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Intel 80386 queen Renée James quits as chipmaker's president

Will assume role of CEO of another company in January

By Neil McAllister in San Francisco

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Intel president Renée James is leaving the silicon giant to become chief exec of another firm as part of a set of leadership changes announced by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on Thursday.

"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," James wrote in a memo to Intel's staff. "Now is the right time for me to take that next step."

James joined Intel in 1987 as product manager of the chipmaker's 80386 motherboards and systems. Since then she has held various roles at the company, including vice president of sales and marketing and head of Intel's software division.

She was promoted to president of Intel in May 2013, upon the retirement of the company's previous CEO, Paul Otellini.

She did not say which company she plans to lead once she parts ways with Chipzilla, but she is currently a non-executive director of Vodafone group and in the past she served a six-year stint on the board of VMware.

Following her departure in January 2016, the Technology and Manufacturing group and human resources will both report directly to Krzanich.

James' departure isn't the only management change underway at Intel. Also on Thursday, the chipmaker announced that Arvind Sodhani, the president of Intel Capital, will retire after 35 years with the company. Wendell Brooks, who heads mergers and acquisitions for Intel, will take over as president of the division.

Also leaving after a "transition period" are Hermann Eul and Mike Bell, who both previously led Intel's mobile communications group, the troubled division that made chips for smartphones. No replacements for their roles were announced, but Aicha Evans, general manager of Intel's Communications and Devices group, has been elevated to the company's Management Committee.

As of July 1, Intel Security – the division formerly known as McAfee before Intel bought it in 2010 – has been fully integrated into Chipzilla's operations under the leadership of general manager Chris Young.

Finally, Josh Walden, the general manager of Intel's New Technology Group, has been put in charge of all R&D teams working on new product categories such as perceptual computing and wearables.

"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 said in a statement. ®

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