Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Monday, April 22, 2024

In Wake of Habana Acquisition, Intel AI Leader Naveen Rao Departs 

In another change to Intel’s senior management team, Naveen Rao, Intel’s AI leader who came to the company in the $350 million acquisition of Nervana in 2016, has announced he is leaving the company. The news is not surprising given Intel’s recent announcement that it will end development work on its Nervana neural network processors and to focus instead on AI chip technology of Habana Labs, which Intel acquired in December for $2 billion.

"I have decided to leave #intelai,” Rao tweeted. “It has been a remarkable experience building a new brand within Intel and sharpening the focus around #ai at the company! I wish all of my colleagues well as the field of AI matures," Rao said in the tweet.

Rao was corporate VP/GM of Intel’s AI Platforms Group and will be replaced by Gadi Singer, according to the company. He has been with Intel for 36 years and ran the Inference Products Group under Rao.

Of the Habana product line, Intel said on January 31 that it “offers the strong, strategic advantage of a unified, highly-programmable architecture for both inference and training. By moving to a single hardware architecture and software stack for data center AI acceleration, our engineering teams can join forces and focus on delivering more innovation, faster to our customers."