| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO May 14 Intel Corp is
shedding jobs in its marketing department ahead of the arrival
of new chief marketing officer Steven Fund, who the struggling
chipmaker is betting will restore some shine to its brand.
In recent weeks, close to 40 marketing employees have
accepted voluntary incentive packages to leave, said two people
close to the company who were not authorized to comment.
Marketing vice presidents Kevin Sellers and Nancy Bhagat,
who would have reported to Fund, are also leaving the chipmaker,
the two sources said.
The reductions come as the world's largest chipmaker
struggles to revitalize a brand associated with a crumbling PC
market. CEO Brian Krzanich said during an online Reddit
discussion in February that Intel needed to revamp its marketing
to get back some of its "coolness."
Morale among many on the marketing team is at an "all-time
low" and contributed to some employees' decisions to leave, one
of the sources told Reuters. The chipmaker's marketing
department has struggled over the past year or two to captivate
consumers with new ultrathin laptops and two-in-one tablets.
"We all know there's a problem. If you look at the
Interbrand numbers you can see it," said a third person familiar
with Intel's marketing department. "It was smart to go external,
bring in someone with fresh thinking."
Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy declined to confirm how many
people had left, but he said they fall within a previously
announced plan to trim the chipmaker's workforce by 5 percent
But he said they were not leaving as a reaction to specific
problems in the marketing department.
Intel's marketing department had more than 300 employees
spread around different business units and offices prior to the
cuts, one of the sources estimated.
Last week, Intel announced it had hired senior Staples
executive Fund as its new chief marketing officer, and that he
would report directly to Krzanich when he starts in June. He
replaces 27-year Intel veteran Deborah Conrad, who left in
Launched in 1991, the chipmaker's "Intel Inside" campaign
turned commodity electronic components into premium products,
and its stickers eventually became ubiquitous on laptops.
But Intel's brand has lost a little of its glitter in recent
years. In 2013, Intel was No. 9 on consulting firm Interbrand's
global ranking, down from No. 7 in 2011.
Marketing employees have been split over Krzanich's decision
to hire a new marketing chief from outside the company, unusual
for the culturally insular chipmaker.
Fund has helped build brands at Procter & Gamble and at
Pepsi-Cola. Some Intel staff questioned his lack of technology
experience while others at the company said they looked forward
to working with him.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Ken Wills)