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Intel Names Michelle Johnston Holthaus As PC Unit’s New Leader

Michelle Johnston Holthaus, Intel’s top sales and marketing executive, is taking over as head of the Client Computing Group, the chipmaker’s biggest moneymaker. The move means that Intel’s two biggest business units – CCG and the Datacenter and AI Group, which is led by Sandra Rivera – will be led by women.

Intel paired its new CFO announcement Monday with news that top sales executive Michelle Johnston Holthaus will replace longtime executive Gregory Bryant as the head of the chipmaker’s PC business.

The appointment will make Holthaus executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group (CCG), which has been Intel’s biggest moneymaker for decades, generating roughly 52 percent of the chipmaker’s total revenue in 2020. The new role will make Holthaus responsible for all aspects of CCG, including strategy, financial performance and product development.

[Related: Intel Reorganization: 8 Big Changes Made Under Pat Gelsinger]

The move means that Intel’s two biggest business units – the Client Computing Group and the Datacenter and AI Group, which is led by Sandra Rivera – will be led by women. This chipmaker has previously set a goal to increase the number of women in technical roles by 40 percent while doubling the number of women and underrepresented minorities in senior leadership roles by 2030.

A 25-year Intel veteran, Holthaus has been general manager of Intel’s Sales, Marketing and Communications Group since 2017. Intel said she will transition to her new role as the head of CGG “over the coming months” as the company searches for her replacement. She will continue to report to Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who has been her direct supervisor since Gelsinger rejoined Intel last year.

“Michelle’s track record of success driving global sales and revenue for the last five years, combined with her profound understanding of the client computing business and trusted relationships across the entire industry, make her a natural choice to lead our largest business,” Gelsinger said in a statement.

“Michelle is a proven leader who embodies Intel’s values, and I look forward to partnering with her in this new capacity as we drive innovation and unquestioned product leadership across the client business,” Gelsinger added.

During the CCG leadership transition, Jim Johnson, senior vice president and general manager of Client Platforms Engineering, will serve as the business unit’s interim leader, according to an internal memo sent by Gelsinger that was seen by CRN. Gelsinger also said in the memo that the CFO transition from George S. Davis to David Zinsner led the company to move Intel’s IT organization, which is led by CIO Archie Deskus, under the Office of the CTO led by Greg Lavender.

“This shift elevates and unleashes IT to help accelerate our business transformation and drives greater security and technology alignment across our thousands of software and security experts, ensuring security and IT remain competitive differentiators for Intel,” Gelsinger said in the memo.

Holthaus is no stranger to the channel. Before she became vice president of sales and marketing in 2013, she was the general manager of channel for central marketing and operations, where she led channel efforts for CCG. Prior to that, she held other channel-centric roles like general manager of the channel mobile product group and director of marketing for the reseller product division.

“I am thrilled to take on leadership of Intel’s Client Computing Group, an organization with immense talent and long history of delivering leadership products and platforms that create vibrant, open ecosystems,” Holthaus said in a statement. “We have a tremendous opportunity to build on past successes – and even accelerate our pace as we continue to enable our customers and partners to elevate PC experiences.”

Holthaus is taking over from Bryant, who is leaving at the end of January for a “new opportunity,” according to Intel, after serving as the face of Intel’s PC business since 2017. Byrant has been with Intel since 1992. His previous roles have included general manager of Intel’s Asia Pacific and Japan region as well as general manager of the business client platform division, where he led the creation of Intel’s vPro platform.

Bryant, who is often referred to as “GB” by colleagues, was the face of Intel last week at CES 2022 when he introduced a major expansion of Intel’s 12th-generation Core processor lineup.

“I want to thank GB for his outstanding leadership and 30 years of service at Intel, which has seen five consecutive years of business growth and, most recently, the successful launch of the 12th Gen Intel Core family,” Gelsinger wrote in a memo. “We wish him all the best in his next endeavor.”

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