Intel's ultramobility group chief departs

Intel said the departure of Anand Chandrasekher won't hurt development of tablet and smartphone chips

Intel on Monday announced the resignation of Anand Chandrasekher, the chief of the company's Ultra Mobility Group (UMG), but added that his departure won't affect the company's commitment to developing processors for smartphones and tablets.

Chandrasekher, the senior vice president and general manager of UMG, will leave the company "to pursue other interests," Intel said in a statement.

Chandrasekher led a group responsible for the development of low-power Atom chips for products such as smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices. Intel said the group will now be co-managed by Mike Bell and Dave Whalen, both vice presidents in the Intel Architecture Group.

Intel responded to a request for comment about Chandrasekher's future plans, saying that it didn't know what he will be doing.

Intel has so far struggled to make its presence felt in the market for tablets and smartphones, most of which run on ARM processors. The company said it will continue to develop chips for mobile devices, and that a smartphone with an Intel chip would ship later this year. Intel is developing the Atom-based Medfield chip for smartphones. The company has also shown tablets running on low-power Atom chips code-named Oak Trail.

"We continue to make the investments needed to ensure that the best user experience on smartphones and handhelds runs on Intel Architecture," said David Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of Intel Architecture Group, in the statement.

Chandrasekher spent 24 years at Intel and was well-regarded in the chip community. His departure is more likely career-related than linked to Intel's slow progress in the mobile space, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.

Chandrasekher perhaps saw little opportunity for advancing further within the company, Brookwood said. Brookwood likened Chandrasekher's departure to that of Pat Gelsinger, who in 2009 left Intel to join EMC, where he is now president and chief operating officer. Gelsinger had been the senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group.

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