By Yun-Hee Kim and Don Clark
Intel said its chief marketing officer Deborah Conrad will leave the company after 27 years to pursue new opportunities.
Conrad, who is responsible for the company’s global brand management and marketing strategy, will stay on until the end of April as the company looks for a successor, an Intel spokesman said Wednesday.
“The timing is good for her personally and for Intel, as we explore new markets and new opportunities,” the Santa Clara, Calif., chip maker said. “The decision to leave was hers and she is leaving on amicable terms while working to help find her replacement.”
But people familiar with the situation add that Brian Krzanich, who became Intel’s chief executive last May, has been pushing for changes at the company. Among other things, Intel is facing new challenges in building its brand outside of its longtime stronghold in chips for personal computers, including the faster-growing market for smartphones.
Intel announced in January that it expects flat revenue for this year and plans to cut about 5% of its workforce. The Intel spokesman said Conrad’s departure wasn’t related to the workforce reduction.
Intel, the world’s biggest maker of microprocessors used in personal computers, has recently been investing in developing chips that can be used in wearable devices and has been placing more emphasis in recent years on software and services to drive future growth.
Conrad, 51 years old, recently took a ten-month leave to be treated for breast cancer. She was named Intel’s chief marketing officer in 2008. Prior to this role, she created and directed a team to lead Intel’s partnership with Apple, including overseeing sales and revenue and product engineering.
She is associated with some well-known advertising campaigns at the company, including “Sponsors of Tomorrow,” which celebrated the geeky culture of Intel’s engineers, and “Look Inside,” a return to the company’s strategy of trying to convince consumers to pay attention to the components inside their devices.
Conrad currently serves on the board of the Intel Foundation and Ad Council, according to the company’s website.