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Head of Intel Foundry Services Resigns Just As Chip Biz Gets Going

Tuesday November 22, 2022. 11:00 AM , from Slashdot
The head of Intel's revitalized contract chip manufacturing business plans to step down, The Register has learned, creating a setback for the x86 behemoth's big bet to take on Asian foundry giants TSMC and Samsung as part of its comeback plan. From the report: Randhir Thakur, senior vice president and president of Intel Foundry Services, 'has decided to pursue other opportunities' but will continue to lead the business unit through the first quarter of 2023 to 'ensure a smooth transition to a new leader,' Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said in an email to employees Monday that was seen by el Reg. Intel spokesperson William Moss confirmed the news with us. 'We're grateful to Randhir for the tremendous progress IFS has made and for laying the foundation for Intel to become a world-class systems foundry,' Moss said in a statement. 'We wish him all the best in his new endeavors.'

In his email, Gelsinger said he will share more information soon 'about the new leader' for Intel Foundry Services, suggesting the company may have a successor in place -- or is at least close to having one. 'Randhir has been a key member of the Executive Leadership Team for the past two and a half years and has served in several senior leadership roles since he joined us in 2017,' Gelsinger wrote. '... His contributions to our [Integrated Device Manufacturing] 2.0 transformation are many, but most notable is his leadership in standing up our IFS business.'

Intel revitalized its contract chip manufacturing business in early 2021 and renamed it Intel Foundry Services with the goal of competing with TSMC and Samsung, the world's two largest contract chip manufacturers that make chips for the likes of Intel rivals, including AMD, Nvidia, and Apple. In his email to employees, Gelsinger credited Thakur for establishing a 'seasoned leadership team with veterans from leading foundries' like TSMC and Samsung. He added that the Intel Foundry Services leader also 'secured major customer wins in the mobile and auto segments' and helped the company win the US government's RAMP-C award along with four customers for chip designs on its 18A node. 'Since Q2, IFS has expanded engagements to seven of the 10 largest foundry customers coupled with consistent pipeline growth to include 35 customer test chips,' Gelsinger said. 'This is tremendous progress in only 20 months!' Intel has a pending $5.4 billion acquisition of Israeli chip manufacturer Tower Semiconductor, notes The Register. 'Analysts responding to the news of Thakur's resignation said the move is likely happening because Intel plans to put Tower Semiconductor's management in charge of Intel Foundry Services.' The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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