Intel Lures Back Veteran Engineer Sunil Shenoy As Gelsinger Rallies The Troops

The 33-year Intel veteran engineer is rejoining the chipmaker as head of the Design Engineering Group after incoming CEO Pat Gelsinger teased last week that ‘key leaders’ will be returning to the company to help him stage a comeback.


Intel veteran engineer Sunil Shenoy is rejoining the chipmaker after incoming CEO Pat Gelsinger promised that he would bring back “key leaders” to help him stage a comeback.

Shenoy, a 33-year company veteran who left Intel in 2014, will serve as senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Design Engineering Group, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced Wednesday. His responsibilities will include “design, development, validation and manufacturing of intellectual properties and system-on-chips for client and data center applications,” Intel said.

[Related: Pat Gelsinger’s Tech Background Key To Intel’s Rebound: Partners]

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Shenoy, who was most recently an executive at RISC-V-based semiconductor company SiFive, will start on Feb. 1 and report to current Intel CEO Bob Swan until Gelsinger takes over in mid-February.

He is joining the company shortly after another Intel veteran engineer, Glenn Hinton, announced he would be returning to the company to work on a “high-performance CPU project.” Hinton said last week Gelsinger coming back to Intel after an 11-year absence helped seal the deal.

In a separate announcement on LinkedIn, former VMware executive Guido Appenzeller announced that he is joining Intel as CTO of the company‘s Data Platforms Group, a new division that was formed in 2019 as part of a restructuring of Intel’s Data Center Group.

Appenzeller, who was also previously CEO and co-founder of Big Switch Networks, said he will report to Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Platforms Group.

“In the end, my decision was based on the belief that the opportunities outweigh the challenges,” he said in a LinkedIn post. ”And judging by the recent move by Pat Gelsinger, I am not the only one with that view.”

In Intel’s earnings call last week, Gelsinger referenced Hinton’s return and hinted that Intel will lure back more former talent to work on products.

“You’ll be seeing we’re making adjustments in the leadership of our product development teams as well, where talent is going to come into the company,” he said. “They’re excited about the roadmap we’re on. You might have seen we just announced a new fellow coming back, one of my absolute favorites when I was here, Glenn Hinton coming back to the company, and you’ll be seeing other announcements of key leaders coming back in.”

Swan welcomed the “fresh perspective” Shenoy will bring to Intel.

“Sunil is a proven engineering leader who has deep experience in microprocessor and SoC design and R&D,” he said in a statement. “His experience inside and outside of Intel will enable him to combine the best of Intel culture with an entrepreneurial spirit and fresh perspective as we work to strengthen the company’s technical leadership team and to coach and develop a new generation of technical talent.”

Dominic Daninger, vice president of engineering at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based Intel partner in the high-performance computing space, said Shenoy and Hinton rejoining the company is promising news for the company’s long-term prospects and shows that Gelsinger’s return could help reverse a talent exodus that a hedge fund recently voiced concerns about.

“There must have been a lot of concern there about the previous leadership,” Daninger said. “And with Gelsinger coming back [that will likely build] a lot of confidence in some of the people that thought it might have been time to exit.”

With Gelsinger’s former colleagues rejoining the company with him, it likely means that people who have worked with Shenoy and Hinton or worked for them could soon follow, according to Daninger.

“Oftentimes these folks, they have a team that they work with,” he said. “It‘s kind of like a stool without legs. If you have the stool, but you’re missing a leg or two, it can’t be as effective. So a lot of times, you’ll see some people that you probably won’t read about, but they’ll follow back.”