Intel Reorganizes Groups, Names New Leaders Key To IDM 2.0 Strategy: Memos

Two memos seen by CRN show that the semiconductor giant is laying the groundwork to execute on its IDM 2.0 strategy, which includes hiring Hong Hao (pictured), the former head of Samsung’s North American foundry business, to lead business development for Intel Foundry Services. The company is also consolidating its manufacturing, operations and supply chain groups to ‘drive world class execution and support to partner organizations.’


Intel has reorganized groups around manufacturing, supply chain and planning while also naming new leaders to the company’s Intel Foundry Services group as part of the semiconductor giant’s efforts to regain technology leadership with its IDM 2.0 strategy, according to memos seen by CRN.

In a memo sent to Intel employees last Thursday, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker announced that it has merged its Manufacturing and Operations group and Global Supply Chain group into a new organization called Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations. The change was made as Intel and other companies act to mitigate the impacts of the global chip shortage, and it marks yet another reorganization for Intel’s supply chain, manufacturing and operations groups following a restructuring in July 2020 and another before that in October 2018.

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Intel declined to comment.

This and other changes were characterized in the memo as instrumental to the company’s transition to its new IDM 2.0 strategy, a major evolution of Intel’s integrated device manufacturing approach that involves expanding internal manufacturing capacity, ramping up the use of external foundries for certain products and launching Intel Foundry Services to make chips designed by other companies. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has previously said that the new IDM 2.0 strategy will help the company push against the competition and deliver “leadership products in every category that we participate in.”

The memo said the new manufacturing group will be led by Keyvan Esfarjani, the executive who has been leading Manufacturing and Operations, while Randhir Thakur, who had been Intel’s chief supply chain officer, will focus on his role as president of Intel Foundry Services. All of Intel’s current global supply chain, manufacturing and operations leaders will now report to Esfarjani.

“By merging these two organization[s], we will create an end-to-end capability and accountability to drive world class execution and support to partner organizations by leveraging our top-ranking supply chain capabilities. Integrating our supply chain functions with M&O will also increase our agility and response times for our customers, particularly in a time of greatly increased demand for our products and technologies,” said the memo, which was signed by Esfarjani, Thakur and Michelle Johnston Holthaus, who is Intel’s chief revenue officer and head of the Sales, Marketing and Communications Group.

The same memo said that the company has formed another new group, the Corporate Planning Group, which sits in Intel’s Sales and Marketing Group and brings together the Business Management Group, the Global External Manufacturing and Sourcing Group and long-range planning resources.

The new group will be led by Stuart Pann, a 33-year Intel veteran through 2014 who was most recently CEO of retail tech startup Bossa Nova and, prior to that, chief supply chain officer of HP Inc. Pann, who will report to Johnston Holthaus, was previously the leader of Intel’s Business Management Group, which is responsible for pricing, revenue and forecasting for the company’s products. Pann’s new job was confirmed by Johnston Holthaus on Twitter and by Pann on LinkedIn.

“By combining these important functions into one team, we will accelerate the success of IDM 2.0 and enable business priorities across internal manufacturing, external manufacturing, and support all our customers for growth and success,” the memo said.

The third change outlined in the memo will involve moving global supply chain groups “aligned” with Intel Foundry Services’ charter under the new foundry group. This includes the original Intel Custom Foundry group led by Kapil Wadhera that predates Intel Foundry Services, the Research and Development Strategic Enabling group led by Rahul Goyal that focuses on “design ecosystem sourcing and enablement,” and the Intel India group led by Nivruti Rai that provides IP and design services. Intel is also moving its IMS nanofabrication unit led by Elmar Platzgummer under Intel Foundry Services, which Intel said will give the group an edge against competing foundries.

Samsung Foundry, Micron Execs Join Intel Foundry Services

Intel followed up the reorganization announcement with another memo sent to employees on Monday announcing the appointment of two new roles in Intel Foundry Services.

In the memo, Thakur, head of Intel Foundry Services, said the company has appointed Hong Hao (pictured), the former head of Samsung’s North American foundry business, to the new role of corporate vice president of worldwide business development for Intel Foundry Services. The new role will have Hao lead “the formulation of IFS business strategies and execution of worldwide customer engagement plans to grow Foundry revenue and customer base,” according to Thakur.

“He will build a world-class business development team with a service mindset and align target markets and customers by working closely with the SMG team,” Thakur wrote in the memo. “Hong brings a combination of business expertise and track record, executive leadership, and strong technical background in the semiconductor industry.”

Hao was most recently senior vice president and head of Samsung’s North America Foundry Business, where “he managed all aspects of business strategy and execution, including marketing, business development, sales, and customer design and silicon enablement engineering,” according to Thakur.

Intel also appointed Bob Brennan, previously a 22-year Intel veteran who most recently worked at Micron, as vice president of customer design enablement for Intel Foundry Services. The new role will have Brennan “lead the delivery of end-to-end design solutions to help IFS customers use Intel’s portfolio of Star IPs and design technology in their product designs, by working closely with our Design Engineering Group (DEG) under Sunil [Shenoy’s] leadership,” according to Thakur.

“This responsibility covers the entire design life cycle for customers, from customer design architecture to the strategic selection of Intel IP to platform enablement and design services support for SoC integration, including providing validation and debug support to IFS customers. Bob will promote the proliferation of Intel Architecture through custom design opportunities that leverage Intel IP, standard products, and technologies,” Thakur wrote in the memo.

Brennan, who confirmed his new role on LinkedIn, was most recently vice president of emerging memory and systems at Micron, where he worked for three years. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of the Memory Solutions Lab at Samsung. In his 22 years at Intel, Brennan served in several technical positions, spanning service architecture, laptop architecture and mobile system-on-chip architecture as well as CPU core design, verification and architecture.

Dominic Daninger, vice president of engineering at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based Intel high-performance computing system integration partner, told CRN that Intel is clearly “laying down the foundational work” to regain leadership in the semiconductor industry and win foundry customers.

“I‘m not surprised when they’ve committed to making the kind of investment they are making in building those [newly announced manufacturing] facilities [in Arizona], but you got to get the right staff to manage those projects and set the long-term goals, so this sounds like that‘s exactly what they’re doing,” he said.

The decision to consolidate manufacturing and supply chain operations will likely improve Intel’s ability to navigate the current global chip shortage and future supply issues, Daninger added.

“Anybody that can outmaneuver competitors and respond faster and get us out of the shortage problem is going to gain some advantage there,” he said, “and having that kind of infrastructure put together with the right people, it’s going to help.”