A lot of folks have probably heard that Diane Greene was recently replaced as CEO of VMware. If that's news to you, you can read more here and here. I'm not going to comment on the details of what happened, why, etc., but wanted to take the chance to talk about my interactions with Diane at VMware and to wish her well.
When I first interviewed at VMware back in 2005, I knew a couple of the other founders and early employees from my grad school days but hadn't met Diane. Although I knew VMware had some great engineers and interesting technology I had some questions about the company - the relationship with EMC, competition from Xen and Microsoft, etc.. Diane took the time to sit down with me and answer my questions in a straightforward "no bull" fashion. I was impressed with her knowledge of the industry and the strategic view she took of how the company needed to develop technologically in order to continue growing. I was also impressed about how much she obviously cared about the company, its employees, and its ability to have an impact on the industry. I wanted to be a part of that.
Since then I've interacted with her from time to time, sometimes in meetings at work, sometimes randomly bumping into each other on campus or out of the office (including early one morning at a Peet's Coffee on the other side of the country). Even as the company grew (from about 1000 employees to 6000+ in the time I've been here), she remained engaged and knowledgeable about what was going on throughout the company. And while I may not have agreed with every decision, I've continued to be impressed by her candor, integrity, and business savvy.
Farewell, Diane, and good luck with your next endeavor.