Another VMware star, Mark Lucovsky, heads for the exit

Mark Lucovsky is no stranger to job changes. His departure from Microsoft(s msft) to Google(S goog) in 2004 caused quite a stir and possibly broken furniture courtesy of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who did not want to see a prized engineer go to an arch rival.

As is often the case, news of this latest status change leaked via Twitter:

Reached for comment via email, Lucovsky told me that Friday will be his last day at VMware.

“Not saying where/what’s next. Only that I’m going to use/be a customer of cloud, not a maker.”

Whatever Lucovsky does it will be watched closely. He is a veteran developer who became VP of Engineering at VMware after stints as director of engineering for Google and distinguished engineer at Microsoft.

The last we heard, back in January, was that Lucovsky helped hand off the Cloud Foundry PaaS from VMware to the Pivotal spin-off, and was staying with VMware to build what he hinted would be a massive cloud.

In a statement about Lucovsky’s move, a VMware spokesman said:

“During his more than four years at VMware, Mark Lucovsky  has been an important contributor to the company’s developer efforts as a Vice President of Engineering, including his work to help establish VMware’s Cloud Foundry which is now part of Pivotal. We thank Mark for his contributions and wish him well.”

VMware, the server virtualization giant that is forging its path into public cloud, has seen a raft of high-profile departures, most recently that of mobility leader Srinivas Krishnamurti, one of the brains behind VMware Horizon. Other noteworthy defectors include Bogomil Balkansky who left this summer to join VMware co-founder Diane Greene’s mysterious startup.

Update: Vadim Spivak, another top VMware technologist, left the company last week. Spivak worked with Lucovsky and Derek Collison at Google before joining VMware to build the Cloud Foundry PaaS.  Derek Collison is now CEO of stealthy startup Apcera.

To be fair, some of these exits are due to the company’s transition to cloud; the partitioning off of Pivotal; and the offloading of non-core businesses like Wavemaker and SlideRocket. And VMware has brought on Sanjay Poonen, a big name from SAP to head up desktop virtualization efforts. But the perception remains that VMware is struggling to remake itself for the cloud era and faces formidable competition in doing so.

Note: This story was updated at 10:22 a.m. PDT  with VMware’s statement and again at 6:45 p.m. PDT with information about Vadim Spivak’s departure.