News hot off the wire is that Dr. Randhir Thakur, Director of Intel’s Foundry Services, is set to take up a position as Director of Tata Electronics, an Indian based company, part of the Tata Group.

Detailed at Mint, it has been reported that Dr. Thakur will join Tata Electronics. There has been some confusion in the press already reporting this story as to whether this is a full time role at Tata Electronics and if/when he will be transitioning to that role. InstaFinancials lists Dr. Thakur as an active director of Tata Electronics as of the 28th April, which is actually some months prior to today’s date, but he is still listed on Intel’s website (and on his personal LinkedIn page) as President of Intel Foundry Services.

We have confirmed with Intel that Dr. Thakur is still President of its new foundry division, and that the Director role at Tata is only a board position alongside his role at Intel.

Intel's IFS 2.0

Intel’s push into expanding its home-grown semiconductor business for external customer use was crystallized in CEO Pat Gelsinger’s IDM 2.0 project launched earlier this year. The third prong of the project is Intel’s Foundry Services (IFS), which was to be a separate entity alongside its main product lines in the balance sheet with its own revenue and metrics. Intel’s goal with IFS is to provide its semiconductor manufacturing facilities at scale to potential customers that typically rely on other companies, but this would also aim to assist Intel in developing its next gen process node technology.

Intel has announced several large expansion projects as part of its IDM 2.0 strategy, including $20 billion for two new production lines at its Arizona facility, $3.5 billion in new packaging production lines in New Mexico, and up to $120 billion on a ‘little city’ mega-fab with up to 8 production lines. Leading that project, as of March this year, is Dr. Randhir Thakur. Thakur was previously Intel’s Chief Supply Chain Officer since joining the company in November 2017, and his latest role as Director of Intel Foundry Services started in March 2021.

As for IFS customers, Intel has already announced Qualcomm for manufacturing on its 20A process node, and Amazon for packaging.

Partnerships

Tata bringing Dr. Thakur to the board of its Electronics division might be seen as a strategic benefit to Intel’s IFS vision, despite Tata Group operating mostly out of Asia. Tata Electronics is obviously eyeing a strategic goal of securing its own semiconductor supply chain for some of its businesses (such as its automotive brands), and this might involve partnership and collaboration with Intel. Back in June, Intel hired Hong Hao, who led Samsung’s North American Foundry Business, to ‘formulate business strategies and execute customer engagement plans’ inside Intel Foundry as a way to develop some of these customer engagements and outline potential markets. As IFS is planning to expand and secure customers long term, having Intel’s own employees within various key industry boards of directors might be a strategy to help boost the IFS balance sheet in the long term.

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  • mode_13h - Saturday, August 14, 2021 - link

    I sometimes wonder how much time & energy it takes to be a board member. If he's also running IFS, it can't be very much ...unless he has staff that exist just to help him fulfill most of his board-related responsibilities. Reply
  • flgt - Saturday, August 14, 2021 - link

    You'd be surprised. The primary responsibility of installing your good ole boy buddy or private equity firm raider in the executive positions actually doesn't take too much time. You do have get their monstrous compensation package signed off though and ensure it in no way ties them to any company performance goals.

    Actual corporate oversight does take quite a bit of time, but don't be ridiculous, no one does that anymore.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Sunday, August 15, 2021 - link

    "You do have get their monstrous compensation package signed off "

    not as difficult as one might surmise. turns out that 'compensation committees' are largely populated by Other Megacorp managements. one hand washes the other, and any 'director' that complains, much less votes against any 'monstrous compensation package' will get two things:
    1 - their package will get torpedoed by those they offend, and those folks friends, and so on
    2 - when their term is up, they'll lose the seat at each and every board they were on

    nice work if you can get it.
    Reply
  • Blastdoor - Monday, August 16, 2021 - link

    CEOs and boards are a protection racket. Their paycheck is given in the hopes that they won’t completely pillage the company. Moussolini said:
    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

    The corollary is that corporations are inherently fascist.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - link

    The main exception I take is the idea that CEOs aren't accountable. I'm no defender of executive compensation, but we should also consider that the average tenure of a publicly-traded US corporate CEO is only about 18 months, last I heard. Sometimes, all it takes is a couple disappointing quarters and they're the one that takes a fall.

    That doesn't justify their compensation levels, but it does go a little way towards explaining why they're so keen to get the loot while they can.
    Reply
  • eldakka - Sunday, August 15, 2021 - link

    It doesn't take much time or energy to be a non-executive director. Usually only a couple of days a month, it is most definitely a part-time job. It is the CEO and other executives who do the day-to-day business of a company and who set strategic directions. The board just has to meet every now and then - about once a month or so - to approve that strategic direction and to convince themselves that the CxO's are doing their jobs.

    The more in trouble a company is the more often the directors have to meet, e.g. on the verge of bankruptcy, making continual losses and so on. If the companys running fine, ticking over making huge profits - and despite recent problems Intel is still hugely profitable - then they don't have a lot to do. And also the smaller the company is, the more likley you are to have few non-executive directors, with most of the directors being executive directors (i.e. CxO's as well as being on the board). A small company may have a board of only 4 or 5 people, with most or all of them being executives as well. Big publicaly traded companies tend to have larger, boards, e.g. 12 people, which leads to most of them being non-executive, and appointed by large shareholders, e.g. PE firms, to keep an eye - but not day-to-day run - things, and to have a say in the appointment of executives.

    There are people who all they do is be the non-executive directors of multiple companies. Especially someone employed - contracted really - by a big equity firm who may have a non-executive seat on a board, and use that person to represent them on the boards of several different companies. I've seen non-executive directors serve on the boards of six different companies at the same time.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Monday, August 16, 2021 - link

    Thanks. So, does the work ever involve any sort of fact-checking or keeping the executives honest and rooted in reality?

    Also, can you comment on how common it is for one to be a board member or executive of companies within the same value chain? I get the sense that it happens more than it seems like it should.
    Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Saturday, August 14, 2021 - link

    I guess that's why Intel withdrew their offer - bummer! I guess I'll be staying put then.... Reply
  • Gigathome - Sunday, August 15, 2021 - link

    I wonder why it is legal for him to do so. Isn't it a conflict of interest as same profile in two different companies? Reply
  • mode_13h - Monday, August 16, 2021 - link

    Depends on Indian anti-competition law, I suppose. If he was transparent with Intel and they agreed on the basis of bringing in more business for their ISF business, then I don't see a problem for Intel. I think their main concerns would probably be around protecting sensitive IP.

    The issue could be a little more tricky for Tata Electronics, since they should try to avoid undue influence in their selection of fab partners.
    Reply

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