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News [intel] Jim Keller resigns from Intel

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maddie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2010
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I do not mean to dismiss Keller's work at Intel, but really is one man's contribution at a managerial level that important to the future of the company? There are competent managers to replace him and Keller's plans could, if the company thought them worthwhile, still continue under any successors. There's really no reason to stay around if there are pressing personal issues.
Well......... something seems to have happened at Intel over the past several years to those managers.
 

Doug S

Senior member
Feb 8, 2020
323
451
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The reason of the sickness of a loved one doesn't make sense to me. He resigned so he loses all benefits, albeit there's cobra but that only get you another six months. It doesn't make any sense to leave when he doesn't have to. If a loved one is sick and needs care, you don't leave a lifeline like Intel. Thus I'm not sure how likely it is health related. One could take all sorts of paid leave for this. To just quit outright... and then get sidelined with a consultancy for another six months... yea ok an extra limit on the non-compete.
It is stupid to argue over whether him quitting makes sense to you, when you aren't in possession of all the facts. None of us are.

A guy at his level has made a LOT of money over the years from both compensation and stock, I'm sure he's a millionaire quite a few times over by now so he's free to do what he chooses without worrying about money.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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The reason of the sickness of a loved one doesn't make sense to me. He resigned so he loses all benefits, albeit there's cobra but that only get you another six months. It doesn't make any sense to leave when he doesn't have to. If a loved one is sick and needs care, you don't leave a lifeline like Intel. Thus I'm not sure how likely it is health related. One could take all sorts of paid leave for this. To just quit outright... and then get sidelined with a consultancy for another six months... yea ok an extra limit on the non-compete.
I'll reiterate that it probably isn't a good idea to speculate; furthermore, we have no idea what kind of benefits package or severance he has negotiated with Intel. Given his track record, I expect that Intel compensated him very well. Intel has a lot of money, and they can afford to spend lavishly bringing in the right talent. Jim Keller isn't some rank-and-file office employee who really has to think about things like COBRA and being tied to a job over health benefits.
 

Nereus77

Member
Dec 30, 2016
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Ayyy Intel...

We know already that Intel has management issues.
"Personal issues" sounds like corporate speak for "this guy keeps doing his own thing, so we're fixing that by removing him"
To me, you don't go from full-time --> resignation --> consultant with "Personal issues" being the listed reason without there being some clashes with management somewhere. The consultant position sounds like a compromise transitional handover phase.
In other words, I think Intel may have fumbled their golden goose....

Hopefully Jim clears up the confusion.
 

Markeyse

Member
Feb 9, 2020
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Not sure if this has been posted yet, but seeing a couple of post from people in Intel said he has a relative that was extremely sick. If I find the post again I'll post it.
 

Roland00Address

Golden Member
Dec 17, 2008
1,951
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Not sure if this has been posted yet, but seeing a couple of post from people in Intel said he has a relative that was extremely sick. If I find the post again I'll post it.
We know he has a sibling that is sick, for his sibling and his brother in law (married to the sibling) are famous for other reasons and they are having a year of hell since Sept 2019 and especially Feb 2020. This brother in law is famous and thus we know more details from what has been disclosed via that end.

I am being cryptic here for privacy reasons, but also because Jim Keller sibling and her husband are polemical iconoclast figures. Merely mentioning the brother in laws name will make this thread political, and will "derail the thread."
 

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
22,291
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We know he has a sibling that is sick, for his sibling and his brother in law (married to the sibling) are famous for other reasons and they are having a year of hell since Sept 2019 and especially Feb 2020. This brother in law is famous and thus we know more details from what has been disclosed via that end.

I am being cryptic here for privacy reasons, but also because Jim Keller sibling and her husband are polemical iconoclast figures. Merely mentioning the brother in laws name will make this thread political, and will "derail the thread."
There’s a Jordan Peterson reference in here somewhere...ok back to P&N for me!!!
 

pike55

Junior Member
Jun 17, 2020
8
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Intels biggest problem is their process node development, Keller can't really help there.
This manufacturing problem resulted in capacity problems, delayed rollout of new microarchitecture and higher core counts and indirectly a demand spike during a capacity crysis. (Yes, there is also a "minor security issue ..." at the same time )
Sunny cove has been ready for quite some time, Willow cove is done and Golden cove not far away (I'm speaking of the architecture here, not of actual products).
Intel does not have an immediate micro-architecture (-development) problem and is not in desperate need of a whole new one at the moment.

While it would make sense to work on one, there are more immediate problems -
Intel desperately needs an answer to AMDs chiplets, especially in the server market.
The biggest disruption in the last few and coming years are the packaging technologies.

They offer great flexibility and opportunities, but Intel is way behind AMD here.
And Keller with his first hand knowledge from AMD and ideas for the future would be the perfect person to develope a strategy for utilising the packaging technologies for Intel.

