The title of Chief Strategy Office is an interesting one for Intel. The C-level executive in this position obviously has the goal of managing strategy within the company, although as it pertains to growth more than anything else. Intel has made it clear that it wants to grow and expand into markets where it hasn’t traditionally been the dominant player, where there is a lot of addressable market such that Intel believes its products could generate a lot more revenue. Despite having this discussion at its 2019 Investor Meeting, showcasing areas such as 3D NAND, FPGA, Connectivity, Edge, IoT, Automotive and as part of that growth market opportunity, Intel has not had a Chief Strategy Officer to guide it at a high level for over 18 months. Today Intel announced a replacement, Safroadu (Saf) Yeboah-Amankwah.

Yeboah-Amankwah will officially take the position effective November 1st, but has a strong track record of being very technology focused. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, and has been a Senior Partner and Managing Partner of the Technology, Media, & Telecommunications division of consultants McKinsey and Company, where he has been for 26 years. Recent focal points for Yeboah-Amankwah have included the expansion of technology into Africa, noting a $300 billion potential as Africa’s digital economy expands, as well as supporting technology transformations of telecoms, financial instructions, agricultural operations, as well as mergers and acquisitions. His profile at McKinsey lists his expertise mostly across Finance, Operations, M&A, with a focus on technology.

At Intel, his role at Intel as CSO would appear to include driving growth-oriented strategies in the key areas Intel has already highlighted, most of which align with Yeboah-Amankwah’s previous experience. Alongside this, Intel Capital will also fall under his domain, the arm of Intel that acts as both an investment fund as well as finding companies with acquisition potential. Intel Capital is a large business unit of Intel we don’t often talk about here at Intel (I was rather looking forward to attending the Intel Capital event for a second year, before the lockdown occurred), and will likely have increased importance as Intel attempts to move into these markets with a concerted effort.

Saf Yeboah-Amankwah will report directly to CEO Bob Swan, which means that Swan now has even more direct reportees than ever before.

It is also worth noting that Intel seems to be departing from the general ‘Internal Promotion’ model it has held to since the 80s. The number of recent external hires in key positions (some of which listed below) has the potential to cause some internal friction between employees that have been moving up the chain the past 20 years or so with regards to where Intel’s corporate growth sits. Intel’s recent desire over the past few years to bring in external hires to fill key positions is a story in of its own right.

We were afforded a number of interviews of Intel’s previous CSO over the years. It will be interesting if we are given the same opportunity, to get an insight into Yeboah-Amankwah’s goals for Intel in 2021 and beyond.

Source: Intel

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  • wrkingclass_hero - Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - link

    Intel is a ship with a hole in the bottom, and his job is to get it pointed in the right direction. Reply
  • jeremyshaw - Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - link

    *gestures a ship sinking fast* Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, September 28, 2020 - link

    Solid analogy. Reply
  • senttoschool - Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - link

    They need to get rid of Bob Swan first. You can have a non-technical CEO at a highly technical company if you have the technology lead. But now that you've lost it, you need to hire a technical CEO.

    Right now, the Intel CEO is probably just a sitting duck. He has no vision. He's probably just saying yes to a technical staff that is bossing him around. Hence, he's hiring this guy to help him manage the technical staff. When you're not technical but work in a technical company, employees don't respect you. Believe me. I've seen this numerous times.
    Reply
  • senttoschool - Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - link

    If I'm an Intel engineer, I'd see this as a bs hire. Why bring in someone, who I'm sure is capable, from a consultant company? Why not elevate someone internally? Even if he has a technical degree, it doesn't mean he knows a thing about nodes, designing semiconductors, etc.

    Bob Swan is just playing the politics game. When you're non-technical in a highly technical company, sometimes all you can do is play politics.
    Reply
  • wr3zzz - Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - link

    Hiring a career McKinsey guy into the C-suite is so 90s. There is a reason it went out of fashion.

    Also, strategy is literally the last thing left for CEO to do. There are already CFO, COO, CMO and CIO doing his other works.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, September 28, 2020 - link

    I was wondering about this. He has whole a bunch of reports now, so Swan's job is making sure they do their jobs... sounds like a $50K p/a proposition to me. Reply
  • yeeeeman - Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - link

    Intel is going lower and lower, hiring lots of people to make up for the existing people that aren't so good for their roles. For example, mister Bob Swan is totally inappropriate for its position, being a financial person, not a technical person. Intel needs to be run by engineers who also have good financial knowledge like Jen Hsun at nvidia, Lisa at AMD, Elon at Tesla. Unfortunately, with Bob at the helm Intel is focusing on the wrong things like reaching new markets, improving their margins, blah, blah, blah. Intel as a company was built and reached this level thanks to engineering excellence not by chasing financial figures.
    As I see it, Intel will get back on track when Bob Swan is replaced by a tech guy. Until then, it will be a continuous downhill for them...
    Reply
  • yeeeeman - Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - link

    Oh, and I've just figured it out...
    This guy is a replacement for Mr Murthy Reduchitala. Bob had to fire him to be like a punishment for the 7nm delay, but now he got another dude to do the same thing as Mr Murthy. I truly suspect Bob Swan is a pretty selfish and dictator like CEO who hasn't got the courage to say "hey, I am not fit for this role, lets give the place to someone better". I wonder why stakeholders don't see this issue or maybe they are just focused on the money.
    Reply
  • nucc1 - Sunday, September 27, 2020 - link

    People made a lot of similar noises at Apple when they hired Tim Cook, and yet he took Apple to heights that Jobs didn't, in a shorter time at the helm. Reply

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