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Dell’s subsidiary VMware has filed a lawsuit against its former Chief Operating Office, Rajiv Ramaswami, who joined Nutanix. VMware and Nutanix are rivals in the market. In the lawsuit, VMware says that Rajiv’s move constitutes material and ongoing breaches of legal and contractual duties.

Ramaswami started working for VMware back in 2016 after working at Broadcom, IBM, and Cisco. The most recent job was at VMware where he was COO. The newly filed lawsuit is centered around the fact that Nutanix, a top rival in the hyperconverged infrastructure market, named him as its President and CEO earlier this month.

Related: What is Nutanix and how it conquers the hybrid and multi-cloud world

Conflict of interest

VMware states that Ramaswami has a clear and extended period of conflict, before he took the job. It is claimed that he secretly met with Nutanix leaders for at least two months before he resigned while continuing to work with VMware employees in shaping the company’s strategy and vision.

The company says that he should have disclosed the conflict of interest to relevant VMware execs so that the company could protect itself.

However, it appears he did not do this and deprived the company of the ability to ensure that its rivals could not be exposed to information they were not privy to.

Nutanix had something to say

VMware continues to say that it is not litigious in nature and has tried to solve the issue without a lawsuit. However, it says that Ramaswami and Nutanix were both reluctant to engage with VMware in a manner they could call satisfactory.

Nutanix responded by releasing a statement saying that VMware’s lawsuit makes it look like interviewing for a job is wrongful.

The company views VMware’s move as misguided and a response to losing a valuable and respected member of its team.

Tip: VMware enters a new era with VMware Cloud Foundation 4