Intel President Renee James Departs Company


At the beginning of July 2015, Intel announced that their President Renee James will be stepping down, ending her 28-year career with the company to take a CEO position elsewhere. This means the company will be losing its highest-ranking female, unfortunately at a time when CEO Brian Krzanich has been advocating for more diversity both in his company and the tech world in general. James’ choice to step down in order to join another tech firm could mark progress in the effort but weaken Intel’s own diversity push in the process.

"When Brian and I were appointed to our current roles," James said in a letter to Intel employees, "I knew then that being the leader of a company was something that I desired as part of my own leadership journey. Now is the right time for me to take that next step." On the other hand, another female employee, Aicha Evans, was recently brought up to Intel’s management committee from a wireless technologies general manager role which is a sign of the company’s desire to give women critical roles in the 75-percent male-dominated workplace.

In 2014, James was ranked number 21 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list. In her 28 years with Intel, she helped the company move beyond PC and server chips and into newer technologies like mobile computing and wearables. She was also responsible for overseeing Intel’s semiconductor manufacturing operations, software and security efforts, human resources, and corporate strategy. James was also a leading force in the technology industry’s on-going fight to increase its diversity when Intel announced a $300 million investment in training and recruiting female and other groups of underrepresented computer scientists. The fact that she was not chosen as CEO did play a part in her decision to leave the company.

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