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Former Hewlett Packard exec Justin Hotard will lead Intel's data center and AI group Image: Bloomberg

Intel Appoints Outsider Hotard to Head Data Center Unit

Former Hewlett Packard exec Justin Hotard will lead Intel's data center and AI group.

(Bloomberg) -- Intel Corporation appointed Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company executive Justin Hotard to head its data center and artificial intelligence group, bringing in an outsider to run a division crucial to the chipmaker’s turnaround efforts. 

Hotard was responsible for HPE’s high-performance computing, AI, and labs. At Intel, he’ll oversee some of the company’s most important products, including the Xeon server processors that were dominant in data centers, but have lost share to rival offerings and in-house efforts by customers. The former NCR and Motorola Inc. executive will also head up Intel’s efforts to cut into Nvidia Corporation’s lead in AI by overseeing its graphics and accelerator chip offerings, Intel said Wednesday in a statement. 

A comeback in data center products is critical to Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger’s plans to restore Intel to leadership of the chip industry. While data center chips are a relatively low-volume part of the industry, processors and accelerators can sell for tens of thousands of dollars each, making them enormously profitable. 

Hotard, who will join Intel on February 1, succeeds company veteran Sandra Rivera. Rivera began Monday as head of Intel’s programmable solutions business, which the company separated into a standalone unit. Intel said it intends to sell a portion of the business to the public within two to three years.

Separately, Intel announced that another executive from its data center unit, Arun Subramaniyan, had departed to run Articul8, a new AI company formed by the chipmaker and investors including DigitalBridge Group and Mindset Ventures.

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