Venkata “Murthy” Renduchintala, the former Qualcomm copresident whom Intel poached last year, sent a critical message to the company’s senior executives last week, according to a leaked internal memo obtained by The Oregonian’s Mike Rogoway on Wednesday.
“Over the last three months I have conducted numerous project reviews with our execution teams, and there is a clear trend that has emerged in these reviews – a lack of product/customer focus in execution that is creating schedule and competitiveness gaps in our products,” Renduchintala wrote in a note sent to Intel’s senior management last week.
The report added that Renduchintala’s creating three-person leadership teams for each of the new products under development, while constantly looking for outside talent to join the company. He also urged the executive team to spend more time improving Intel’s focus on customer needs, the report said.
The memo is the latest evidence of Renduchintala’s growing power within Intel. In November 2015, the company spent over $10 million in bonus payments alone to bring Renduchintala as president of the Client and Internet of Things (IoT) Businesses and Systems Architecture Group, a newly created group that oversees Intel’s largest revenue-generating businesses, including its PC and IoT chips.
The news also coincides with the sudden departures of two long-time Intel execs who were leading the company’s PC and IoT businesses. Kirk Skaugen and Doug Davis were put under Renduchintala’s management after he was hired. Aicha Evans, who was leading Intel’s mobile-chip business, also under Renduchintala’s team, is reported to have left the company two weeks ago.
It’s also a reflection that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is serious about relying on outside talent to boost the company’s stagnant growth. Intel has hired a number of senior-level execs from outside the company over the past year, a huge change from its tradition of promoting from within. Some people even think Renduchintala’s the leading candidate to succeed Krzanich in the future.
Intel declined to comment on this story.