The head of Intel’s Ultra Mobility Group abruptly quit on Monday, dealing another blow to the chipmaker’s attempts to penetrate the cellphone market.

Anand Chandrasekher, (pictured) a 24-year veteran who was leading that assault as senior vice president and general manager, announced he was leaving Intel “to pursue other interests”.

Intel had failed to break into smartphones with its low-power Atom microprocessors under his tenure, but it is still insisting its latest-generation chip, codenamed Medfield, will be successful.

“Intel remains committed to this business,” said David Perlmutter, executive vice president and Intel Architecture Group general manager, in a statement.

“We continue to make the investments needed to ensure that the best user experience on smartphones and handhelds runs on Intel Architecture, and to ship a phone this year.”

Mike Bell and Dave Whalen, two IAG vice presidents, will co-manage the Ultra Mobility Group with immediate effect.

Mr Chandrasekher has not commented on his future but the timing of his departure and its suddenness could be significant.

TheWall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Intel had recently tried and failed to recruit Todd Bradley, head of HP’s PC, smartphone and tablets business, a move that suggests senior management changes were in the offing.

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