And since theese technologies have a major impact on the chips (e.g. 3D stacking -> heat problems, splitting cpu into chiplets, l3 cache chiplets, possibilities for HBM as L4 cache, gpu chiplets, ...), there is a need for a fundamentally different approach in chip(-let) design because the requirements and optimization goals are quite different.
I'll put my money on Keller has been working on a chiplet strategy for Intel and its impacts on the development teams. How much of that he was able to finish is another question ...
 

chrisjames61

Senior member
Dec 31, 2013
629
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The reason of the sickness of a loved one doesn't make sense to me. He resigned so he loses all benefits, albeit there's cobra but that only get you another six months. It doesn't make any sense to leave when he doesn't have to. If a loved one is sick and needs care, you don't leave a lifeline like Intel. Thus I'm not sure how likely it is health related. One could take all sorts of paid leave for this. To just quit outright... and then get sidelined with a consultancy for another six months... yea ok an extra limit on the non-compete.
I can't believe I am reading this. I don't think Jim Keller has to worry about COBRA. The dude is at the very top of his profession. There are probably a handful of people on the whole planet that would be considered his peer. His resume is is incredible.
 

Kocicak

Senior member
Jan 17, 2019
279
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You do not quit the job you feel good about. There are ways to work with personal problems and keep the job.

It is obvious that he quit the job because he felt the job does not make sense to him for whatever reason. I do not believe that it must mean that there is something horrible going on in Intel, they may have things going already in the good direction so firmly put in place, that there was little he could contribute to.
 

amrnuke

Senior member
Apr 24, 2019
844
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You do not quit the job you feel good about.
1) He resigned and took a consulting position with the same company. His job description may, for all we know, be roughly the same (though I'm guessing his role is much more fluid now, his time obligations are far lower, and they are free to bring in someone who can be there full-time to take his resigned position). But I'm not sure. Neither is anyone else with the exception of Jim and those who make the decisions at Intel.
2) And yes, many would quit a job no matter how good one feels about it, if helping care for yourself or your family requires a change. Especially if you have the resources to where the job isn't necessary for your means of shelter, food, and healthcare. But as above, he's still getting paid as a consultant and still gets to do that work that he presumptively loves, perhaps just on an as-needed basis, while also having a lot more time to be with family and take care of the important things.

There are ways to work with personal problems and keep the job.
Yes, there are, in many cases. Such as taking a different position with the same company that would have fewer obligations. Like a consulting role.

It is obvious that he quit the job because he felt the job does not make sense to him for whatever reason.
Exactly. The job he had didn't make sense because he had more important things to handle. So he resigned that position and took a consulting position that lets him 1) focus on the personal/family issues, whatever they may be, 2) continue to perform some of the same duties, I'm guessing, and 3) gives him much more flexibility while also probably maintaining some income.
 

Kenmitch

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
8,062
1,336
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Yes, there are, in many cases. Such as taking a different position with the same company that would have fewer obligations. Like a consulting role.
I wonder how this thread would have gone if he was currently working at AMD instead of Intel. I'd imagine it would be full of all kinds of doom and gloom.

Jim's doing what's best for him at this time I'm guessing. If there's other underlying issues going on that influenced his decision maybe time will tell?
 

Doug S

Senior member
Feb 8, 2020
323
451
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You do not quit the job you feel good about. There are ways to work with personal problems and keep the job.

It is obvious that he quit the job because he felt the job does not make sense to him for whatever reason. I do not believe that it must mean that there is something horrible going on in Intel, they may have things going already in the good direction so firmly put in place, that there was little he could contribute to.

Look at his history, he never stays in one place too long. Not everyone looks for one job they can stay in until retirement. Some people like to move from place to place for new challenges, and it has nothing to do with whether or not they "feel good about" the job they left.

But if he has family health issues he must deal with then he doesn't want to start a new job now. Depending on how things go perhaps the six month consulting agreement will be extended, but when he comes out on the other side (and hopefully because his family member has recovered) I expect we'll hear about him popping up at another company ready for his next challenge. And wherever that is, I expect we'll hear about him leaving that job a few years later.
 

chrisjames61

Senior member
Dec 31, 2013
629
350
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1) He resigned and took a consulting position with the same company. His job description may, for all we know, be roughly the same (though I'm guessing his role is much more fluid now, his time obligations are far lower, and they are free to bring in someone who can be there full-time to take his resigned position). But I'm not sure. Neither is anyone else with the exception of Jim and those who make the decisions at Intel.
2) And yes, many would quit a job no matter how good one feels about it, if helping care for yourself or your family requires a change. Especially if you have the resources to where the job isn't necessary for your means of shelter, food, and healthcare. But as above, he's still getting paid as a consultant and still gets to do that work that he presumptively loves, perhaps just on an as-needed basis, while also having a lot more time to be with family and take care of the important things.


Yes, there are, in many cases. Such as taking a different position with the same company that would have fewer obligations. Like a consulting role.


