LeadershipCategory2 min read

VMware’s Mike Hayes Honored With 2022 White House Fellows IMPACT Award

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 07: The exterior of the White House from the North Lawn on August 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

VMware is proud to share that Mike Hayes, Chief Operating Officer was honored with the 2022 White House Fellows IMPACT Award. The award, presented to the White House Fellow (WHF) alumnus who best exemplifies a lifetime of impact and transformational contribution to society, was presented to Mike on October 21 in Washington, DC.

As a Navy SEAL, as a corporate executive, and as the author of the bestselling book Never Enough, Mike has demonstrated a relentless passion to achieve transformational change in his career and his communities. 

~ 2022 WHF IMPACT Award citation

Throughout 20 years in the US Navy SEALs, followed by leadership roles in the private sector, Mike has inspired those around him to make a positive impact in their businesses and communities. Personally, Mike has dedicated his life to paying off mortgages for America’s Gold Star families – when a military service member dies in battle, or tragically by suicide – and to bringing lessons from the broader veterans’ community to society at large. 

In his acceptance speech, Mike noted that the “military services don’t have the corner market on serving. We all serve each other with our different abilities and interests.” He reminded his peers that divergent perspectives in society are our strength, and should not be a source of division. Mike offered compromise, ownership, and humility as focus areas to help us rise above unnecessary conflict, to make a positive impact in the world. 

Mike’s passion translates to his role as a leader at VMware. As he coaches his daughter, it’s not about what we want to be, it’s who we want to be. Mike works with teams throughout the company to use diverse, or even competing, viewpoints as a competitive advantage. From re-thinking how we make decisions, to re-setting our assumptions, or executing with precision and passion, he encourages leaders to focus on the most important outcomes – our collective impact in the world around us.