Paul Maritz in 2009
He was born and raised in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). His family later moved to South Africa where he was schooled at Highbury Preparatory School and Hilton College. He received a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Natal, and a B.Sc. (Hons) degree, also in Computer Science, from the University of Cape Town in 1977.
After finishing his graduate studies, Maritz had a programming job with Burroughs and later became a researcher at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, before moving to Silicon Valley in 1981 to join Intel.
He worked for Intel for five years, including developing early tools to help developers write software for the then-new x86 platform, before joining Microsoft in 1986.
From 1986 to 2000 he worked at Microsoft, leaving as executive vice president of the Platforms Strategy and Developer Group and part of the 5-person executive management team. He was often said to be the third-ranking executive, behind Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. He was responsible for essentially all of Microsoft's desktop and server software, including such major initiatives as the development of Windows 95, Windows NT, and Internet Explorer. While at Microsoft, Maritz was credited for originating the term "eating your own dogfood" also known as Dogfooding.
He then founded, and was CEO of Pi Corporation, a company backed by Warburg Pincus. When this was acquired by EMC in February 2008, Maritz briefly became President and General Manager of EMC Corporation's cloud computing division, before being appointed CEO of VMware (a public company majority-owned by EMC), on July 8, 2008 - replacing co-founder and CEO Diane Greene.
Maritz was the recipient of the 2011 Morgan Stanley Leadership Award for Global Commerce, “which recognizes individuals whose personal leadership has made a critical contribution to the effective use of information technology throughout the world.” 
Paul Maritz is the Business Journal's 2011 Executive of the Year.
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