Jim Keller leaves Intel after just two years on the job

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,084   +131
Staff member

Intel has announced that effective immediately, Jim Keller has resigned from his position with the company. He has, however, agreed to serve as a consultant for a period of six months to help assist Intel as it transitions to new leadership.

After leaving AMD in 1999, he worked with a number of notable companies including P.A. Semi, Broadcom and Apple where he helped design the Apple A4 and A5 mobile processors. He returned to AMD in 2012 and stuck around until late 2015 to pursue other opportunities.

Following a brief stop at Tesla, he found his way to Intel in April 2018 which he has called home ever since. Intel said he was resigning due to unspecified personal reasons.

The company outlined the following leadership changes that are being made as a result of his departure, all of which are effective immediately:

  • Sundari Mitra, the former CEO and founder of NetSpeed Systems and the current leader of Intel’s Configurable Intellectual Property and Chassis Group, will lead a newly created IP Engineering Group focused on developing best-in-class IP.
  • Gene Scuteri, an accomplished engineering leader in the semiconductor industry, will head the Xeon and Networking Engineering Group.
  • Daaman Hejmadi will return to leading the Client Engineering Group focused on system-on-chip (SoC) execution and designing next-generation client, device and chipset products. Hejmadi has over two decades of experience leading teams delivering advanced SoCs both inside and outside of Intel.
  • Navid Shahriari, an experienced Intel leader, will continue to lead the Manufacturing and Product Engineering Group, which is focused on delivering comprehensive pre-production test suites and component debug capabilities to enable high-quality, high-volume manufacturing.

Images courtesy Intel, JHVEPhoto

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Lounds

Posts: 772   +684
It's not a surprise apparently intel has a 2 tier system where the majority of their workers are employed through an agency or on temporary contracts and the "blue" permanent staff have exclusive benefits and get bonuses. This treatment has meant a lot of staff just leave as they feel their work is appreciated as much as the "blue" workers.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,261   +1,751
This isn't a surprise for Keller its his MO.

Someone at his level of experience and expertise is always looking for new challenges. He comes in does what he is suppose to do then leaves to find the next thing. This isn't your average corporate employee trying to build a career and work his way up the ladder.

I wouldn't be surprised if he went back to Tesla.
 
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redgarl

Posts: 168   +241
It's not a surprise apparently intel has a 2 tier system where the majority of their workers are employed through an agency or on temporary contracts and the "blue" permanent staff have exclusive benefits and get bonuses. This treatment has meant a lot of staff just leave as they feel their work is appreciated as much as the "blue" workers.
From the memos, the team didn't really liked him. They were downplaying his effort.

He left because Intel is a lost cause.
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,464   +6,145
This isn't a surprise for Keller its his MO.

Someone at his level of experience and expertise is always looking for new challenges. He comes in does what he is suppose to do then leaves to find the next thing. This isn't your average corporate employee trying to build a career and work his way up the ladder.

I wouldn't be surprised if he went back to Tesla.

While this is true, he left due to personal reason this time. That is not normal for him.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,261   +1,751
While this is true, he left due to personal reason this time. That is not normal for him.

Based on the memo these guys found looks like he wants to spend more time with his family.

 
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wiyosaya

Posts: 5,793   +4,000
I would not be surprised to find out that in addition to his personal reasons, he does not like the direction that sIntel is taking with respect to CPUs. IMO, that current direction would be boring to a very creative engineer such as he.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,793   +4,000
This isn't a surprise for Keller its his MO.

Someone at his level of experience and expertise is always looking for new challenges. He comes in does what he is suppose to do then leaves to find the next thing. This isn't your average corporate employee trying to build a career and work his way up the ladder.

I wouldn't be surprised if he went back to Tesla.
Neither would I be surprised if he went back to AMD. For the moment, anyway, AMD is committed to innovation.

I am not so sure about Tesla, though. I cannot imagine that Musk is a person for whom it is easy to work.
The real question is... what is next for Intel...
Probably more technical complacency and refreshes. :laughing:
 

JimboJoneson

Posts: 304   +502
The real question is... what is next for Intel...

Whatever Keller was working on, obviously. Keller left AMD about a year before Zen2 launched. It didn't affect the launch, his work was done.

He might think he's done at Intel as well -- he doesn't get into the details of design, just the foundations for one.

It does appear he's leaving earlier than Intel expected though ...
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,779   +1,913
TechSpot Elite
I am not so sure about Tesla, though. I cannot imagine that Musk is a person for whom it is easy to work.

He worked with Apple while Steve Jobs was there designing their first in-house processors so if he could deal with that, he seems capable of dealing with just about anyone. OTOH, at some point you probably get tired of that and might want a slightly more sane work environment or just sane family time.
 

EEatGDL

Posts: 762   +484
While this is true, he left due to personal reason this time. That is not normal for him.
Sure, "personal reasons". It's not normal of him because is just an excuse from the book. Remember when Koduri left RTG for "personal reasons" and a while later he was at Intel? If you have to temporarily leave for real personal reasons, there are formal internal tools in place and even as informal as talking with your superiors, not leaving the company. And I'm talking about Intel specifically, no the industry in general; I worked there.
And the "6 months as consultant" actually mean "you can't work for AMD during the next 6 months, since that would generate a 'conflict of interests' situation." That's like an additional layer on top of the confidentiality NDA you sign on your leave: it's not just "don't leak all of this information you know of, during the next X months" but extending to "don't work for direct competitors for the next X months".
I am not so sure about Tesla, though. I cannot imagine that Musk is a person for whom it is easy to work.
He already worked at Tesla, but I doubt that'll be his next move. Apple or some other big company trying to kickstart a CPU project, that we don't know of, are the probable next moves.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,617   +694
Lot of respect for Mr. Keller. He's had a big affect on the industry and yet doesn't draw a lot of attention to himself. Aside from tech publications, nobody really knows who he is. He probably likes it that way.
 
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wiyosaya

Posts: 5,793   +4,000
He already worked at Tesla, but I doubt that'll be his next move. Apple or some other big company trying to kickstart a CPU project, that we don't know of, are the probable next moves.
The thing about him working at Tesla, though, is that he was only there for a short time in comparison to his stints elsewhere. That suggests some sort of dissatisfaction, though the source of that dissatisfaction is not necessarily Musk.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 269   +162
I figured that he felt he could quit because he had set Intel on the right track... and now he will take early retirement so as to enjoy the money he has earned.
And Intel at least has enough 10nm manufacturing capacity that it can compete with AMD in laptops - which, apparently, are more important than desktops.
It's taken longer than I expected for Intel to get back in the game, and AMD has done better in the laptop arena than I ever expected. But Intel is too big to be kept down forever.