, and the company says in his new role he will be “a criticial member of VMware Canada’s senior leadership team.” Under Gales, Aitken will be focused on VMware Canada’s large enterprise accounts, the company added.

Quoth Jeff Casale, senior vice president and general manager of the Americas at VMWare, via a company statement:

“VMware is building momentum in Canada, and we’re excited to have Eric on board to drive our next phase of growth … With his extensive leadership and technical experience, we’re confident Eric is the right person at the right time to lead the VMware Canada team as they continue to work closely with customers, helping them transform IT and deliver more value to their businesses.”

The appointment comes at a time when VMware is looking to expand the perception of its role in the IT community. The company’s “software-defined data centre” strategy moves the virtualization discussion from the server level to the data centre level, and positions the company at the core of the virtualized data centre, and therefore, of the cloud.

It will be interesting to see how Gales adjusts from heading up Microsoft Canada to heading up the company’s fiercest competitor in the virtualization space – particularly considering it’s a space where VMware, and not Microsoft, is seen as the 800-pound gorilla.

Microsoft is focusing on the message that with its latest Windows Server release, its virtualization capabilities are ready for prime time, and less expensive than those of VMware, because Hyper-V and related management software are baked into the server OS. VMware continues to scoff at this stance. At VMworld in late August, Paul Maritz, then-CEO of VMware (and himself a former top Microsoft exec) questioned how many times Microsoft has declared itself ready for prime time in the virtualization space in the past, and said that every time his Redmond, Wash.-based rivals come close to parity, VMware takes a big step forward.