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.
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.
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.
He sponsors third-world development projects and is the chairman of the board of the Grameen Foundation.
- "Microsoft's Star Witness: Paul Maritz". New York Times. 25 January 1999. http://partners.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/01/biztech/articles/25soft.html.
- "Microsoft Loses Another Key Executive". CNET. 14 September 2000. http://news.com.com/Microsoft+loses+another+key+executive/2100-1001_3-245711.html.
- "Grameen Foundation USA Advisory Councils". http://www.grameenfoundation.org/who_we_are/our_people/board_members/paul_maritz/. Retrieved 19 May 2007.
- "Pi Corporation". http://www.picorp.com/. Retrieved 24 April 2006.
- "Forbes article on Pi Corporation". http://www.forbes.com/technology/2006/06/23/linux_vista_open_cz_dl_0623linux.html?partner=rss. Retrieved 24 June 2006.
- "EMC Acquisition of Pi Corporation Press Release". http://www.emc.com/about/news/press/2008/20080221-01.htm. Retrieved 21 February 2008.