In a combination of a press release and series of tweets from CEO Pat Gelsinger, Intel this afternoon has announced a pair of significant corporate leadership changes at the company, which will impact both their Intel Foundry Services (IFS) and graphics/accelerator business segments. In brief, IFS is getting new leadership, while Intel GPU guru and chief architect Raja Koduri is leaving the company for new pastures.

First and foremost, Intel today is announcing in a press release that they have promoted Stuart Pann to be the new senior VP and general manager of Intel Foundry Services. Pann replaces Dr. Randhir Thakur, who was IFS’s inaugural president. Thakur announced late last year that he was stepping down from the position and leaving Intel at the end of March, so we have been expecting Intel to appoint a new IFS head before the month was out.

Pann, in turn, is a long-serving Intel employee with a history inside and outside of the company, most recently returning to Intel in 2021 to serve as senior VP, chief business transformation officer and general manager of Intel’s Corporate Planning Group. Intel credits him with being one of the chief organizers behind Intel’s IDM 2.0 strategy – as well as Intel’s internal foundry model – which in turn are among the primary reasons for establishing IFS.

Pann’s background is, broadly speaking, on the business side of matters. while he holds an EE degree, his time at Intel has been spent in business management and corporate planning, rather than working within Intel’s fab group itself. This is a notable change from Dr. Thakur, who had an extensive background in fab engineering before moving into his leadership role. With that said, given that IFS’s success will hinge, in part, on being able to attract outside customers (and not just developing advanced fab technologies within the company), it’s not wholly surprising to see Intel appoint a more business-experienced leader for the growing fab business.

Intel Graphics Guru Raja Koduri Leaves for AI Software Startup

Besides Dr. Thakur’s previously arranged departure from Intel, it turns out the company will see one other major leadership change. As first revealed in a tweet from CEO Pat Gelsinger, Raja Koduri will be leaving Intel at the end of the month. A well-known name in the graphics business for decades, Koduri has most recently been serving as a chief architect for Intel’s GPU/accelerator businesses, and prior to that was the GM of Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group (AXG).

Koduri joined Intel in 2017 (coming from AMD), and has been the cornerstone of Intel’s modern efforts to grow its GPU and accelerator businesses. Besides the various flavors of Intel’s Xe graphics architecture and resulting products like the Data Center GPU Max series (Ponte Vecchio) and Arc A-series video cards, Koduri has also overseen the simultaneous development of Intel’s oneAPI software stack, which is designed to provide a well-crafted software development platform for Intel’s GPUs while also unifying Intel’s overall software development efforts behind a single, unified API and toolset (literally, one API).

While Intel is still working to better establish its footing within the GPU space, the AXG business unit itself has undergone some changes, which in turn have impacted Koduri’s position within the company. Koduri was the head of AXG up until December of 2022, when Intel announced that it would be splitting up AXG into separate consumer and datacenter/AI groups, which in turn were placed under Intel’s Client Computing Group and Dataceter and AI Group respectively. Following that split, Koduri returned to serving as Intel’s chief architect for GPUs, accelerators, and their convergence with Intel’s traditional CPU products.

According to a tweet published by Koduri in response to Gelsinger’s initial announcement, Raja has announced that he will be moving on to a software startup focusing on generative AI for gaming, media, and entertainment. Koduri says that he “will have more to share in coming weeks,” but at a high level, this certainly sounds like a good fit for someone so steeped in to computer graphics and AI.

Still, it will be interesting to see what kind of impact this has on Intel’s GPU and accelerator efforts. Raja Koduri has been a driving force for Intel’s GPU efforts for the last 6 years, leaving a sizable impression on their efforts in both the consumer and datacenter spaces. Intel is about to have a chart-topping, exascale-class GPU-based supercomputer to their credit with the nearly finished Aurora system, and Intel’s discrete GPU shipments for consumers are already within closing distance of AMD’s. All of which come from projects overseen by Koduri.

At the same time, however, Koduri’s departure comes at a turbulence for Intel’s GPU efforts. Besides last year’s reorganization, Intel cancelled Rialto Bridge, their Ponte Vecchio successor, earlier this month. That cancellation set back Intel’s data center GPU follow-up plans by about 2 years, as their next product will now be Falcon Shores in 2025. So 2023 is proving to be a time of great transition for Intel, both in regards to their product stack and their GPU leadership.

