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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  • vladx - Thursday, July 15, 2021 - link

    "Citation needed."

    And here's the problem with you @mode_13h, you resort too much to authority instead of thinking for yourself.
  • mode_13h - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link

    > you resort too much to authority instead of thinking for yourself.

    Huh? OG made a bold & specific claim without evidence. I have a right to request evidence.

    Please tell me what I should "think for myself" about this. We can't just go around believing things because they somehow feel true. That's how you get demagogues. There needs to be a level of rigor. Any true journalist would understand what I'm talking about.
  • mode_13h - Sunday, July 11, 2021 - link

    I'll add that one definite factor in censoring content of late is China. Both Chinese funding of some US studios & productions, as well as the lure of the Chinese market is leading to a lot of self-censorship by big studios and individuals early in their career who fear getting blacklisted.
  • mode_13h - Sunday, July 11, 2021 - link

    > I'm supporting China in the trade war with US and avoid buying US products whenever possible.

    You should understand what a world looks like, when China runs everything. It's a very authoritarian society, with ubiquitous surveillance, restricted speech, restricted press, few legal rights, and you absolutely cannot criticize The Party. They have a flavor of mercantilism where they eventually dominate all major sectors of the economy.

    The US looks worse than it is, mostly because all of its dirty laundry is hanging out for the world to see. Our freedom of speech and freedom of the press are actively and passively working against us. It's not a perfect place, but there is still a commitment to free markets, open competition, human rights, and rule of law.

    I'd suggest you take some time to consider what you truly value, in the world of tomorrow.
  • mode_13h - Sunday, July 11, 2021 - link

    BTW, I have nothing against Chinese people. And I'd have no problem with China itself, if their government more closely resembled those of Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, or maybe Singapore.
  • GeoffreyA - Sunday, July 11, 2021 - link

    Spot on!
  • GeoffreyA - Sunday, July 11, 2021 - link

    "Welcome to City-17. It's safer here..."
  • vladx - Thursday, July 15, 2021 - link

    I value honesty and when it's all said and done China is less hypocritical than US as a whole. Hypocrisy is the biggest issue with the world nowadays and American society is the no. 1 there.
  • mode_13h - Friday, July 16, 2021 - link

    > Hypocrisy is the biggest issue with the world nowadays

    Is it? Would you like to be killed by an earnest and honest serial killer? If someone says they're going to drive a bus full of children off a cliff and then actually does it, we don't give them credit for doing what they said they were going to do! It would be far better if they realized what a bad idea it was and changed course.

    There are some things worse than hypocrisy. Things like ethnic cleansing, seizing the South China Sea, driving foreign competitors out of business with unfair trade practices, and indebting developing countries into servitude through infrastructure loans they can't even afford to service.

    And if you care about hypocrisy, ask people in Xinjiang about their "retraining" camps, or people born in Hong Kong about China's promise of "one country two systems". And if we leave Hong Kong aside, I guess you might have a point that at least China doesn't pretend to be a democracy. That would make them less hypocritical than say Russia or Iran.

    A parting thought about hypocrisy. Sometimes, what might look like hypocrisy is the product of something else. If there's a meaningful inconsistency, it pays to look at what's behind it. Most of all, it pays to be pragmatic and consider which likely consequences actually matter.
  • vladx - Saturday, July 17, 2021 - link

    "There are some things worse than hypocrisy. Things like ethnic cleansing, seizing the South China Sea, driving foreign competitors out of business with unfair trade practices, and indebting developing countries into servitude through infrastructure loans they can't even afford to service."

    Like I said, I consider hypocrisy far more dangerous than all of that.

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