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Intel 5G Exec Cormac Conroy Departs Company

An Intel spokesperson tells CRN that LTE and 5G connectivity remains important for Intel’s PC business.

Cormac Conroy, an Intel executive who led the company's 5G modem efforts, resigned from the company just before the chipmaker announced a deal to sell most of its smartphone modem business to Apple in late July.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company told CRN on Monday that Conroy's resignation, which has not previously been reported, was announced to employees in early July — a few months after Intel said it was exiting the 5G smartphone modem business. An exact departure date was not provided.

An Intel spokesperson did not say whether the company is looking to replace Conroy, who served on Intel's executive leadership team as corporate vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group. However, the spokesperson said, LTE and 5G connectivity remains important for Intel's PC business.

"Connectivity — including LTE and 5G — is a key experience for our cellular connected modern PCs and the Project Athena innovation program," the spokesperson said in an email. "As we’ve previously stated, we will continue to develop and support our 4G/LTE (e.g. 7360, 7560) for the PC segment and are evaluating the best options for delivering a platform-level solution for 5G in modern laptops."

Conroy did not respond to a request for comment.

[Related: 5 Signs Apple Wants To Make More Of Its Own Chips]

Conroy joined Intel in 2017, taking over as head of Intel's Communication and Devices Group from Aicha Evans, who had moved into the role of chief strategy officer before departing to become CEO of autonomous vehicle startup Zoox at the beginning of this year.

In his role, Conroy was responsible for business strategy as well as technology and product development for 4G and 5G cellular modems, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, radio frequency solutions, GPS and global navigation satellite systems, according to his LinkedIn page.

Prior to joining Intel, Conroy had spent 11 years at Qualcomm, where he was most recently vice president of engineering and product management. In that role, he led the company's local area connectivity business for mobile and computing platforms, which included Wi-Fi, 60 GHz, Bluetooth and FM technologies as well as Qualcomm's location technology portfolio, according to an archived webpage of Conroy's Intel biography.

Conroy's departure comes after Intel made a significant change in its 5G plans this year. In April, the company announced it would exit the 5G smartphone modem business. Reports that the chipmaker was looking to sell its smartphone modem business soon followed, culminating with the July 26 announcement that Intel would sell most of its smartphone business to Apple for $1 billion. The deal, which will also involve 2,200 Intel employees joining Apple, is expected to close at the end of the year.

When the deal was announced, Intel said it planned to continue pursuing 5G from a network infrastructure perspective. In addition, it would retain the rights to build modems for PCs, Internet of Things devices and autonomous vehicles.

"This agreement enables us to focus on developing technology for the 5G network while retaining critical intellectual property and modem technology that our team has created," Intel CEO Bob Swan said at the time.

Even before the Intel-Apple deal was announced, Apple was reportedly poaching mobile chip talent from Intel. In May, the smartphone maker hired away Messay Amerga, a vice president who was the head of Intel's 5G product portfolio. A few months earlier, the company recruited Umashankar Thyagarajan, a senior director and project engineer who worked on Intel's 5G modem team.

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