Exactly. The job he had didn't make sense because he had more important things to handle. So he resigned that position and took a consulting position that lets him 1) focus on the personal/family issues, whatever they may be, 2) continue to perform some of the same duties, I'm guessing, and 3) gives him much more flexibility while also probably maintaining some income.
I think you summed it up nicely.
 

ondma

Golden Member
Mar 18, 2018
1,482
407
106
I wonder how this thread would have gone if he was currently working at AMD instead of Intel. I'd imagine it would be full of all kinds of doom and gloom.

Jim's doing what's best for him at this time I'm guessing. If there's other underlying issues going on that influenced his decision maybe time will tell?
You mean the same kind in innuendo that something is wrong with the company that is currently being addressed toward Intel? Probably, although I doubt with the same vitriol that is currently being desplayed. A certain segment of this forum would say it indicated something is wrong at Intel, no matter what evidence was presented.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
3,857
3,852
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You mean the same kind in innuendo that something is wrong with the company that is currently being addressed toward Intel? Probably, although I doubt with the same vitriol that is currently being desplayed. A certain segment of this forum would say it indicated something is wrong at Intel, no matter what evidence was presented.
Friendly reminder that when Keller joined AMD a certain segment of this forum built an entire theory based on which no one man can influence a CPU company to such degree as to lead to a revolutionary product or process (to which I happen to agree in principle). Keller's and Raja's departure were also accompanied by a "doom and gloom" innuendo (debatable, but worth discussing) , after which this novel idea started to gain traction: some people can influence a CPU company towards revolutionary change. (180 degree turn)

Personally I always said the team matters more than a rockstar, at least in the sense that it takes a good and flexible team to take advantage of a valuable asset. If Intel was in a good place before Keller got on board, it's still in a good place now.

I will say this though: I'm very surprised that both AMD and Intel chose to put Keller in the front PR line, as some kind of proof they are about to accomplish great things. He is obviously a wanderer, his media presence should always be heavily mixed with more reliable figures (in terms of presence with the company). If this type of consumer interaction is worth it, do it right.
 

Nereus77

Member
Dec 30, 2016
96
122
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You mean the same kind in innuendo that something is wrong with the company that is currently being addressed toward Intel? Probably, although I doubt with the same vitriol that is currently being desplayed. A certain segment of this forum would say it indicated something is wrong at Intel, no matter what evidence was presented.
Intel is fine. Totally fine. All 100% there.
 

AnandThenMan

Diamond Member
Nov 11, 2004
3,884
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Keller may not be "media friendly" but at least he doesn't fumble and literally drop a flagship product when trying to show it off.

Being serious, Raja strikes me as the kind of guy that is always trying to do more than is realistic, Keller is way way better and knowing how to hit the right notes at the right time. I think Raja Koduri will hurt Intel more than he helps.
 

RetroZombie

Senior member
Nov 5, 2019
464
382
96
I will say this though: I'm very surprised that both AMD and Intel chose to put Keller in the front PR line, as some kind of proof they are about to accomplish great things.
Just a small correction coercitiv, except the years he is at intel we never saw him in so many interviews, presentations, trade shows, ...

I even criticized this in some of my posts, he seamed to have been hired by the intel marketing department.
 

RetroZombie

Senior member
Nov 5, 2019
464
382
96
Intel desperately needs an answer to AMDs chiplets, especially in the server market.
The biggest disruption in the last few and coming years are the packaging technologies.


And since theese technologies have a major impact on the chips (e.g. 3D stacking -> heat problems, splitting cpu into chiplets, l3 cache chiplets, possibilities for HBM as L4 cache, gpu chiplets, ...),
Intel had many tech like that in the past, not properly used or unfortunately without successor:
- Kaby Lake-G: 8th gen core cpu + thirty party gpu
- Broadwell: 5th gen core cpu + L4 cache
- Arrandale: 1st gen core cpu + own gpu
- Kentsfield: Core 2 Duo Double cpu
- Smithfield: Pentium D Double furnaces :p
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
3,857
3,852
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Just a small correction coercitiv, except the years he is at intel we never saw him in so many interviews, presentations, trade shows, ...
They used Jim Keller as conduit for communicating future Zen performance (AMD Core Innovation Summit May 2014). They used his reputation to lend credence to their future performance claims. In hindsight what they were doing was even more obvious as Mark Papermaster behaved like a talk-show host, not the CTO of AMD. That should have been a dialogue between two senior AMD officials, not a simulated interview.

The information provided to us in that recording was instrumental in discussing future AMD processor performance. I'm surprised you don't remember it, since parts of the interview were very important in proving that AMD was actually developing a high performance core with Zen. There were a number of voices on the forum suggesting Zen had more in common with Bobcat cores, that AMD simply did not have the resources to design and produce a competitive high performance product.

So do yourself a favor and remove that strike-through in my quote, AMD started what Intel continued.

[Later Edit] Here's the entire presentation. AMD delivering their initial promise on x86 Zen performance kinda' made us forget they were actually promising a lot more with developing a high performance ARM product as well.
 
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