Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Analysis:Shakeup As Intel Taps An Outsider For Crucial CMO Post

Posted by Tom Foremski - May 6, 2014

The appointment yesterday of Steve Fund from Staples, as CMO of Intel, shows that Brian Krzanich, CEO wants to shake up Intel's insider culture by appointing from outside the organization. 

The company believes that it can take a long time to understand its corporate culture, and senior appointments don't have time to allow an outsider to get up to speed. This was the reasoning behind the appointment of insider Krzanich to the top job last year despite the board also considering outsiders for the first time.

However, with the appointment of Fund, who ran global marketing at the office supplies firm, Krzanich clearly believes that the Intel culture needs new blood.  

Fund's responsibilities will be: Intel's global marketing strategy, brand management, product positioning, market research, advertising, partner marketing, retail channel marketing, digital marketing, social media, and global communications.

Fund will have to be a quick learner in dealing with the "Intel Way." Or, he'll shake things up further by bringing in his own team.

Intel is trying to expand into the custom chip manufacturing sector and it is battling a decline in PC sales, plus it is far behind competitors Qualcomm and Broadcom in mobile sectors. Krzanich must figure out a way to improve sales and profits by winning in new markets -- markets that have lower profitability than in its mainstream microprocessor business.

Intel has the best semiconductor manufacturing technologies, which enable it to produce cutting edge chips at a lower cost than rivals. However, that edge provides only a small amount of breathing space for Krzanich to set Intel onto a better course. 

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