Fashion bag and bracelet maker Intel is attempting to prove that it is serious about mobile by headhunting one of Qualcomm’s gadget makers.
Amir Faintuch is a senior executive at Qualcomm’s networking and connectivity businesses Atheros, which we were surprised to discover has nothing to do with one of the three musketeers.
It is unusual for Intel to look outside its own company for senior executives and the hiring is being seen as a portent that the company is serious to sort out its struggling mobile business.
Faintuch will be an Intel a senior vice president and co-general manager of the Platform Engineering Group.
Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said Faintuch will be among Intel’s dozen or so most senior executives and will co-manage the Platform Engineering Group with Josh Walden, a manufacturing technology expert who previously led the group.
Mulloy said that Faintuch brings experience designing “system on chips,” or SoCs, which combine features like modems, Wi-Fi and memory. Chipzilla is still a little short on the expertise needed for designing SoCs.
“We want to accelerate our success rate with SoCs and get the designs aligned and the roadmaps aligned to do that. We’ve made good progress but there’s more to be done. Amir has extensive management experience and a strong resume,” he said.
Since taking over in 2013, CEO Brian Krzanich has made a number of sweeping changes designed to counteract a slump in PC sales, including opening Intel’s cutting-edge factories to other chipmakers willing to pay for access to them.
Still the traffic between Intel and Qualcomm has not been one way. In fact Qualcomm is seen as a nicer place to work. In 2012, senior executive Anand Chandrasekher, a 25-year Intel veteran, jumped over to Qualcomm to become the outfit’s chief marketing officer.
Red Hat has announced that its long serving CTO Brian Stevens is quitting after 13 years in the job.
Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO of Red Hat made the announcement and gave a brief line of thanks for Steven’s years of service. In the interim, the office of the CTO will be managed by Paul Cormier, President of products and technologies at Red Hat.
On the surface there appears nothing untoward about the exit, other than the fact no-one at Red Hat saw it coming.
There have been some dark rumours that all is not well under the cappello rosso and some are saying that Stevens may have left because of friction between Stevens and Cormier. Stevens office had been moved out from underneath Cormier’s control and there might be some feuding going on.
Stevens, whose Red Hat page was taken down minutes after the news was released, had been with Red Hat since 2001. Before that he had been the CTO at Mission Critical Linux, and a senior architect at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), where he worked on Digital’s UNIX operating system. He is best known for his work on the X Window System, the foundation of UNIX and Linux graphic systems.
Stevens was often the public face of Red Hat and t Gigaom Structure on Red Hat and OpenStack. In April he laid out Red Hat’s future technology plans at Red Hat Summit.
He has been a key player in Red Hat’s march to the cloud. Red Hat was not among the early adopters of OpenStack when it got started in July 2010 and it was Stevens, who got the company involved. Today Red Hat is the top code contributor to OpenStack.
In one of those strange twists of fate that dog the semiconductor industry, it appears X86 giant Intel is now one of the biggest licensees of ARM tech on the planet, now it is a foundry business. ARM, of course, offers an advantage over X86 servers in terms of both functionality and heat. Intel is considerably boosting ARM revenues, according to well informed sources close to the facts.
Actually, INTC has always had a lot of foundry business. It was forced by American authorities to guarantee that production of DEC’s Alpha microprocessor continued until the end of the decade, as we reported earlier at the INQster and the Rogister years back. Intel also had and probably still has a StrongARM licence – an opportunity Chipzilla signally missed back in the days.
It also still makes HP chips. Perhaps that is because of the peculiar nature of the partnership between Intel and HP.
Intel reacted very badly to the news.
Anna Cheng, the UK spinner for Intel, sent a snottogram to the Eyes saying that the world+dog knew it made ARM chips. She said that she objected to the fact that the Eyes blank carbon copied other people at Intel – including Chuck Mulloy – asking for clarification. She scolded the Eyes for not going through proper channels.
We responded by saying that we had in our possession many Intel “confidential” emails describing me – in no uncertain terms – as an old buffer.
ARM refused to comment, but it is quids in because of Intel’s decision to fab up the unique British designs…
Because Intel has so few products to show at its expensive upcoming Intel Developer Forum in September in San Francisco, it will play its old three card trick and show off new logos and marketing plans instead. Ailing Intel, it seems, has run out of “innovation”.
That’s according to reliable sources within the corporation that told the Eyes that newly formed CEOs need marketing ideas because product ideas are few on the ground.
The source – based in Asia – told the Eyes that it had attempted to convince ex CEO Paul Otellini that the marketing needed changing to a retro kind of thing, but had come up against determined opposition from the then CEO.
But facing ruin because it was slow off the mark with chips for tablets and for smartphones, instead Intel will attempt to bamboozle the world with marketing. The newly born CEO – and the INTC board are up for it.
The re-branding will re-position Intel as a 21st century company that doesn’t really invent technology any more. Just manufacture it.
Although we don’t have the new logos and that yet, expect a blast of marketing publicity that talks a lot about not very much at all, faced with the opposition. Oh, that’s not AMD, by the way.
At its Global Partner Conference (GPC) held at the Venetian, Las Vegas last week, we asked senior suits at the company whether Hewlett Packard was Intel only.
Executives told us foreign journalists that it was CPU agnostic, and that we should “look inside” to fashion our “ecosystem” experience.
A direct question elicited the response that if we looked inside HP servers we would find various microprocessors powering its servers, including ARM and AMD. Just look inside, we were told. HP is not only an Intel company. Look inside! Sounds like a Buddhist idea, but we’ll take HP’s word for it. For now.
Anna Cheng, a PR rep at Intel UK, declined to comment “on rumours and speculation”. Intel does own trademark “The Journey Inside“, which is pretty Zennish. ®