Virtual machine placement is the concept of hosting the virtual machines to appropriate physical servers so as to meet user computation requirements. An optimal placement is one of the key concerns in green cloud computing. Virtual machine placement in distributed cloud environment also imposes propagation time as a key for effective hosting of VM along with CPU and memory resource constraints. In this paper, MOEA/D a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm is used to find a non-dominated solution w.r.t. minimal wastage, minimal power consumption and less propagation delay. The proposed algorithm has been implemented, tested and compared with the existing multi-objective approaches. The statistical analysis of the simulation results proves that MOEA/D outperforms against the existing algorithms in distributed cloud VM placement. © 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.