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Intel stirs up management team

Shaken – just a bit – to beef up ARM, RISC defense

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Management changes at Intel make it more clear who might end up running the company – after the current execs decide to retire many years hence – and who is going to be leading the fight against ARM processors at the bottom of the Intel line and RISC processors at the top.

Back in July, Intel announced that vice chairman Andy Bryant, who has been at Intel since 1981, who was formerly its CFO, and who was recently an executive vice president in charge of its technology, manufacturing, and services operations, would be vice-chairman of the Intel board and would then take over as executive chairman this coming May.

That change, and the desire of all major corporations to cross-train their executives in different geographies and business units, has compelled Intel to rearrange the executive office chairs, have different people take over parts of Bryant's extensive responsibilities, and give top execs new business units to play with.

Brian Krzanich, who was previously senior vice president in charge of Intel's worldwide manufacturing under Bryant, has been named Intel's chief operating officer and now reports directly to Intel president and CEO, Paul Otellini. In this job, Krzanich will continue to babysit Intel's wafer-baking operations and adds to those chores the internal IT operations and human resources jobs that Bryant was doing.

Dadi Perlmutter, who joined Intel in 1980 after getting his degree in electrical engineering from Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and who has risen up through the processor ranks to be executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, is now the company's chief product officer. The Architecture Group is most of Intel, including PC and server chips, chipsets, motherboards, and complete systems.

Perlmutter retains control of the Architecture Group and continues to report to Otellini. He is arguably the biggest chiphead that Intel has left, having lead the teams that created the i387 math coprocessor for the 80386 processor as well as the i860 RISC processor early in his career. He went on to manage the introduction of the Pentium Pro and Pentium II processors for PCs, workstations, and servers and, more importantly, created the Core architecture for laptop PCs that in the second half of the last decade saved Intel's cookies from the onslaught of AMD's Opteron CPUs. Perlmutter also drove the creation of the Atom processors that just might – and we mean might – save Intel from the onslaught of the ARM RISC chip collective.

Kirk Skaugen, who has been general manager of its Data Center and Connected Systems Group (which Intel is still calling the Data Center Group), is taking over Intel's PC chip operations. Skaugen started out in Intel in 1992 and ran its Asia/Pacific group for a while before taking over enterprise platforms and then eventually all of the Data Center Group, including its expanded mandate for getting Xeon and server-class Atom chips into storage and switching gear as well as in servers. Now, Skaugen has a whole new gig, jumping across the chip divide to become the new head of the PC Client Group within the Architecture Group; he reports to Perlmutter.

Skaugen replaces Mooly Eden, who joined Intel in 1982 and had a big hand in the development of the Pentium MMX, Centrino, and Pentium M processors for mobile computers. Intel said in a statement that Eden has lived in the United States for nine years and wants to move back to Israel to run its design and fab operations there, as he has in years past.

It is hard to see Eden's move to become president and general manager of Intel Israel as anything but a bit of a demotion – but for all we know, it may be a self-imposed one. Then again, Intel might be looking for someone else to lead the charge against the army of ARM chip suppliers intent on maintaining their hegemony in smartphones and tablets, and extending it to PCs and servers in the coming years.

Diane Bryant, who is currently Intel's own CIO, has been named the new general manager of the Data Center and Connected Systems Group, and reports to Perlmutter. Bryant has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of California at Davis and an executive MBA from Stanford University. She joined Intel in 1985, rose up to become director of engineering for the Xeon and Itanium servers, and then was named general manager of the Server Platforms Group as Skaugen rose to take over the unit she now runs.

Kim Stevenson, currently VP of IT global operations, is now Intel's CIO and reports to Krzanich. Stevenson spent 18 years at IBM in various capacities in its AS/400 midrange business before moving to EDS and managing its data centers for seven years. She joined Intel in September 2009.

Bill Holt, who co-managed the Technology and Manufacturing Group with Krzanich, has been named senior vice president and head of Technology Development, and now reports directly to Otellini, as does Stacy Smith, Intel's CFO. Both Holt and Smith used to report to Bryant.

Just a reminder that Intel already shook up its Ultra Mobility Group last March when Anand Chandrasekher, its former general manager, left the company. Mike Bell and Dave Whalen, both vice presidents in the Architecture Group, currently co-manage the Ultra Mobility Group, and now Skaugen is now their new boss. ®

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