Intel's new operating structure eyes specific products

Intel has announced a massive reorganisation of its operating groups, creating new groups to focus on areas such as the digital home and health care, and shuffling the roles of a number of key executives.

The chip company unveiled five new business units. They are: the Mobility Group, the Digital Home Group, the Digital Enterprise Group, the Digital Health Group, and the Channel Products Group. Previously, Intel had organised its operating units around the chip architecture that each group - such as the Intel Architecture Group and the Intel Communications Group - used in its products.

Over the last year, Intel has altered its approach to the processor market. Instead of marketing the ever-higher performance of its processors, the company now wants to develop a range of features for specific products, such as desktops, notebooks, and personal digital assistants, which make those devices easier to use and more secure.

The new organisations would help the company focus on these individual platforms, Intel said.

The leaders of all the new groups will report to chief executive officer, Craig Barrett, and president and chief operating officer, Paul Otellini. In May, Barrett will become chairman of the board of directors with Otellini succeeding him as CEO, but a replacement for Otellini has yet to be publicly identified.

The Mobility Group will be led by Sean Maloney and Dadi Perlmutter. Maloney is an executive vice-president at Intel, and previously ran the company's Intel Communications Group. Perlmutter was vice-president and general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group. The older Mobile Platforms Group focused on Intel's Centrino notebook technology, but the new Mobility Group adds Intel's XScale processors for personal digital assistants and smart phones, which were previously under Maloney's charge.

Anand Chandrasekher had been in charge of the Mobile Platforms Group, but he now assumes a new role as director of Intel's Sales and Marketing Group, replacing Jason Chen, who was leaving the company at the end of January due to health matters within his family, Intel said.

Chandrasekher will run this group in conjunction with Eric Kim, who was hired last September to improve Intel's consumer marketing expertise.

Don McDonald will lead the Digital Home Group, which will develop processors for digital entertainment devices in the living room. Louis Burns was previously in charge of that effort within the Desktop Platforms Group, but Burns is now the head of the Digital Health Group, and is charged with finding opportunities for Intel products within the health care market.

Intel's business customers will see a lot of Pat Gelsinger and Abhi Talwalker, the new co-leaders of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group. Talwalker had been serving as head of Intel's server division, and Gelsinger's previous role was Chief Technology Officer in charge of Intel's research and development activities. The new Digital Enterprise Group will have responsibility for processors that will power corporate products from PCs up through datacentre servers.

Gelsinger will be temporarily replaced as head of research and development by Justin Rattner, an Intel fellow.

Bill Siu, previously the co-leader of the desktop group with Burns, will take control of the Channel Products Group. This organisation will look to develop specific products for local markets around the world.

Other operating groups, such as the Technology and Manufacturing Groups, remained unchanged.

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