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An AnandTech Exclusive: The Jim Keller Interview

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Ian Cutress: For a number of my generation, it was a shock to hear that the famous Jim Keller was set and poised to join Intel. Is it like a Formula 1 driver wanting to drive for Ferrari - did you expect that Intel was going to be on the cards at some point in your career? Why join Intel?

Jim Keller: To be honest, I didn't really ever think about it much. In my career, you know, some people have asked me how I planned it, and the honest truth is I've really just kind of worked on the next interesting thing. And so, I've had a bunch, at least to me, of almost random jobs and interesting experiences and they've all been interesting.  When this came up (at Intel), Murthy, Brian, Raja kind of pinged me after Raja joined. I talked to them at some length before I joined Tesla, well to BK [Brian Krzanich] a couple of times at least, and then they pinged me again later. They offered me an opportunity that seemed really interesting so, I took it.


IC: When the offer came to join Intel in 2018, what parts of your brain were firing? How did you expect Intel to differ from the previous companies you have worked for? 

JK: Well I'll tell you I've worked different places and I've solely figured out that the culture of every company is different, and while I have ideas about how it's going to be, my plan coming in was to get to know people and get a feel for the DNA of the place and the people and the problems. I was not really coming in thinking I know what to do about it - some places you go in kind of knowing there's a definite plan and agenda and other places you don't. So, I didn't really have a good idea what I'd find here to be honest.


IC: So I've heard that some companies hire talent for the sake of hiring talent, are you just given a carte blanche or a remit to figure out what exactly you want to do?

JK: I was hired to be Senior Vice President of Silicon Engineering, so Murthy had a plan and a structure in place. So generally a large number of the SoC teams and the CPU execution team work for me, so that's a pretty big space, it's quite a large group and they have a lot going on.


The rest can be found: https://www.anandtech.com/show/13048/an-anandtech-exclusive-the-jim-keller-interview


So my question to everyone here is this: Is AMD in trouble since Intel is scarfing up big names like Raja and Keller, or do you all think that Intel is just hiring these people because it's good PR?

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