Intel said that longtime executive Diane Bryant will be stepping down from her role as head of the data center group.
Bryant, who has been with Chipzilla for more than 30 years, will be taking a leave of six to eight months to deal with unspecified family matters. She will turn permanent control of the DCG over to Navin Shenoy.
"DCG is a central part of our transformation and corporate strategy to make Intel the driving force of the data revolution," CEO Brian Krzanich said.
"Over the past five years, Diane has transformed DCG from a server-centric group to a business that spans servers, network and storage across all end-user segments, and with product lines and business models that extend beyond the traditional."
Bryant assumed the role atop the DCG in 2012 after working as Chipzilla's CIO and corporate vice president. She has been an Intel lifer, joining the company fresh out of university in 1985.
With PC sales on the decline, the DCG has been an increasingly important part of Intel's long-term strategy. The group accounted for $4.2bn in revenues last quarter, and Intel says that the DCG delivers roughly half of its operating margin.
On the one hand, Intel enjoys a virtual 100 per cent monopoly in the data center compute world, which is a comfortable place to be. On the other hand, Chipzilla must continue to innovate so that it, for example, sees off Nvidia's challenges in the AI and high-performance computing spaces.
With that in mind, Shenoy – formerly general manager of the client computing group – will face a tall task in heading up the DCG. Intel says he will have one month to work with Bryant before she hands over the reins and begins her leave of absence.
"The fact that he and Bryant will work together for a month should help minimize any hiccups in the process, an important point since DCG is expected to introduce new products later in 2017," Pund-IT Inc principal analyst Charles King told The Register.
"It would be a mistake to assume that absolutely nothing will go wrong during this process, especially when it involves an executive who has made the sorts of contributions that Diane Bryant has to Intel. But given the experience and talent of the company's larger executive team, I expect any potential problems will be minimal or easily solvable." ®