Shining Light Company – VMware, Inc.

VMware, Inc. (Ticker: VMW) is a Silicon Valley based firm whose cloud and virtualization technologies help businesses become more efficient  by enabling  them to deliver services from any device, anytime, anywhere.  Founded in 1998, the company has been a subsidiary of EMC Corporation since 2004 and a publicly traded company since 2007. After a series of acquisitions, sales, and spin-offs over the past decade, VMware now has more than 500,000 customers and 18,000 employees in 120 locations around the world.

VMware defines their culture and values through the acronym EPIC2:

Execution – Do It Together

Passion – Challenge the Status Quo

Integrity – Build Trust

Customers – Make It Possible

Community – Give More

Their recent designation as one of “Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For” helps to prove they live out these values every day.

Setting the tone for corporate culture and leading the way for success usually starts with the person at the top.  At VMware, that individual is Pat Gelsinger, the Chief Executive Officer since September 2012.  He’s a dedicated Christian who gives away 50% of his gross income and sometimes gives sermons at one of the many churches he supports.  When his family was young, he came up with a system for balancing life and wrote a book about it called, “The Juggling Act: Bringing Balance to Your Faith, Family, and Work.”  (Book on Amazon: Here’s one example:  “If you have kids, 6 to 9 p.m. is gold.  Do not squander it. You might get back on email at 9 p.m., or be doing JavaScript at midnight, but make sure you carve those hours out [for family time] and protect those.”  His four kids are now grown, and even though he wrote the book earlier in his career, he still makes family a priority and lives by that system today.  He believes in the importance of his employees’ ability to include family time in their day, like having breakfast with the kids or driving them to school. Companies not only need to respect an employee’s “golden hours” of family time, but need to make their work environments more family friendly, too.  Teamwork, collaboration, and learning are achieved at VMware through a fun and comfortable communal open door atmosphere. 

Strengthening communities is very important to VMware as indicated by the many programs they have in place. They encourage “Citizen Philanthropy” and believe in the power of collective impact and that everyone has something to contribute.  Individual actions matter because big things have small beginnings.  

The VMware Foundation was created to help fuel the passion for the causes that are closest to their employees’ hearts.  Employees are given 40 paid hours each year to contribute their time and skills to causes that matters most to them.  The company also matches employees’ charitable donations and celebrates service milestones with employee-led donations.

Other company events include an annual “Pi Day” where they bring employees together to learn about opportunities to contribute and inspire philanthropy.  “Good Gigs” is one of the newest initiatives.  Through this program, VMware employees have a unique leadership development opportunity to learn through going on-site to the places they are serving.  Everyone participating in these programs is encouraged to inspire others by using the hash tag #iServe to share their experiences.

VMware’s CPO (Chief People Officer) leads an enterprise initiative called VMwomen.  Their goal is to grow female talent through recruitment, development, and retention and to help develop women and girls into global leaders.  Also, through hands-on experiences with VMware products and interacting with the brightest minds in the industry, they hope to promote Student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Initiatives.

VMware is taking big steps every day to be “green” through energy management, waste reduction, e-waste recycling, and composting.  They have reduced their corporate footprint in quite a few ways, such as lowering electrical power consumption by designing windows to provide day-lighting, using reclaimed wood flooring in their headquarters, and reducing water consumption through use of low-flow faucets and showerheads.  100% of their employee’s cost to use public transportation to and from work is paid by the company.

VMware is a company that fosters a culture where great people want to work and can thrive long term. CEO Pat Gelsinger knows the importance of leading by example in promoting family values in the highly competitive tech arena, in addition to unwavering ethics and social responsibility.  This has created a solid foundation for success and is the reason we are proud to recognize VMware as a Shining Light Company!


DISCLOSURE: Shining Light Companies are exemplary companies who live out the Golden Rule in their business practices, demonstrate strong servant leadership and create compelling value through the products and services they offer. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time.