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The 10 Biggest News Stories Of 2021 (So Far)

Rick Whiting

While the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions have continued into 2021, the biggest news stories this year include major cybersecurity attacks, leadership changes at major IT vendors, and accelerating industry trends such as as-a-service and cloud market adoption.

4. Intel Hires Gelsinger As CEO, Comeback Plans Developed

Intel has lost momentum in recent years. Stumbles with its 10-nanometer and 7-nanometer manufacturing processes have set the company back just as a resurgent AMD has hit its competitive stride.

One of the IT industry’s biggest news stories this year (so far) is the hiring of VMware CEO and 30-year Intel veteran Pat Gelsinger (pictured) as the chipmaker’s new CEO, replacing Bob Swain who served in the top job for just two years. The announcement of the leadership change came Jan. 13.

Since starting in the job Feb. 15, Gelsinger has unveiled plans to restore Intel’s momentum and unleashed a wave of changes with the goal of returning Intel to “unquestioned leadership” in the semiconductor industry.

Topping the list is Intel’s game-changing IDM 2.0 strategy that’s intended to expand the company’s manufacturing capacity and dramatically change the way it makes processors. The plan includes building new manufacturing fabrication plants (including investing $20 billion in two new fabs in Arizona and $3.5 billion to upgrade a New Mexico site), expanding the use of external foundries like TSMC, and launching Intel’s own foundry service business to manufacture chips designed by other companies.

Intel has instituted a major internal restructuring, merging its manufacturing and operations group and Global Supply chain group into a new organization called Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations – a move characterized as instrumental to the IDM 2.0 strategy.

The company also split the Data Platform Group into a Data Center and AI Group and a Network and Edge Group. It also created new Corporate Planning, Software and Advanced Technology, and Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics business units.

There have been major personnel changes as well. Navin Shenoy, Intel’s top data center executive, left the company on July 7 as part the restructuring. In January veteran Intel engineer Sunil Shenoy, who left the company in 2014, returned as senior vice president and general manager of the Design Engineering organization. And in July Gelsinger rehired 28-year Intel veteran Shlomit Weiss, one of the key engineers behind the company’s dual-core and SkyLake CPUs.

 
Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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