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Exclusive: Former Intel R&D Head Amir Faintuch Leaves Intel Capital

Intel confirms to CRN that Amir Faintuch, the company’s former head of research and development, has departed the company after hunting for big startup investments at the chipmaker’s venture capital arm.

Amir Faintuch, Intel's former head of research and development, has left the company after serving a leadership role at the chipmaker's venture capital arm where he hunted for big startup investments.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company confirmed that Faintuch retired from Intel on Tuesday, and that his most recent role was senior vice president and director of strategic transactions at Intel Capital. His departure comes roughly a month before the firm holds its global summit in April, where Intel Capital typically announces new investments and where Faintuch's new role was announced last year.

[Related: Intel Reportedly Offering Up To $6B To Buy Mellanox]

Faintuch did not respond to a request for comment by Friday afternoon.

Faintuch was appointed to the senior role last May at Intel Capital, where he was charged with "finding the next big deal for the company," he said at the time. The venture capital arm has invested over $12 billion in roughly 1,500 startups and other companies — including LogMeIn, VMware and more recently storage processor startup Pilops — since it was established in 1991, according to a fact sheet.

The Israeli-born executive had previously served a four-year stint as senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Platform Engineering Group, where he led multiple teams across the world on intellectual property design, system-on-chip development, validation and manufacturing of the company's entire chip portfolio, according to an archived version of Faintuch's biography.

Intel's biography credited Faintuch with leading a "major engineering transformation" that increased Intel's "product competitiveness and predictability," which included efforts like "redefining critical core IPs, updating development methodologies" and introducing the company's multi-wave product development model that pushes for more chip improvements within each manufacturing node.

Faintuch's appointment to Intel Capital was part of the venture capital arm's effort to accelerate investments in startup, particularly those in Israel, Israeli news outlet Calcalist reported last May. Intel itself has a large presence in Israel, having recently announced an $11 billion chip plant expansion there.

Israeli startups that have recently raised funding from Intel Capital include AI processor maker Habana Labs, microservices firewall provider Alcide and blockchain developer StarkWare Industries.

Prior to joining Intel, Faintuch led Qualcomm Atheros, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc. that develops networking, connectivity infrastructure and Internet of Things components.

Faintuch isn't the only top Intel executive to leave recently. Doug Davis, the former head of Intel's IoT business, stepped down earlier in February. He first announced his retirement in 2016 but agreed to stay on an additional two years to help with the integration of Mobileye, the autonomous vehicle software startup Intel acquired for $15.3 billion in 2017, according to an Intel spokesperson.

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