Poaching top executives is common among chip rivals. So it's unexpected but not too surprising that the man who will run Intel's PC, mobile, IoT and software businesses was a top executive at Qualcomm until yesterday.
Intel has appointed Venkata Renduchintala as president of the Client and Internet of Things (IoT) businesses and Systems Architecture Group. He will take charge of the direction, chip design and products in those areas.
Renduchintala will effectively become the number-two executive at Intel. He could fulfill some of the responsibilities of Renee James, formerly Intel's president, who departed the company in a July management shakeup.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich may have bought in Renduchintala to coalesce some reporting relationships into one, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.
Renduchintala was co-president of Qualcomm's QCT (Qualcomm CDMA Technologies) unit, which is responsible for semiconductors. Qualcomm issued a press release just on Thursday to announce Renduchintala's departure.
But whether Renduchintala will adapt to Intel's culture is a question, Brookwood said.
"Intel has a really bad history in terms of bringing in outsiders from other places to run big chunks of the company," Brookwood said.
Former Intel executives like Eric Kim, who ran the digital home group, and Mike Bell, who was in charge of wearables, came in with glowing reputations but weren't able to fit into the Intel culture.
But if Renduchintala adapts and does well, the coordination of chip development across PC, mobile and IOT products may become smoother, Brookwood said.
Intel's other key units include the Data Center Group, which is run by Diane Bryant, and Technology and Manufacturing Group, which is under Bill Holt.
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