Betsy Sutter

Strategic Director

Betsy Sutter

Betsy Sutter

Strategic Director

Betsy is executive vice president and chief people officer at VMware

Journey to Madrona

Betsy has led an ever-evolving human resources organization at VMware since 2001, where she has shaped the culture and employee experience. During her tenure, VMware has built and scaled new industry tech categories, including virtualization and cloud, and has grown from 100 employees to more than 38,000 globally.

As executive vice president and chief people officer, Betsy leads the hiring, development, and engagement of the best and brightest at VMware and has assembled a world-class modern HR partnering organization to align people strategies with business goals. She has also built (and re-built) a world-class staffing organization and has overseen the successful acquisition of more than 60 companies. A passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Betsy has brought DEI into the core of VMware’s priorities and operating model, with accountability measures at every level of the organization.

Prior to VMware, Betsy held senior management roles at Silicon Gaming, Digital Equipment Corporation, Aehr Test Systems, and General Electric/Intersil.

Lessons learned

Great leadership requires head and heart — your IQ gets you in the door; your EQ keeps you in the chair. The best leaders understand that people aren’t just joining a company; they are also joining communities.

When she’s not in the office…

You will find Betsy outside — often in the mountains or on the coast. She enjoys advocating for local artists in her community and engaging in volunteer activities around the world.


In 2008, Betsy founded the VMware Foundation, redefining citizen philanthropy in the corporate world. She was a lead influencer in the design of VMware’s Palo Alto LEED-certified headquarters, which is notable in its integration of natural landscape and collaborative workspace and has been subsequently reimagined for the modern hybrid workforce. In 2018, Betsy led VMware’s endowment of the Stanford University VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

Betsy on Madrona

"I’ve been building companies for 30+ years, and all the people at Madrona are the type of people I want to build companies with. They are focused, thorough, inquisitive, authentic, collaborative, and they get results. They are good people. If you build a company with good people, you have a huge head start."