Greylock continues to staff up on enterprise-focused investment partners. Today, the venture firm is announcing that former VMware VP Jerry Chen is joining Greylock’s enterprise investment team as a general partner. In his new role, he will focus on investing in cloud and application infrastructure and new enterprise applications.
Until December, Chen was the vice president of cloud and application services at virtualization giant VMware (he joined in 2004). He was part of the executive team that scaled the business from 400 to over 15,000 employees and $5 billion in revenue, helping VMware grow from a virtualization software company to cloud and software-focused data center giant.
Chen was also instrumental in creating Cloud Foundry, the open source platform as a service developed by VMware. Chen was on the product management and marketing teams responsible for VMware’s application infrastructure products, including vFabric and the Spring Java framework, as well as its big-data projects. He also held investment roles at Accel Partners and AEA Investors.
Chen’s addition to the firm’s team only strengthens the deep bench of enterprise talent Greylock has been able to draw. Last year the firm added former BladeLogic CEO Dev Ittycheria as a venture partner, and Joseph Ansanelli as an investment partner. Greylock has strong bets on recent enterprise companies, including Workday, Palo Alto Networks, ServiceNow, Cloudera, AppDynamics, Pure TStorage, Imperva and many others.
Greylock Partner David Sze tells us in an interview that the firm is drawn to operators who specifically have a product background, especially in startups and companies that have seen excellence and are defining in their sector. “Jerry has all of this, he’s a deep product person who understands cloud infrastructure and more,” he says.
Chen says that in his nearly ten years at VMware, he experienced the changes in how apps are being built within the enterprise and the infrastructure layer upon which these business applications are being built.
In terms of what he is specifically excited about, Chen explains that there is over $150 billion of annual spend on data center and app infrastructure. That means, he says further, that there is a huge area for disruption at the storage, network and app layers in the post-server era.