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Intel data center boss Navin Shenoy exits as CEO takes sledgehammer to group

Now that Pat's got his feet under the table, time to shuffle the chairs

Navin Shenoy, who leads Intel's data center chip business, will leave the semiconductor titan on July 6 amid a significant corporate restructuring, it was announced today.

The executive has been at Chipzilla for 26 years. He was installed as leader of Intel's Xeon server processors and related hardware following the departure of his predecessor Diane Bryant in 2017, and previously ran the PC side of the biz.

Shenoy will stick around just long enough to, as Intel put it, "assist" CEO Pat Gelsinger in reorganizing the data center group. The chief exec, who rejoined Intel from VMware in February, has cracked Intel’s Data Platform Group into two parts: one focusing on data center and AI; the other on networking and network edge.

“Since rejoining Intel, I have been impressed with the depth of talent and incredible innovation throughout the company, but we must move faster to fulfill our ambitions,” said Gelsinger rather bluntly in explaining the changes.

The data center and AI unit, which includes Intel's Xeon and FPGA parts, will be run by Sandra Rivera, who has been Chipzilla's chief people officer and has run its network platform group. The network and network edge unit will be overseen by full-time hire Nick McKeown, who cofounded Barefoot Networks that was acquired by Intel in 2019.

Also, ex-VMware CTO Greg Lavender has been hired to run a new software-focused unit called the Software and Advanced Technology Group, and Raja Koduri, one of Intel's GPU gurus, will lead a new supercomputing-and-graphics unit called, funnily enough, the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group.

This restructuring comes as AMD and Arm turn up the heat on Intel's lucrative data center cash cow.

Rivera, McKeown, Lavender, and Koduri will report direct to Gelsinger. Shenoy was once rumored to be in the running for the CEO chair, a position that ultimately was taken by Bob Swan and then Gelsinger. ®

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