Intel today announced two major corporate leadership changes, involving both the Intel Foundry Services division (IFS) as well as its graphics/accelerator segment. In brief, IFS is getting new leadership, while Intel GPU guru and chief architect Raja Koduri is leaving the company for new pastures.
Intel has announced in a recent press release that Stuart Pann is now the senior vice president and General Manager of Intel Foundry Services. Pann succeeds Dr. Randhir Thakur who was the IFS’s first president. Thakur announced in late 2013 that he would be leaving Intel by the end of the month. We expected Intel to name a new IFS president before the end the month.
Pann has been an Intel employee for many years. He has held various positions both within and outside the company. Most recently, he returned to Intel as a senior VP, Chief Business Transformation Officer and General Manager of Intel’s Corporate Planning Group in 2021. Intel credits him with being one of the chief organizers behind Intel’s IDM 2.0 strategy – as well as Intel’s internal foundry model – which in turn are among the primary reasons for establishing IFS.
Pann has a background that is largely business-oriented. While he holds an EE, he has spent most of his time working at Intel in business management. This is an important change for Dr. Thakur. He had a background in fab engineering prior to taking on the leadership role. Intel’s decision to appoint an experienced business leader to run the growing fab division is not surprising, considering that IFS will be successful in part by being able attract external customers, and not just develop advanced fab technologies.
Intel Graphics Guru Raja Koduri leaves for AI Software Startup
Intel will also see a significant leadership change, in addition to the departure of Dr. Thakur. Raja Koduri is leaving Intel by the end of this month, according to a tweet sent out by CEO Pat Gelsinger. Koduri, a well-known figure in the graphics industry for decades, was most recently serving as a Chief Architect for Intel’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group.
Thank you @RajaXg for your many contributions to Intel tech & architecture-especially w/high-performance graphics that helped bring 3 new product lines to market in ‘22. Wishing you success as you create a new software co. around generative AI for gaming, media & entertainment.
— Pat Gelsinger (@PGelsinger) March 21, 2023
Koduri, who joined Intel from AMD in 2017, has been the cornerstone for Intel’s efforts to grow their GPU and accelerator business. Koduri, who joined Intel in 2017 (coming from AMD), has been the cornerstone of Intel’s modern efforts to grow its GPU and accelerator businesses.
Koduri has been impacted by the changes made to the AXG unit, as Intel continues its efforts to establish itself in the GPU market. Koduri served as the AXG head until December 20, 2022. Intel then announced that AXG would be split into two separate groups: consumer and datacenter/AI. These were placed under Intel Client Computing Group (CCG) and Datacenter and AI Group (DAG). Koduri was then appointed Intel’s chief architect of GPUs, Accelerators, and the convergence between Intel’s traditional processor products.
Koduri, in response to Gelsinger’s initial announcement of Raja, tweeted that Raja will be moving onto a software company focusing on generative artificial intelligence for gaming, entertainment, and media. Koduri claims that he will have “more to share in the coming weeks,” but on a high-level, it sounds like this is a great fit for someone who has been so immersed in computer graphics and artificial intelligence.
I want to thank Pat and Intel for all the wonderful memories we have shared and the incredible lessons learned over the past five years. I will be starting a new chapter of my life by launching a software company, as you can see below. More to come in the coming weeks. https://t.co/8DcnNdso3r
— Raja Koduri (Bali Makaradhwaja) (@RajaXg) March 21, 2023
It will be interesting, however, to see the impact of this on Intel’s GPU efforts and accelerators. Raja Koduri was the driving force behind Intel’s GPU effort for the last six years. This has had a major impact on both their consumer and datacenter efforts. Intel’s GPU-based exascale supercomputer, the Aurora, is nearing completion. Intel’s discrete GPU sales for consumers have already caught up to AMD’s. Koduri oversees all of them.
Koduri’s exit comes as Intel’s GPU effort is in turmoil. Intel, in addition to the reorganization of last year, cancelled Rialto Bridge – their successor to Ponte Vecchio – earlier this month. This cancellation has set Intel’s plans for data center GPUs by 2 years. Their next product, Falcon Shores, will be released in 2025. Intel’s product line and GPU leadership are both undergoing a major transition in 2023.