The past few years have been a tough time for Intel, and following last week’s news that Intel’s 7nm parts were delayed (again), the company is announcing a shakeup to the executive team this week. The biggest news is that Intel’s chief engineering officer Murthy Renduchintala is leaving the company.
Renducintala joined Intel in 2016 when the company lured him up to $ 25 million from Qualcomm with a $ 8.1 million signing bonus and a total compensation package. He has just been Intel’s chief engineer officer for more than three years and was described as the “second most powerful executive in the company” behind then CEO Brian Krzanich.
Renducintala ran a comprehensive “Technology, System Architecture and Customer Group (TSCG)” group. At Intel Lingo, “Technology”, along with Capital T, includes a specifically chip-manufacturing division that has struggled a lot. The group came under the supervision of Renduchintala in 2018, and since 2018, 7nm has been consistently described as a “track”.
With Renducintala gone, TSCG will be divided into five parts and given to other Intel executives. Intel hopes the change will “accelerate product leadership and improve focus and accountability in process technology execution.” The technology development group will now be under 24-year-old Intel veteran Ann Kellehar. Intel’s press release stated that Kelher’s goals included “speeding up the ramp of Intel’s 10nm process” and that he “will lead Intel technology development with a focus on 7nm and 5nm processes.” Keller made his debut as a process engineer at Intel Ireland in 1996 and worked on the fab-management ladder.
The last few years have been terrible for Intel. Back in 2013, the company’s original roadmap was to spend 2014-2015 on a 14nm node and then move to 10nm in 2016-2017, but due to an endless string of problems and failures with 10nm, the company spent five years on the 14nm node . A volatile transition to 10nm only began in 2019, and the company still does not have 10nm desktop or server parts. Intel is back in a second golden age with Zen architecture and headline-grabbing thripper core counts, with Intel spinning its wheels. AMD is even beginning to attract attention from laptop OEMs.
Intel completely missed the smartphone revolution, too, unable to come up with an answer to the rise of the ultra-low-power ARM Casey. After its smartphone revolt, ARM chips quickly spread to tablets and laptops and moved to Intel’s territory. Apple’s latest black eye is being completely dumped, after the creation of its own ARM design house for the iPhone and iPad, announcing plans to land its ARM chips on Mac laptops and desktops .
Murthy Renduchintala will leave Intel on 3 August 2020.