Intel Foundry Services Head Stuart Pann Is Retiring, Months After Business Launches

Taking his place is Kevin O’Buckley, a veteran of IBM, GlobalFoundries and Marvell Technologies who will now lead the semiconductor giant’s contract chip manufacturing division, which is a key part of CEO Pat Gelsinger’s comeback plan.

Intel said on Monday that the head of the company’s contract chip manufacturing division is retiring and handing the reins to a new leader, effective immediately.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker announced that Stuart Pann, a 35-year company veteran, is retiring at the end of this month as senior vice president and general manager of Intel Foundry Services. He started the position a little more than a year ago.

[Related: Intel’s 9 Biggest Moves Under Pat Gelsinger In His First 3 Years As CEO]

Taking his place is Kevin O’Buckley, who started on Monday and was most recently senior vice president for the Custom, Compute and Storage Group at semiconductor company Marvell Technologies. The business unit helps other companies build custom chips.

Intel said Pann (pictured) will stay on as an adviser “to support a seamless transition.”

Like Pann before him, O’Buckley will sit on Intel’s executive leadership team and report directly to Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who has made Intel Foundry a key part of his comeback plan.

“Kevin brings a unique blend of expertise from across the semiconductor industry, having served as a senior leader and technologist in both foundry and fabless companies,” Gelsinger said in a statement.

“As we continue building the world’s first systems foundry for the AI era, Kevin will play a critical role in helping customers achieve their goals by leveraging Intel Foundry’s unique ability to deliver process and packaging technology through a resilient and sustainable supply chain,” Gelsinger said.

O’Buckley joined Marvell in 2019 through its acquisition of Avera Semiconductor, which he led as general manager and CEO. Avera was a 1,000-person ASIC design company that got started at IBM and was then offloaded to GlobalFoundries before being sold again to Marvell.

According to his LinkedIn profile, O’Buckley led the divestiture of Avera from GlobalFoundries, where he served as vice president of product development from 2015 to 2019. Prior to that, he worked for more than 17 years at IBM, where he was responsible for the development and delivery of the company’s 22- and 14-nanometer FinFET technologies in his last role there.

O’Buckley Is Third Exec To Run Foundry Services Since 2021

O’Buckley is the third executive to run Intel Foundry Services since CEO Pat Gelsinger announced his plan to revive the company’s contract manufacturing business under the new name in March 2021. The first leader, Randhir Thakur, departed in March of last year to become CEO and managing director of Tata Electronics, the electronics manufacturing arm of Indian conglomerate Tata Group.

Pann is leaving Intel Foundry only a few months after the company marked the official launch of the manufacturing business as an independent entity to compete with Asian foundry giants TSMC and Samsung as part of Gelsinger’s IDM 2.0 strategy, an evolution of Intel’s integrated device manufacturing model where it fabricates the chips it designs.

The goal of separating Intel Foundry from Intel’s chip design businesses, now collectively known as Intel Products, is to convince outside companies that it can trust the chipmaker to manufacture their chips. To Intel, a key way to win this trust is to treat its internal design teams for products such as the Xeon and Core CPUs like external customers.

One of the most significant companies to announce a deal with Intel Foundry is Microsoft, which plans to use the company’s Intel 18A process to manufacture a custom chip design.

Over time, the semiconductor giant hopes it will build a large enough manufacturing business with external chip designers that it will dethrone Samsung as the world’s second-largest contract manufacturing company by 2030. By separating the profits and losses of Intel’s manufacturing operations from Intel Products, the industry now has a way of tracking Intel Foundry’s progress.

In the first quarter, Intel Foundry’s revenue was $4.4 billion, down 9.5 percent from the same period last year. Gelsinger said on the company’s earnings call last month that the business is still some distance away from profitability due to the large up-front investment needed to ramp it up.

“But we always said this was going to be a multiyear plan,” he said at the time. “We are right on track with where we expect it to be right now.”