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Intel Bulks Up Engineering Leadership With Returning Technologist Sunil Shenoy

Sunil Shenoy
(Image credit: Intel )

In yet another sign that Intel's efforts to rebuild its engineering corps might be swift under the new incoming CEO, Intel announced today that Sunil Shenoy, a 33-year Intel veteran who left the company in 2014, will be returning to the company as the senior vice president and general manager of the Design Engineering Group.

News that Pat Gelsinger, Intel's incoming CEO, would return to the company has sparked optimism among the rank and file as the company seeks to return to its deep technological roots with an engineer at the helm. 

Word of Gelsinger's return has already inspired Glenn Hinton, an Intel Senior Fellow, to return to the company. That was apparently just the beginning, and Gelsinger recently remarked that "you'll be seeing other announcements of key leaders coming back in,” which has come to quick fruition with the announcement that Shenoy will return after a seven-year hiatus. 

Gelsinger is also attracting other talent, too: Guido Appenzeller, who hails from VMware, also announced via Twitter and Linkedin that he is joining Intel as the CTO of the Data Platforms Group. Appenzeller previously worked under Gelsinger at VMware.

Sunil Shenoy returns to Intel from his position at SiFive, where he was the senior vice president and general manager of its RISC-V program. Sunil previously served at Intel as the corporate vice president in charge of Intel's Platform Engineering Group, where his remit included microprocessor and SoC design across Intel's product groups. He also led the Visual and Parallel Computing Group and server and PC silicon development R&D and engineering, among other responsibilities.

Shenoy lists 'setting in place a culture and system for reliable product execution in synch with process technology (the Tick-Tock cadence model)' among his accomplishments. 

Shenoy's new responsibilities will overlap somewhat with those of the now-departed Jim Keller, but he technically replaces Josh Walden, who had led the group on an interim basis since July (shortly after Keller's departure). Walden will return to his full-time leadership position over Intel’s Product Assurance and Security (IPAS) and Security Architecture and Engineering (SAE) organizations.

Gelsinger has struck a confident tone said the company remains committed to re-establishing its lead in process node technology, saying he's "not interested in closing the gaps...but being the unquestioned leader in process technology." Bringing back experienced leaders like Shenoy is a solid step in that direction. 

“Sunil is a proven engineering leader who has deep experience in microprocessor and SoC design and R&D,” said current Intel CEO Bob Swan. “His experience inside and outside of Intel will enable him to combine the best of Intel culture with an entrepreneurial spirit and fresh perspective as we work to strengthen the company’s technical leadership team and to coach and develop a new generation of technical talent.”

Shenoy holds a master's degree in computer engineering from Syracuse University and an MBA from the University of Oregon. He also holds 16 patents in computer and microprocessor technology.  

Shenoy returns on February 1, 2021. He will report to departing Intel CEO Bob Swan for now, and then report directly to Gelsinger when he takes over on February 15, 2021. 

Paul Alcorn

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.

  • digitalgriffin
    This is a good sign. I wish Intel luck.

    I've personally seen a couple companies I worked for go down in flames because bean counting managers don't know how to inspire, or the effect of "Thrash" (Thrash: Swapping in and out of technical positions causing a loss of any progress as gears are switched). They just cut cost at the expense of moral. This, in the long term, is more damaging as skilled talent leaves. I would still love to know what drove Jim Keller out.
    Reply
  • kiniku
    I can remember in around 2003, AMD's Athlon desktop processors were superior to Intel's Pentium 4 "Netburst" processors. Then Intel, under Sunil Shenoy's team designed the "Core" processors and Intel took a substantial lead that lasted for decades until Zen. Intel will do it again, for sure. It will be interesting what Intel comes up with and if it's powerful like Core was the consumer will win.
    Reply
  • User2077
    digitalgriffin said:
    This is a good sign. I wish Intel luck.

    I've personally seen a couple companies I worked for go down in flames because bean counting managers don't know how to inspire, or the effect of "Thrash" (Thrash: Swapping in and out of technical positions causing a loss of any progress as gears are switched). They just cut cost at the expense of moral. This, in the long term, is more damaging as skilled talent leaves. I would still love to know what drove Jim Keller out.

    I totally agree about bean-counters are usually short-sighted jerks. Linus recently said on a podcast Keller left because of all the talk within Intel about out-sourcing more production.

    -_YBydPNp70:1052View: https://youtu.be/-_YBydPNp70?t=1052
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    kiniku said:
    I can remember in around 2003, AMD's Athlon desktop processors were superior to Intel's Pentium 4 "Netburst" processors. Then Intel, under Sunil Shenoy's team designed the "Core" processors and Intel took a substantial lead that lasted for decades until Zen. Intel will do it again, for sure. It will be interesting what Intel comes up with and if it's powerful like Core was the consumer will win.

    I agree with you there. But one of the things that gave Intel such a key advantage was it's advanced process nodes. AMD was stuck with GloFo for such a long time and they couldn't get the raw speeds with GloFo's technology. . If they could have improving Phenom, they with a better node, they might have been in a better place. But once again the bean counters took over and aimed for raw speed with deep pipelines, and cheap R&D with circuits being automated designed instead of hand optimizing sections as they should have.

    It was the same with RTG. Todays landscape is a lot more competitive on the node size front. It will be difficult for Intel to truly establish the lead and maintain core count total performance. Rocket Lake demonstrates this. Alder lake could be a misfire as well unless it's mobile power consumption intel is worried about. And even that may be a bad bet. The #1 consumer of energy is GPU and Displays now. And whenever power savings advancements were made in the past, Laptop Mfg's made the battery Wh rating smaller. (cuts down on size and cost) And that battery loss negates any power saving benefit.

    Low powered cores are good for smart phones and tablets where you are constantly unplugged. My laptop is plugged in 99% of the time. I don't care about power efficiency when I'm waiting on compiles.

    I think this process node parity however is a good thing. Monopolies are never good for consumers.
    Reply
  • oceanwaves
    Excellent news ! Pat Gelsinger and his team should consider #holograms, #neuron, #augmentedreality dedicated chips , as well as everything ARM & RiSC-V that paying Customers want or need. Also #drones dedicated SoC are going to be huge since China is just building Core Industry of #FlyingCars #FlyingTaxis #FlyingHomeDeliveries , not to mention Military ultra/micro-drones in attack/jamming formation. Potential is huge. My question is how USA Federal Reserve & USTreasury will tackle #DigitalDollar custom secure apps & devices ?
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    digitalgriffin said:
    I would still love to know what drove Jim Keller out.

    That's just what Jim does. He's never held a job for more than four years. Most of the time it's only two and he's off to the next company.
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    jkflipflop98 said:
    That's just what Jim does. He's never held a job for more than four years. Most of the time it's only two and he's off to the next company.

    He was ready to leave at 1 year. That's a highly short time, even for him. And there were rumblings about disagreements with management. Over what I have no idea. I'm not sure how out sourcing would affect Jim's decision as User2077/Linus says. But Linus is mostly reliable. So if Linus says so, I believe him.
    Reply
  • FunSurfer
    If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them...
    maybe you can hire The i-Team.
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    digitalgriffin said:
    He was ready to leave at 1 year. That's a highly short time, even for him. And there were rumblings about disagreements with management. Over what I have no idea. I'm not sure how out sourcing would affect Jim's decision as User2077/Linus says. But Linus is mostly reliable. So if Linus says so, I believe him.

    Well that's not really true. Management bent over backwards to do whatever Jim wanted. He was given total control over a lot of the company.
    Reply