VMware Closes Under $40 for First Time Ever

Investors continued to shed VMware (VMW) shares today in the wake of yesterday’s firing of CEO Diane Greene and a reduction in the company’s 2008 outlook.

The company, which went public August 13, 2007 at $29 a share, immediately went soaring higher, trading as high as $125.25 on an intra-day basis last Halloween. At the time, the perception was that the company had essentially no competition in the burgeoning market for server virtualization software; Microsoft (MSFT) has since made an aggressive move into the market, as did Citrix Systems (CTXS).

Several analysts this morning actually asserted that replacing Greene with former Microsoft exec Paul Maritz should be considered a positive development for the company. “It was not a completely unexpected move,” writes Citigroup’s Brent Thill.

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