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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  • GeoffreyA - Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - link

    "Hypocrisy is prevalent everywhere"

    Sure, but there's a scale, and I've got to admit, some people who "fight" the most for "justice" are curiously prejudiced in another angle.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - link

    > some people

    I'm skeptical of generalizations. I'd rather take things on a case-by-case basis. Labels are a tool for the lazy. We can do better.

    Now, if you want to debate the merits or wisdom of specific policies, that's another matter.
  • GeoffreyA - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link

    I agree that generalisations aren't ideal. At the end of the day, it's always the individual case that counts. I feel the climate of these days is creating more division and going contrary to the spirit of unity.
  • mode_13h - Saturday, July 17, 2021 - link

    > I feel the climate of these days is creating more division

    That's why I don't like labels. They're simplistic and do more to divide than inform. They're merely a cognitive shortcut that tends to get overused and plays into tribal instincts in dangerous ways.

    > and going contrary to the spirit of unity.

    A spirit of unity would be nice, but it occurred to me some time ago that as the world gets increasingly dirty, hot, and crowded, humanity will get too bogged down in the various squabbles spun off like eddies, rather than focusing on the underlying currents pushing us adrift. I hope that we can at least try to avoid unnecessary divisions and at least focus on matters of substance.
  • GeoffreyA - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    Oh yes. Labels tend to suggest I'm different, you're different, when only a short while ago, nobody cared about any difference. Nobody saw any difference. I think finding common ground is important, finding the thing that unites people. Also, getting to know a person, then the superficialities fade away and the differences become a beautiful enrichment.
  • vladx - Saturday, July 10, 2021 - link

    Well said, the promotion of diversity hiring is just disgusting. This is why as a guy from EU, I'm supporting China in the trade war with US and avoid buying US products whenever possible.
  • GeoffreyA - Sunday, July 11, 2021 - link

    Sure, US is full of problems, we know, but that doesn't make China the saviour to follow. Unless we'd like to see two propaganda films a week.
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, July 11, 2021 - link

    All film is state propaganda. Some of it is just better-disguised. Television is even more obvious.
  • vladx - Sunday, July 11, 2021 - link

    Well said. @Oxford Guy. Everything that comes out of Hollywood nowadays is choke full of propaganda.
  • GeoffreyA - Sunday, July 11, 2021 - link

    You're right, and I realised that weakness after I posted my comment. I suppose what I meant was, do we want Triumph of the Will style propaganda twice a week, or Hollywood-style propaganda?

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