Intel's Data Center Head Diane Bryant Goes On Extended Leave

Intel Data Center head Diane Bryant is taking a leave of absence from the company and will be replaced by Client Computing Group executive Navin Shenoy, the chip giant announced on Wednesday.

CEO Brian Krzanich in an email to the company said that Bryant, who has led the Data Center Group over the past five years, is stepping away for the next six to eight months "to tend to a personal family matter."

"Given the extended duration, an interim leader for the Data Center Group is not possible," said CEO Brian Krzanich in a statement. "As a result, I have asked Navin Shenoy to take the position of general manager of DCG … Management changes can be distracting, but it is critical that we all give Navin, Diane and the CCG leadership team our full support during this transition and focus on delivering leadership products and executing flawlessly."

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Bryant worked over the past few years to transform the Data Center Group from a server-centric business to one that spans servers, network, and storage across all end-user segments. The longtime Intel employee was recently promoted in April to group president of the Data Center Group.

Krzanich said that he will announce Bryant's "next role upon her return."

Bryant's abrupt leave of absence took partners, like Martin Smekal, president and CEO of Torrance, Calif.-based Intel partner TabletKiosk, by surprise. "This is coming to me as news ... I wasn't aware of this change," he said.

Meanwhile, Shenoy, who was most recently general manager of the Client Computing Group, will take the helm as the new Data Center Group head, while Murthy Renduchintala, presidentof the Client and Internet of Things Businesses and Systems Architecture, will be the acting leader for the Client Computing Group.

Over the past year, partners have seen that even top-level executives – like former Client Compute Group SVP Kirk Skuagen – have left the company, while others, including channel head CJ Bruno and former IoT Group head Doug Davis, have moved from existing positions to other areas of the company. In February, the COO for Intel's Client and Internet of Things businesses, Kim Stevenson, left the company.

Intel's Data Center Group has been one of its areas of growth as the company continues its restructuring efforts to become less dependent on its traditional PC market, and more of a "data driven company."

"DCG is a central part of our transformation and corporate strategy to make Intel the driving force of the data revolution," said Krzanich is a statement. " DCG’s leading products and strategies — driving industry transformations’ to pervasive cloud computing, virtualization of network infrastructure, and adoption of artificial intelligence solutions — have positioned the business to be the growth driver for Intel."