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Pat Gelsinger reorganizes Intel, creates datacenter, AI group

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has reorganized business units and moved executive leaders to focus on AI, graphics and other emerging data center technologies.

Just 100 days after he took over as Intel's CEO, Pat Gelsinger has significantly reorganized the company.

The existing Data Platform Group has been split into two new units: the Datacenter and AI unit and a Network and Edge group, which reunites the former Network Platforms Internet of Things and Connectivity groups.

Gelsinger's reorganization plan also includes the formation of two entirely new groups, including a Software and Advanced Technology group and an Accelerated Computing and Graphics group, which will focus on high-performance computing.

Greg Lavender, former VMware senior vice president and CTO, will lead the Software and Advanced Technology group as senior vice president and CTO of Intel's technical innovation and research programs.

Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Platform group, will leave the company on July 6, Intel said.

The newly constituted Datacenter and AI group is led by Intel veteran Sandra Rivera, who assumes the role of executive vice president and general manager. Leader of the Network and Edge group is Barefoot Networks co-founder Nick McKeown. Intel acquired Barefoot Networks in 2019, after which McKeown became a part-time Intel Senior Fellow.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of IntelPat Gelsinger

Analysts expected a reorganization, given the vision Gelsinger has laid out for the company over the past few months.

"I am not surprised at all," said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "Every new CEO changes their organization once they figure out what they want to accomplish. Pat Gelsinger said he wanted to elevate tech talent and wanted to get great at software again, and his actions indicate this is what he is doing."

A flatter organization will serve Intel's organizational needs better at this juncture, as it enables faster decision making and execution, Moorhead added.

Pat Gelsinger said he wanted to elevate tech talent and wanted to get great at software again, and his actions indicate this is what he is doing.
Patrick MoorheadPresident and principal analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy

"While Intel still has over 90% general purpose server processor share, it did have 98% five years ago," Moorhead said. "I think that was a hard optic to shake off."

Though the reorganization was expected, the departure of Shenoy was not.

"Some may feel Shenoy's departure is a surprise," said Dan Newman, principal analyst of Futurum Research and CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. "But given the timing of Pat's time in the chair, this is a likely moment for significant shifts and new appointments, which is exactly what happened yesterday."

Intel's GPU strategy

The newly formed Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics group aims to help Intel compete against the likes of Nvidia. Raja Koduri, an experienced executive in GPU technology, will lead that group, responsible for delivering HPC and graphics that can be integrated and across the enterprise and data center. Previously, Koduri was general manager of Intel's Architecture, Graphics and Software group.

Intel is at a critical juncture as it faces mounting competition from not just Nvidia but also a surging AMD and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSCM), all of whom have delivered chips with technical capabilities that surpass those of Intel's currently available chips. Intel's delays in delivering its 7-nanometer chip is largely responsible for putting the company behind by up to two years, according to some analysts.

Gelsinger plans to spend $20 billion on two new chip plants in Arizona and another $3.5 billion to expand its existing New Mexico manufacturing facility. The former VMware executive is also lobbying a number of European governments to help raise $9.7 billion via public subsidies in hopes of competing more effectively against TSCM. Intel also recently signed a deal with IBM to design and develop packaging technologies for the next generation of chips.

As Editor At Large with TechTarget's News Group, Ed Scannell is responsible for writing and reporting breaking news, news analysis and features focused on technology issues and trends affecting corporate IT professionals. He has also worked for 26 years at Infoworld and Computerworld covering enterprise class products and technologies from larger IT companies including IBM and Microsoft, as well as serving as Editor of Redmond for three years overseeing that magazine's editorial content.

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