Strategic Advisor

Racing to a Future That’s Still Emerging – The CTO View of Financial Services with Greg Lavender

Since we started our podcast, we have tried to stay away from the deep technical conversations; this is not a tech podcast about speeds, feeds, and product features. Instead, we focus on the questions we didn’t even know were questions when we worked in financial services. We have connected you with our colleagues and peers from across VMware to bring some new perspectives, some actionable insights, and hopefully a smile or two along the way.

Believe it or not, we spend time away from the microphones to plan out whom we would have wanted to hear from and what would be particularly relevant in our prior lives. We always try to anchor ourselves to Don’t Break the Bank, Run IT and Change IT. Our podcast name was heavily influenced by colleagues and customers, who confirmed this mantra was core to their roles and thinking “how to change, or even transform, without breaking anything”. After all, we know that when a break happens, and they do happen, the questions (and accusations) start… What did you touch? What did you change? If wasn’t broken, why did you touch it?

This time, we tried something different. We connected with Greg Lavender, VMware Chief Technology Officer. Greg has an incredible background in research, development and delivery and is our steward for Innovation. Before coming to VMware, Greg was Managing Director and CTO for Cloud Architecture and Technology Engineering at Citigroup. In that role, he led the global transformation of Citi IT to adopt modern mobile technology, cloud IaaS & PaaS, big data & advanced analytics, high-performance computing and agile software development models. In short, he helped change the bank, while also keeping it running and jokingly shares his analogy of changing the engines of the plane while it’s in the air, and the investment bankers are upfront enjoying first class 😊.

We found Greg’s story of his journey to be fascinating, deep in tech, but he’s been in our shoes too. So, this may be one of the most technical episodes yet, while still being super relevant to our curious minds in the financial services industry.

We invite you to listen to this episode and let us know what you think. We’re open to hearing any of your thoughts on any of the topics discussed to date or anything you’d like us looking at in future.

You can subscribe to the ‘Don’t Break the Bank’ podcast series via SpotifyGoogle Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.



Matthew O’Neill is the Industry Managing Director within the Advanced Technology Group inside VMware’s Office of the CTO (OCTO). He works with customers, account teams, R&D teams, and the industry at large to tackle the strategic business issues of COO, CIO, CTO, CISO and IT Leadership with an eye on the 0-3 year time horizon. Before joining VMware, Matthew spent 30 years in Banking and Banking IT at one of the world’s largest banks. Having ‘changed sides’, he brings fresh insight into how customers can transform and recalibrate their Run vs Change activities to improve service, agility, and innovation.