Coming in the wake of last week’s disclosure that their 7nm yields are roughly a full year behind schedule, Intel this afternoon has announced that they are reorganizing the technology side of the company. Key to this change is that Intel is breaking up its monolithic Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group (TSCG) into several smaller groups, all of which will report directly to CEO Bob Swan. Meanwhile Intel’s chief engineering officer, Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, who had been leading the TSCG, will be departing the company at the end of next week. The reorganization is effective immediately.

As a result of this reorganization, TSCG is being broken up into five groups focusing on manufacturing and architecture. These are:

  • Technology Development: Focused on developing next-generation process nodes. Led by Dr. Ann Kelleher.
  • Manufacturing and Operations: Focused on ramping current process nodes and building out new fab capacity. Led by Keyvan Esfarjani.
  • Design Engineering: A recently-created group responsible for Intel’s technology manufacturing and platform engineering. Led on an interim basis by Josh Walden while Intel searches for a permanent leader.
  • Architecture, Software and Graphics: Developing Intel’s architectures and associated software stacks. Led by Raja Koduri (continuing).
  • Supply Chain: Handling Intel’s supply chain and relationships with important suppliers. Led by Dr. Randhir Thakur (continuing).

It should be noted that while Intel’s brief announcement does not mention last week’s disclosure, the timing and resulting personnel changes are unmistakably related to the 7nm delay. Today’s reorganization is the second shuffle for Intel in as many months, as the company reorganized a number of product groups after Jim Keller departed for (honest to goodness) personal reasons.

Meanwhile, TSCG’s former president, Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, will be departing the company on August 3rd. Renduchintala joined Intel in 2015, and for most of the past half-decade has been responsible for overseeing all of TSCG’s efforts, and especially involved in the development of the company’s next-generation process nodes. Intel’s reorganization announcement makes no specific mention of Renduchintala beyond his date of departure, however it is difficult to imagine that this is anything other than Intel pushing out Renduchintala in light of their process woes. More than anything else, Renduchintala was the face of Intel’s monolithic, vertically-integrated design and manufacturing strategy; a strategy that is no more as Intel seriously investigates building parts of leading-edge processes at competing fabs.

Going forward, the task of developing Intel’s 7nm and 5nm process nodes will be led by Dr. Ann Kelleher. Kelleher gets the incredibly important (but less-than-enviable) challenge of getting Intel’s fab development process back on track, as Intel seeks to regain its crown as the world’s leading chip fab. Kelleher was previously the head of Intel’s manufacturing group, overseeing the recent ramp-up of Intel’s 10nm process. Meanwhile Dr. Mike Mayberry, a central figure in Intel’s labs who was already set to retire this year, will be staying on until then to assist in the transition.

Overall, while Intel’s reorganization is unlikely to dramatically change the company’s day-to-day operations, it’s very much the start of a new era for the company. As Intel’s ongoing manufacturing woes have driven them to look towards outside fabs for more products, the company’s traditional vertically-integrated structure is less than ideally suited for the task – and as much as Intel manufacturing would like to keep Intel-designed products within the company, Intel’s chip and architecture groups need to be able to freely look elsewhere. And this reorganization is going to be an important step in enabling that.

Source: Intel

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  • jhh - Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - link

    There is some value to McKinsey, particularly when upper management is only listening to middle management who isn't telling the truth, because they get replaced if they tell the truth. Much of what they do is talk to people to understand the real issues, then present it to upper management as Analysis.
  • mattbg - Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - link

    Agree with you that there is the potential for value, but not when they send in 20-somethings who have maybe 3 years or real-world corporate experience under their belt and charge you as if they're sending in a crack team of business oracles.
  • drexnx - Monday, July 27, 2020 - link

    at some point the leader of the group that has caused nothing but problems for the company has to be held responsible for their division's failings.
  • SunLord - Monday, July 27, 2020 - link

    "Kelleher was previously the head of Intel’s manufacturing group, overseeing the recent ramp-up of Intel’s 10nm process."

    Some how I don't see anything improving
  • lmcd - Monday, July 27, 2020 - link

    If she was underneath the guy who probably was at fault for packing so much into 10nm, she probably didn't get to call the shots.
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - link

    There's this bit too though: "Renduchintala joined Intel in 2015, and for most of the past half-decade has been responsible for overseeing all of TSCG’s efforts"

    It's interesting that 2015 was also when Skylake landed and then stagnated. Dr. Renduchintala might just be a scapegoat, but as head of the department he must have some responsibility too.
  • Spunjji - Friday, July 31, 2020 - link

    The map for 10nm would have already been laid out by then - so he'd have only been in charge of overseeing the implementation of those plans.

    Of course, he'd have been in charge of 7nm all the way, and that appears to be stuffed too...
  • rahvin - Monday, July 27, 2020 - link

    The guy should have been fired two years ago when 10nm was already half a decade late. When you fail that persistently, even if it's not his fault, he needs to be cut lose so they can start fresh. I'd imagine morale on the Fab side of the business has been shit for many years now and replacing the people at top is the only way to fix the morale.
  • Marlin1975 - Monday, July 27, 2020 - link

    Probably a sunk cost fallacy.
    "They have been at it so long they know it better than anyone, can't admit I was wrong so better to let them stay and keep doing the same thing."
  • Gigaplex - Monday, July 27, 2020 - link

    "Event if it's not his fault"

    If it's not his fault, firing him won't fix the problem.

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