Two High-Level Intel Execs Leading PC And Internet Of Things Divisions Abruptly Abandon Ship

Intel out of the blue announced high-level executive departures from two of its most high-profile business divisions. The first executive that is parting ways with Intel is Kirk Skaugen, who has been with the company for nearly 25 years. Skaugen most recently was in charge of the Client Computing Group (CCG). His previous roles at Intel included leading the PC and Data Center Group and the PC Client Group before it was renamed to CCG.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Client and Internet of Things (IoT) Businesses and Systems Architecture Group President Dr. Venkata “Murthy” Renduchintala commended Skaugen for his decades of service, the “innovation he’s brought” to Intel, and his “customer [focused] orientation.”

“His strategy of segmentation and innovation in our core businesses has been a strong asset to Intel,” wrote Krzanich and Renduchintala. Skaugen is is rather dryly stated to be leaving Intel for “his next career opportunity.” His last day will be April 8th and Navin Shenoy has been named as his replacement.

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The second departure is that of Doug Davis, who has been with Intel for an amazing 32 years. Davis has reportedly been working up the courage to make a break from Intel for a long time, but decided that now is the right time to make an exit. In his most recent role at Intel, Davis helmed the Internet of Things (IoT) Group, which is increasingly gaining more focus and resources from the chip giant.

“Doug’s deep acumen, strong customer relationships, and leadership in the IOT sector has been instrumental to our growth in this space, and the emergence of Intel as one of the most important end-to-end players in the Internet of Things,” added Krzanich and Renduchintala.

Unlike Skaugen, Davis does not have a definite end date with Intel. His successor must first be found, so Davis will stay in his current role until a proper transition can be made.

What’s most interesting about these two departures is the rather peculiar timing. The PC market is currently contracting, with PC shipments seeing their steepest declines ever (IDC and Gartner reported drops of 10.4 percent and 8 percent respectively for all of 2015). This is despite the fact that Microsoft has been pushing Windows 10 as a means to boost new PC sales. On the flip-side, Microsoft’s heavy-handed upgrade push for existing PCs (Windows 10 is a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.x users) could also be putting somewhat of a damper on new PC sales.

On the other hand, the IoT movement is quickly picking up steam and Intel is currently at the forefront of innovation in that market. Intel cannot afford any missteps this early in the game, which is likely why Davis is staying onboard and the executive team is carefully vetting his successor.