News on the wire today is that Intel has rehired 28-year veteran Shlomit Weiss into the position of Senior VP and Co-General Manager of Intel’s Design Engineering Group (DEG), a position recently vacated by Uri Frank who left to head up Google’s SoC development. As reported in Tom’s Hardware and confirmed in her own LinkedIn announcement, Weiss will be working at Intel’s Israel design center alongside Sunil Shenoy and is ‘committed to ensuring that the company continues to lead in developing chips’. Weiss is the latest in an ever-growing list of ‘re-hiring’ Intel veterans, which leads to the problem that at some point Intel will run out of ex-employees to rehire and instead nurture internal talent for those roles.

In her first 28-year stint at Intel, Weiss is reported to have lead the team that developed both Intel Sandy Bridge and Intel Skylake, arguably two of the company’s most important processor families over the last decade: Sandy Bridge reaffirmed Intel’s lead in the market with a new base microarchitecture and continues in its 6+th generation in Comet Lake today, while Skylake has been Intel’s most profitable microarchitecture ever. Weiss also received Intel’s Achievement Award, the company’s highest offer, but is not listed as an Intel Fellow, while CRN reports that Weiss also founded the Intel Israel Women Forum in 2014. Weiss left Intel in September 2017 to join Mellanox/NVIDIA, where she held the role of Senior VP Silicon Engineering and ran the company’s networking chip design group.

In her new role at Intel, Tom’s is reporting that Weiss will lead all of Intel’s consumer chip development and design, while the other Co-GM of Intel DEG Sunil Shenoy will lead the data center design initiatives.

If you’ve been following the news of Intel’s personnel of late, you might start to learn a pattern:

  • Dec 20: Intel hires Masooma Bhaiwala (16-year AMD veteran)
  • Jan 21: Intel rehires Glenn Hinton (35-year Intel veteran, Senior Fellow)
  • Jan 27: Intel rehires Sunil Shenoy (33-year Intel veteran)
  • Jan 27: Intel hires Guido Appenzeller (various)
  • Feb 15: Intel rehires Pat Gelsinger (30-year Intel veteran)
  • Mar 17: Intel rehires Sanjay Natarajan (22-year veteran)
  • May 28: Intel hires Ali Ibrahim (13-year AMD veteran, Senior Fellow)
  • June 7: Intel hires Hong Hao (13-year Samsung veteran)
  • June 8: Intel rehires Stuart Pann (33-year Intel veteran)
  • June 8: Intel rehires Bob Brennan (22-year Intel veteran)
  • June 8: Intel hires Nick McKeown (27-year Stanford professor)
  • June 8: Intel hires Greg Lavender (35-year Sun/Citi/VMWare)
  • July 6: Intel rehires Shlomit Weiss (28-year Intel veteran)

Of these named hires (plenty of other people hired below the role of VP), seven are listed as ex-Intel employees being rehired into the company, mostly into engineering-focused positions. These ex-Intel engineers have a long line of accolades at the company, having worked on and built the fundamental technologies that power Intel today. The exact reasons why they left Intel in the first place are varied, with some peers are keen to cite brain drain during CEO Brian Krzanich’s tenure, however it would appear that the promise of working on fundamental next-generation hardware, along with popular CEO Pat Gelsinger, is enough of an allure to get them to return.

It should be noted however that number of engineers that Intel could rehire is limited – going after key personnel critical to Intel’s growth in the last few decades, despite their lists of successful products and accolades, can’t be the be-all and end-all of Intel’s next decade of growth. If we’re strictly adhering to typical retirement ages as well, a number of them will soon be at that level within the next ten years. Intel can’t keep rehiring veteran talent into key positions to get to the next phase in its product evolution – at some level it has to reignite the initial passion from within.

Intel’s key personnel are often home-grown, or what we call ‘lifers’, who spend 20+ years of the company typically straight out of university or college – every rehire on this list fits into this image, especially CEO Pat Gelsinger, and a number of contacts I have within the company are identical. However if Intel is having to rehire those who enabled former glory for the company, one has to wonder exactly what is going on such that talent already within the company isn’t stepping up. At some point these veterans will retire, and Intel will be at a crossroads. In a recent interview with former Intel SVP Jim Keller, he stated that (paraphrased) ‘building a chip design team at a company depends on volume – you hire in if you don’t have the right people, but if you have a team of 1000, then there are people there and it’s a case of finding the right ones’. In a company of 110000 employees, it seems odd that Intel feels it has to rehire to fill those key roles. Some might question if those rehires would have left in the first place if Intel’s brain drain had never occurred, but it poses an interesting question nonetheless.

Source: Tom’s Hardware, CRN
Image: LinkedIn

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  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, July 12, 2021 - link

    Weiss was involved with both sandy bridge AND skylake. Pat with nahalem. Do we really need to go into what Lisa su has done for AMD?

    "I'm not being age-ist, here"

    yes you are. The "old dogs" are not single handedly building these new CPUs, get your head out of the sand. They oversaw or were involved with major projects within intel and are engineers at heart, the kind of people you need at the head of a hardware company.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - link

    > yes you are. The "old dogs" are not single handedly building these new CPUs

    To understand my point, you have to look at the trend. If what Pat's doing simply amounts to bringing back all previous top performers, then the strategy amounts to trying to "replay the greatest hits".

    Instead, what he should be doing is looking ahead 5 years and beyond, then crafting the organization to be successful on that timeframe. And it seems unlikely that the people you'd want in charge are the same in both cases.

    > They oversaw or were involved with major projects within intel and are engineers at heart,
    > the kind of people you need at the head of a hardware company.

