Intel’s new chief executive is radically reshaping the company’s management structure in a shake-up designed to help the world’s biggest chipmaker expand faster in new markets beyond the smartphone and the tablet.
Brian Krzanich, who took the helm at the Silicon Valley company’s annual meeting last week, has taken direct charge of Intel Architecture Group, whose engineers design processors for personal computers, servers and mobile devices.
Mr Krzanich told shareholders last week that Intel had been too slow in moving into mobile, where companies such as Qualcomm have captured much of the market with chips based on designs of the UK’s Arm.
In a memo to employees announcing the changes, he said: “I am committed to being bolder, moving faster and accepting that this means changes will be made knowing that we will listen, learn and then make adjustments in order to keep pace with a rapidly changing industry.”
Mr Krzanich has also formed a New Devices group, headed by Mike Bell, a former Palm and Apple executive, who has led Intel’s push into smartphones.
Chuck Mulloy, Intel spokesman, said the new group would not necessarily be focused on handsets and tablets. “If we are focused on the mobile market today, we are going to be behind. [The group] will find new business models around new devices,” he said.
He said making Intel Architecture Group report directly to the chief executive was part of streamlining decision-making so the company could move faster.
Mr Krzanich has also moved some of his responsibilities to Renee James, Intel president – a position that his predecessor Paul Otellini had combined with the CEO role.
Ms James will now be in overall charge of the Technology Manufacturing Group, software, security, human resources and planning.
Intel Media, a separate unit aiming to launch a set-top box later this year as part of a new national TV service in the US, will continue to report directly to the CEO. It will not form part of the New Devices group.
Mr Krzanich, 52, is only the sixth chief executive of the 45-year-old company. He secured the role after the board gave serious consideration to outside candidates for the first time.
In the end, the board appeared to play it safe by choosing a 30-year company veteran who had led the manufacturing group and was a former factory manager.
But insiders say Mr Krzanich is known for moving quickly and decisively. His ability to make Intel more agile and responsive to a rapidly moving industry, where its core PC business is in decline, would have been seen as a major advantage in his candidacy.
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