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Intel Leadership, Tech Team Changes Not Delayed Like 7nm, Murthy Renduchintala Leaves

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel announced today that it is changing its technology organization and executive team, including the exit of a key executive, to "improve focus and accountability in process technology execution." Intel's move comes after the company suffered a severe 16% loss to its stock valuation, or roughly $43 billion in market cap, as a result of its recent announcement that its 7nm process would be delayed

As such, today the company separated its Technology, Systems Architecture, and Client Group (TCSG) into five separate groups, effective immediately, and announced that Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, who was brought in to help correct the issues with the 10nm process and forge a new path forward, will leave the company on August 3, 2020.

During its initial announcement that the 7nm process would be delayed, Intel also said it might have to resort to using third-party fabs to produce its chips. That was a glaring sign that the company had encountered severe problems in its design and manufacturing processes, and also suggested that the company could have structural issues that led to mismanagement of the design process.

Now Intel is taking severe action. First, the company announced that Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, the chief engineering officer and group president of TCSG, will leave the company on August 3, 2020. Intel's report doesn't specify if Murthy was fired or left of his own accord, but given the current climate, it appears that he was held responsible for the continued lack of execution on the company's process technology.

Murty was brought in by ex-Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in 2015 (for a reportedly hefty sum) to lead Intel's CISA group, but Murty eventually assumed control of several different groups that were all merged into the TCSG. Murthy's new remit included the Technology and Manufacturing Group, Intel Labs, Systems Architecture, and the Client and Connectivity businesses that all operated under the TCSG banner.  

Intel is now dismantling that structure and breaking it into five different groups, all of which will report directly to Intel CEO Bob Swan. Murthy was also responsible for recruiting rock star chip architects Jim Keller and Raja Koduri to help formulate a new six-pillar strategy for the company in the wake of its 10nm delays. Keller recently exited the company, but it's noteworthy that Raja Koduri soldiers on as the head of the Architecture, Software and Graphics group.

Here are the (slightly edited) changes to Intel's leadership structure:

  • Technology Development, led by Dr. Ann Kelleher. She will now lead Intel technology development focusing on 7nm and 5nm processes. Dr. Mike Mayberry, who has been leading Technology Development, will consult and assist in the transition until his planned retirement at the end of the year. 
  • Manufacturing and Operations, led by Keyvan Esfarjani. Esfarjani will now lead global manufacturing operations and continue Kelleher’s work driving product ramp and the build-out of new fab capacity.
  • Design Engineering, led in the interim by Josh Walden while Intel conducts an accelerated global search to identify a permanent world-class leader. 
  • Architecture, Software and Graphics will continue to be led by Raja Koduri. Koduri has responsibility for driving the development of Intel’s architecture and software strategy, and dedicated graphics product portfolio. Under his leadership, we will continue to invest in our software capability as a strategic asset and further build-out software engineering with cloud, platform, solutions and services expertise.
  • Supply Chain will continue to be led by Dr. Randhir Thakur. Thakur will report directly to the CEO as chief supply chain officer.

Intel CEO Bob Swan weighed in with his perspective. “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,” said Swan. “I also want to thank Murthy for his leadership in helping Intel transform our technology platform. 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.”

Today's restructuring is obviously designed to put the company back on a solid track, but we're sure that many more changes are in store as the company looks to assuage investors. Swan announced last week that the company would share more news about its plan forward, and how it plans to correct its missteps with the 7nm process, during an upcoming Architecture Day. It's likely that we will have to wait until then to learn more details. 

  • Kamen Rider Blade
    Dr. Murthy lost in his "Game of Thrones" bid to become future CEO of Intel and will be exiting the game.

    Bob Swan saw through the politics.
    Reply
  • ingtar33
    Bob Swan just trying to secure his position. Word is the board of directors was looking to raise an engineer to CEO position and ditch the marketing yahoo Swan, expect Swan to force Raja to leave next.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    ingtar33 said:
    Bob Swan just trying to secure his position.

    Uhh...no duh? As opposed to him doing nothing and just sitting around and hoping everything magically fixes itself, or intentionally sabotaging the company to guarantee its failure?
    Reply
  • MasterMadBones
    It's bit of both, I think. Murthy was trying to eliminate potential CEO candidates and sabotaging their work. Swan has stakes in Murthy's departure, but I think all in all this is better for the company's health. Swan may not be the right man for the job necessarily, but Murthy was destroying the company from within.
    Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade
    MasterMadBones said:
    It's bit of both, I think. Murthy was trying to eliminate potential CEO candidates and sabotaging their work. Swan has stakes in Murthy's departure, but I think all in all this is better for the company's health. Swan may not be the right man for the job necessarily, but Murthy was destroying the company from within.
    Murthy saw Jim Keller as a threat, ergo his machinations eventually worked and that's what got Jim Keller to leave IMO.

    Bob Swan saw the writing on the wall and noticed Dr. Murthy's machinations.

    So he secured his throne for a bit by laying the blame on Dr. Murthy and ousting him.

    Raja Koduri is too new to be a credible threat in the short term.

    If the Board sees Raja Koduri succeeding to some degree with Xe, even if it isn't faster than what AMD has, but is close enough, then I can see Raja eventually being groomed by the Board to become future Intel CEO.

    With enough iterative improvements from a Xe GPU that's behind AMD's equivalent in the market place, it can catch up over the long term is probably Raja's long term strategy.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    spongiemaster said:
    Uhh...no duh? As opposed to him doing nothing and just sitting around and hoping everything magically fixes itself, or intentionally sabotaging the company to guarantee its failure?
    I think the comment was about the motives driving the changes. The two extremes would seem to be:
    This is 100% about pushing out Murthy, a potential challenger (or, at least someone he thinks is undermining him).
    This is 100% about optimizing the organization and fixing structural problems.Even if #1 is a significant factor, there's certainly at least a bit of #2 going on.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    MasterMadBones said:
    Murthy was trying to eliminate potential CEO candidates and sabotaging their work. Swan has stakes in Murthy's departure,
    What's weird about this is that Swan would seem to benefit from potential rivals being undermined. But, I guess it's ultimately untenable, if the net effect is the company eventually underperforming its goals. That's definitely detrimental to Swan.
    Reply
  • Chung Leong
    bit_user said:
    I think the comment was about the motives driving the changes. The two extremes would seem to be:
    This is 100% about pushing out Murthy, a potential challenger (or, at least someone he thinks is undermining him).
    This is 100% about optimizing the organization and fixing structural problems.Even if #1 is a significant factor, there's certainly at least a bit of #2 going on.

    Hard to see how Murthy could be candidate for the top job after the 7nm debacle. Exposing your colleagues potentially to insider trading accusation does not make you popular in the boardroom.
    Reply
  • Fido McCokefiend
    ingtar33 said:
    Bob Swan just trying to secure his position. Word is the board of directors was looking to raise an engineer to CEO position and ditch the marketing yahoo Swan, expect Swan to force Raja to leave next.
    Swan is not a marketing person. At all. He's a finance guy through and through and that's what he's always been.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Chung Leong said:
    Hard to see how Murthy could be candidate for the top job after the 7nm debacle.
    Exactly. That's why he would be "safe" for Swan to keep around. Although, if Murthy already sabotaged the next round of would-be kings, then maybe he's served his purpose and now is a convenient time for Swan to dump him.

    I don't claim to know any more about these machinations than what I'm reading here. I honestly like that I have a job with minimal politics. That's one of the main reasons I want to stay out of a management role.
    Reply