While economists, analysts, traders and executives from across the IT landscape speculate about what is next for VMware, the only person who could know for sure is the architect of the “surprise” offer that shocked the channel, as well as a lot of VMware employees: Broadcom CEO Hock Tan.
For his part, Tan has been talking, at least in general terms about where he sees the value of VMware, where there is a need for change, and where Broadcom can take the software virtualization leader, should the $61 billion deal make it across the finish line.
Tan spoke on a conference call with investors on May 26 the day the deal was announced. He spoke on a call with VMware employees the next day. On Tuesday, he appeared at a Bank of America event where he answered questions about the deal. That same day he appeared on CNBC’s “Mad Money” with Jim Cramer.
Broadcom has published transcripts of all but one of these encounters: the conference call with VMware employees. Tan and Broadcom Software President Tom Krause instead published a letter after the town hall, in which they recapped the conversation.
“We appreciate that VMware’s culture is built on execution, passion, integrity, customers and community. We too share values like these. At Broadcom we prioritize accountability – to our customers, our partners, our shareholders and each other,” the men wrote in a co-signed letter.
Tan offered more color around his commitment to shareholders in comments he made to Cramer in the days that followed.
“The way we think about why we issue dividends, even as we keep on the strategy of acquiring great assets, it’s simply that we feel while relying on our shareholders to think of us as a long-term investment, as a long-term play, we feel that we are rewarding them as we progress, as we advance,” he told the “Mad Money” host. “Which is why we save, we put aside half of free cash flow as a return of dividends, and the other half in return, they let us keep to do the next deal and grow the business.”
The VMware acquisition is on hold until a 40-day “go shop” provision winds down. The VMware board of directors and its chairman Michael Dell have given the deal their blessing, barring a better offer.