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Diane Bryant, head of Intel’s Data Center Group, is taking a leave of absence for the next six to eight months to attend to a personal family matter.

Bryant has been one of the most prominent female leaders at Intel as head of the company’s Data Center Group. Her business generated $4.2 billion in revenue last quarter, or about 28 percent of its revenue. But the server chips that the division generates are among the highest-profit products that Intel makes.

She will be replaced by Navin Shenoy, who will become general manager of DCG on an interim basis. You could say this is a blow to diversity — albeit a temporary one — at Intel, where the topic has been a big priority.

In a comment, an Intel spokesperson said, “This has no effect on Intel’s commitment to diversity and inclusion or our diversity initiative, which aims to enhance and encourage more diversity at Intel and in the technology industry.  When she returns in six to eight months, Diane will take on her next challenging business role, and will continue to pursue her passion of championing diversity and changing the pipeline based on strong science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.”

In an email today, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced changes to the company’s leadership team:

Today I’m writing to share two important leadership transitions on our executive leadership team.

Diane Bryant has made the difficult decision to take a leave of absence from Intel to tend to a personal family matter. She is stepping away for the next six to eight months. Given the extended duration, an interim leader for the Data Center Group (DCG) is not possible. As a result, I have asked Navin Shenoy to take the position of general manager of DCG.

DCG is a central part of our transformation and corporate strategy to make Intel the driving force of the data revolution. Over the past five years, Diane has transformed DCG from a server-centric group to a business that spans servers, network and storage across all end-user segments, and with product lines and business models that extend beyond the traditional. DCG’s leading products and strategies — driving industry transformations’ to pervasive cloud computing, virtualization of network infrastructure, and adoption of artificial intelligence solutions — have positioned the business to be the growth driver for Intel. I want to thank Diane for her outstanding leadership and I will announce her next role upon her return.

Navin will now report to me in this role. Since joining Intel in 1995, Navin has held leadership roles in the CEO’s office, sales and marketing, and the PC and tablet businesses. Most recently, as general manager of the Client Computing Group (CCG), he was responsible for the P&L, strategy and product development. Information about the succession plan for Navin as the general manager of CCG will be provided over the coming weeks. In the interim, Murthy Renduchintala will be CCG’s acting leader.

Navin and Diane have been instrumental to Intel’s success and our executive leadership team over the past few years. They will work closely together for the next month to ensure a smooth transition for the organization and our customers.

Management changes can be distracting, but it is critical that we all give Navin, Diane and the CCG leadership team our full support during this transition and focus on delivering leadership products and executing flawlessly. And, it goes without saying that my thoughts are with Diane. I look forward to welcoming her back to her next challenging role.


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