NEW YORK – Intel President Renée James is among several top executives who announced plans to resign from the chip giant. Three other executives from various divisions will also leave the company.
During her past two years as president, James has been second in-command to CEO Brian Krzanich. She became responsible for manufacturing, software, security tech, and corporate strategy/planning following a 2013 reorganization.
“I have made the very difficult decision to step down as President of Intel in order to pursue an external CEO role,” James wrote in a company memo. “When Brian and I were appointed to our current roles, I knew then that being the leader of a company was something that I desired as part of my own leadership journey. Now is the right time for me to take that next step.”
James’ announcement will result in reorganization, with Intel’s technology and manufacturing group and human resources reporting directly to Krzanich. The global policy team currently led by Peter Cleveland will transition to the law and policy group under Steve Rodgers, among other redirected reports.
James is also part of the company’s executive board and she will stay on until January. She was ranked 21st on Fortune’s most powerful women in business list in 2014.
Among James' accomplishments in the global market include Intel's $1.5 billion investment, announced last fall, in China's Spreadtrum Communications (which was merged with RDA Microelectronics). Intel's move, considered by some as a stroke of genius, was designed to help China build an indigenous mobile force -- via Spreadtrum/RDA -- so that Chinese OEMs and white box vendors will have an alternative to Qualcomm. James is believed to have played a critical role in opening the door when she first met with Spreadtrum CEO Leo Li at the Mobile World Congress in 2014.
Among the other executives also leaving Intel is Arvind Sodhani, the head of Intel Capital, the company’s venture capital arm. Sodhani will retire after 35 years with the company.
As a result of Sodhani’s retirement, Krzanich said he will merge the mergers and acquisitions and strategic transactions with the Intel Capital organization under one leader, “to allow clear focus across all investment opportunities for Intel and our ecosystem.” Mergers and Acquisitions Chief Wendell Brooks will lead this merged group.
"We are aligning our leadership structure to continue to become more efficient in order to deliver the benefits of our strategy even faster than before," Krzanich added in a release.
Hermann Eul, who ran mobile processor operations until Intel merged its PC and mobile units will also leave the company when his contract expires in 2016. Mike Bell, who was previously in charge of a devices unit responsible for wearables, will retire. Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, found the Eul and Bell departures interesting.
“Both of these executives were involved in mobility…. Bell had of course, moved into devices,” Moorhead told EE Times. “The mobile group has had minimal financial success so far, but does have a good roadmap. So it’s tough to say their departures were related to the degree of mobility success with Evans getting promoted.”
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