In a shock announcement on Wednesday, Martin Casado announced that he was leaving VMware’s Networking and Security business unit, the group that owns the NSX product, to join the venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz as a general partner. Casado was co-founder and CTO of Nicira, the network company that VMware brought for $1.2 billion in 2012.
This closes the circle for Martin, whose first institutional investor at Nicira was Andreessen Horowitz. Ben Horowitz of the company served on Nicira’s board and acted as Casado’s business mentor.
Will Casado make a good venture capitalist? That remains to be seen, but I think he has a very good grounding and understands the culture of Andreessen Horowitz. The firm tends to like partners who have walked the walk, in terms of living the startup life. This, coupled with the firm’s history with Casado, makes it a good fit.
In fact that Casado did not jump ship when VMware purchased Nicira and became the general manager of VMware’s Networking and Security business unit has filled out his business credentials, especially after taking the unit from a standing start to a $600M run rate.