Intel Announces Major Leadership Shake-Up

Intel has announced a major shake-up of its leadership across several crucial arms of its sprawling chip business.

In a statement published yesterday, the company CEO Bob Swan revealed the changes, citing a need to ‘accelerate product leadership and improve focus and accountability in process technology execution.’

Decrypting the corporate-speak, it seems the move comes in response to a testing few months for Intel. Last month, the chip giant announced a six-month delay to its 7nm roadmap, pushing their release to late 2022 at the earliest or even possibly early 2023. Intel pinpointed what it called a ‘defect mode in our 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation.’

Compounding these fabrication woes is the ever-present competition from rival AMD. Team red has consistently pushed out quality products over the past year, expertly bridging the gap between performance and value. In the 7nm arena alone, AMD is miles ahead with a bevy of chips already utilizing the process node, chiefly in its Ryzen and Radeon products. In tandem, long-standing Intel customer Apple announced that it is abandoning Intel CPUs and instead opting for its own custom-ARM-powered processors for future Mac and MacBook products.

The big news from Intel’s executive switch up sees chief engineering officer and group president of the Technology, Systems Architecture, and Client Group, Murthy Renduchintala, leave the company from August 3rd. With Renduchintala’s departure, Intel is breaking down the Technology, Systems Architecture, and Client Group into separate teams with leaders reporting directly to CEO Swan.

Swan explains:

”I look forward to working directly with these talented and experienced technology leaders, each of whom is committed to driving Intel forward during this period of critical execution. We have the most diverse portfolio of leadership products in our history and, as a result of our six pillars of innovation and disaggregation strategy, much more flexibility in how we build, package and deliver those products for our customers.”

Dr. Ann Kelleher will lead the Technology Development:

”An accomplished Intel leader, Kelleher has been head of Intel manufacturing, where she ensured continuous operations through the COVID-19 pandemic while increasing supply capacity to meet customer needs and accelerating the ramp of Intel’s 10nm process. She will now lead Intel technology development focusing on 7nm and 5nm processes.”

Manufacturing and Operations now falls to Keyvan Esfarjani:

”Esfarjani most recently led manufacturing for Intel’s Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG), in which role he set the vision and strategy for Intel’s memory manufacturing and led a rapid expansion of capacity. He will now lead global manufacturing operations and continue Kelleher’s work driving product ramp and the build-out of new fab capacity.”

Josh Walden will lead Design Engineering on an interim basis while Intel seeks out a ‘permanent world-class’ replacement:

”Walden is a proven leader in technology manufacturing and platform engineering. Most recently, he has been leading the Intel Product Assurance and Security Group (IPAS), which will continue to report to him.”

Raja Koduri will remain in charge of Architecture, Software, and Graphics, and Dr. Randhir Thakur will continue to lead the Supply Chain department.