Intel Mobile Chip Leader Is Leaving After Less Than a Year in That Role

Intel Corp. executive Aicha Evans is leaving the company less than a year into her tenure as head of the semiconductor maker’s struggling mobile phone division.

Evans, who joined the company a decade ago, has handed in her notice at Intel, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the move hasn’t been made public. Intel spokeswoman Laura Anderson declined to comment.

Aicha Evans

Source: Intel

Intel, the largest chipmaker because of its hold on personal computer and server markets, has spent billions of dollars and more than a decade trying to get into phones. It ended 2015 with a 1 percent share in phone processors, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. Evans is one of the most senior black female executives in the chip industry where minorities and women are hugely underrepresented.

Evans’s departure comes amid speculation her unit is close to a rare mobile breakthrough by becoming a supplier of parts for Apple Inc.’s iPhone. Barclays Capital analyst Blayne Curtis downgraded his rating on Qualcomm Inc., which supplies the modems in current models, in March saying ‘it is fairly well known at this point that Intel could get some share at Apple this year.”

In February, Evans represented Intel at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona where she outlined plans to make the company’s technology central to upcoming fifth generation, or 5G, phone networks and devices. She was promoted to head of the division, and to Intel’s management committee, last year when the company announced its previous mobile leaders Hermann Eul and Mike Bell would be leaving after a transition period.

Prior to Intel, Evans spent 10 years in engineering management positions at Rockwell Semiconductors, Conexant and Skyworks Solutions Inc. She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from George Washington University in 1996.

Evans’s departure from Intel also dents the diversity hiring of Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich who has increased efforts to recruit more women and other under-represented segments of the population. According to its most recent diversity report just 3.5 percent of the chipmaker’s workforce were African American or black and 24 percent were female.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.