Source: Intel

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  • mode_13h - Thursday, March 23, 2023 - link

    > I think the mega big Bilderberg declared the usefulness of Intel is done and sucked all
    > life out of it along with the stock profits and shorts left it to rot with awful management.

    Intel's investors have been feasting on its lifeblood for decades, with a very generous dividend and stock buybacks. The chickens finally came home to roost, when they had to cut the dividend payment to fund fab expansion.
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, March 23, 2023 - link

    ‘Intel ME is disabled on the Workstation that I was provided by the company’

    Ha. Sure it is.

    It’s actually possible to stop Windows spyware with its nifty sliders and some 3rd-party tool, too.
  • Lion's Share - Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - link

    I just can't believe there are people who believe Raja was delivering on GPU promise. My other surprise is Raja was let go so late. I joined Intel's AXG group some time back, genuinely believing Intel has plans in discreet GPUs and datacenter ones (Ponte Vecchio, which Raja advertised a lot as a revolution).

    As soon as I joined, I realized it was mostly marketing and my assumptions were totally wrong. The teams were incompetent, demotivated and were running way beyond schedules published. My boss told me long back PVC is dead, has some serious yield issues and next best hope is Rialto bridge. Both are dead now.

    But catalyst for me was one of the quarterly all hands by Raja and other guy/gals in his org. The delays were written all over, the made some bogus paper launch of dGPU on March 31, 2022 which was Raja's quarterly OKR. And to add to that any further line of dGPUs were not only late, but not that competitive also I figured. And I realized one important thing: Raja is not a technical guy, he is a marketing guy who was blabbering about TAM and what not for dGPUs when they were horribly lagging in execution. Check out his ridiculously bold claims on 1000x improvement in PPA by 2027 on none other site than Anandtech.

    Looking at Raja's lofty OKRs, so detached from reality, I knew he is on his way out. That it took so long is the only surprise I see. And he seems to have fooled Gelsinger for long. In one of the visits to overseas offices (with Raja), Pat mentioned he sees Raja as "the guy" in GPU instead of that nVIDIA guy in leather jacket. I almost threw up.

    Lastly, I judge people's integrity based on their association with "like" minded people. Raja has stake and deep collaboration with one of the shadiest and corrupt guys in that VFX graphics company and is also a board member. How Intel management could not see this for years is a surprise to me, seriously.

    Thankfully, I made a quick decision to leave Intel and could not have been happier in retrospect. Not bitching about my ex-employer but it was a real mess. I still wish Intel all the best and believe they still have some of the brightest people who are not being utilized properly.
  • arkhamasylum87 - Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - link

    100%. Similar thing on the CPU side, Jim Keller was definitely not some savior type, more hype than actual technical mettle. Not sure why this Anandtech journalists gloat over these over-hyped ex-AMD folks. Even Zen was not Jim K's brain-child though he has taken a fair share of credit for it which he himself admitted. Intel should get back to being a lean, mean, engineering-first company instead of hiring some so-called hardware name-sake celebrities to somehow magically fix their execution.
  • GreenReaper - Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - link

    It's the Great Man theory. Sure, charismatic leadership can inspire people, but only so far. And taken out of the place they were "great", it usually doesn't work out. A good team is more than a single part.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, March 23, 2023 - link

    Even the best leader can't win with a weak team, but even the best team will founder with a weak leader.

    And leaders need to be good at leading. They need to have enough technical chops to know when they're being lied to, or not given the whole truth, and also to know who to hire & fire. If the leader isn't as technically sharp as most of the people they manage, that's okay. If they're bad at managing, that's not.
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, March 23, 2023 - link

    ‘Jim Keller was definitely not some savior type, more hype than actual technical mettle.’

    Citation needed.
  • Sunrise089 - Thursday, March 23, 2023 - link

    Agreed. I don’t understand lumping Raja and Keller together at all. Almost everything Keller touched turned to gold. The only gold I associate with Raja is his parachute as he bails from one gig to another.
  • ABR - Friday, March 24, 2023 - link

    Jim Keller is definitely a different matter from Raja. The guy makes things happen. And individual people most certainly make a difference in tech companies.
  • Obiwanbilly - Saturday, March 25, 2023 - link

    Yes, I’m a Jim Keller fan too.

    Raja shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Jim, unless you’re making this statement.

    Get it? I just did recursion! 👆

    Haha … I’ll see myself out.


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