    Okay, so you're saying that Intel doesn't have enough engineers who have done anything substantial that can be promoted into some of those roles? And there's nobody from anywhere else they can attract who's up to the task?

    So, to put it another way, it's like looking to recreate the glorious past, rather than trying to build a bold new future. That's what this feels like.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - link

    And just to clarify, I don't mean there'd be 0 overlap between the managers you'd want for one strategy vs. the other. I'm just saying they probably wouldn't be identical, because it's hard to manage new initiatives without some depth in that area.

    So, to the extent the future depends on things like AI chip design, it would seem sensible to have someone leading that effort with a foot in both worlds, rather than someone familiar only with doing it the old way.
    Reply
  • vladx - Saturday, July 10, 2021 - link

    Just the usual for AnandTech writers who have a clear AMD bias nowadays to try to spin everything Intel does as negatively as possible. Reply
  • Qasar - Thursday, July 15, 2021 - link

    just like you tend to spin everything as positive as you can for intel ? come one vlad, you are known to have a clear bias towards intel. Reply
  • TheJian - Sunday, July 25, 2021 - link

    But he's not writing Anandtech articles for public consumption is he (commenters don't count...LOL)? Are you reporting the news or MAKING it here? WE are allowed to be biased, but we don't expect the hardware press to be an AMD portal site. ;) They've been doing the same on NV articles for ages too. See me destroying them with their own data on their 660 Ti article ages ago (Ryan, J Walton IIRC - he attacked name-called etc...ROFL couldn't handle their own benchmarks from older articles being used on THEIR articles later to prove them BS bias)..ROFL "1200p is the new enthusiast standard"...Uh, at 660ti launch (2560x1600 for those who don't remember)? It still isn't the standard TODAY (never really became one, 1440p took over), YEARS later...LOL. Wake me when 1200p is the market leading res. Last I checked it is STILL 1080p. TODAY by far, right (my res is a decimal today, yep running 1200p dell 2407 WFP-HC from 2007ish)? Comic. It's taken 9yrs to get 1440p to 8%...ROFLMAO. 4k still at 2.14% on steamhardwaresurvey and back then it was ~2% for 1200p and 4k was near 0 IIRC or was ZERO? LOL).
    https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/
    I guess at 8% you could call 1440p enthusiast now. But at 2.14%, you'd have to call 4K PIPE DREAM for most still right people? That is ULTRA enthusiast IMHO at this point still, and 8k is a % of 1.84%(other category)...LOL 3440x1440 is 1.09% of the market (just FYI).

    That's like changing bathroom laws for 2-4% of the public that is LGBT ruining everyone's idea of SAFE bathrooms. Also, what percent of those 2-4% are AFFECTED? A very small % of an already small number.

    I already have to deal with a GAY guy potentially looking at my D|CK in a bathroom (uncomfortable but not TOO dangerous, still...little nerds might be afraid). I can't punch that guy because that would be breaking the law. That is assuming he's not trying to do ANYTHING else to me in said bathroom (I'll leave that there, you can figure out what I mean adults). But the other side of that coin, is sending MEN (with GEAR intact so to speak) into a bathroom where our daughters/wives/sisters/moms are (you get it, I can't cover all these gender idiots here), and asking THEM to feel safe...ROFL. NO WAY, that will make me want to beat you out of fear for my loved one. You are asking for it at that point. Just like Ryan asking me to down him in ~2012 for saying 1440p was enthusiast at minuscule market share. I STILL don't think it is worth benchmarking 4K today for 2% of the market and having it in nearly every gpu/cpu review. Do it once or twice a year in a roundup or something.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Sunday, July 25, 2021 - link

    That was kind of a clumsy segue from computer discussion into culture wars.

    The whole bathroom controversy is AstroTurf. And they key point its exponents don't want you to know is that it's a non-issue. Their entire argument is based on fear-mongering, as there's *no data* that supports their case.

    The whole part about gays using our restrooms is a perfect example of what a non-issue this is. There have been gays using public restrooms for as long as there have been public restrooms, and yet there's never been a real problem with assaults by them.

    Finally, did it ever occur to you that if a man wanted to attack women in a public restroom (something that's already against the law), maybe he wouldn't feel compelled to obey gendered bathroom laws? Choose logic & data over political ideology, please.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - link

    > Skylake has been Intel’s most exploit-prone microarchitecture ever.

    Fixed that for you.

    > Weiss left Intel in September 2017 to join Mellanox/NVIDIA,
    > where she held the role of Senior VP Silicon Engineering
    > and ran the company’s networking chip design group.

    Uh oh. I hope nobody is using *those* chips in critical infrastructure!

    > In her new role at Intel, Tom’s is reporting that Weiss will lead
    > all of Intel’s consumer chip development and design

    Good call. Consumers don't care about security.

    > If you’ve been following the news of Intel’s personnel of late,
    > you might start to learn a pattern

    "Make Intel Great Again!"

    > In a company of 110000 employees, it seems odd that Intel feels
    > it has to rehire to fill those key roles.

    It's because Intel routinely purges people who don't advance up the ladder. So, you lose some critical people who just keep their heads down and focus on their job, and you're left with people more interested in playing politics.
    Reply
  • ballsystemlord - Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - link

    @Ian , that title makes it sound like Intel is hiring former US military people. Maybe change it to "Intel continues to Rehire Intel Veterans..." Reply
  • Wereweeb - Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - link

    No confusion on my end. The assumption that "veterans" means "military veterans" instead of literally any other of the hundreds of kinds of "veterancy" is your problem, not Anandtech's. Reply

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