Intel Foundry Services President Randhir Thakur resigns
When Pat Gelsinger stepped in as CEO in early 2021, his vision that would allow Intel to get back on track and provide superior transistor performance along with competitive power efficiency by 2025 also included a plan to greatly expand its production capacity and open up the foundry business to fabless companies through the IFS IDM 2.0 initiative. While the Alder Lake and Raptor Lake CPU lineups could stand as proof that Gelsinger is steering the company in the right direction, the Intel Foundry Services plan might have hit a roadblock, especially now with the resignation of the IFS President / Intel Senior Vice President Randhir Thakur.
As reported by The Register and immediately confirmed by Intel, Thakur stepped down in order to “pursue other opportunities.” However, in an email sent to Intel employees, CEO Pat Gelsinger specified that Thakur will still oversee the IFS business until Q1 2023. Gelsinger also praised Thakur for his foundational work at IFS, including the acquisition of Israeli contract chipmaker Tower Semiconductor for US$5.4 billion, as well as deals with MediaTek and the US Department of Defense. Despite such achievements, the IFS contract manufacturing business only brought US$171 million in revenues for Q3 2022, or roughly 1.1% of Intel’s sales figures recorded in the last quarter.
Analyst Patrick Moorhead believes that the IFS leadership may be transferred to the CEO of Tower Semiconductor around the same time the acquisition deal is expected to be finalized in early 2023. Industry insider sources cited by news.mynavi.jp suggest that Thakur’s resignation may have occurred as a result of an “uncompromising disagreement” with Gelsinger regarding the future role played by Tower Semiconductor in the IDM 2.0 plan. The same sources are concerned that the resignation might set back the initial IFS plans.