Somewhat lost among the news of Intel’s internal reorganization and the departure of longtime executive Pat Gelsinger for EMC Sept. 14 was the fact that Bruce Sewell, Intel’s general counsel, also left the company.
On Sept. 15, Apple announced that Sewell will join that vendor in the same capacity. Sewell, who will be Apple’s general counsel and senior vice president for legal and government affairs, will replace Daniel Cooperman, who has been on the job for two years with Apple and will retire at the end of September.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said he was happy with the hiring of Sewell.
“With Bruce’s extensive experience in litigation, securities and intellectual property, we expect this to be a seamless transition,” Jobs said in a statement.
Sewell had been with Intel since 1995, coming from a private law firm.
Sewell’s departure comes at a time when Intel is in the midst of various legal struggles around the globe. International regulators have ruled against Intel in antitrust issues, the most significant being the European Commission’s $1.45 billion fine of Intel in May for antitrust violations. Intel has appealed the fine.
Intel also is being investigated by federal regulators in the United States and the New York Attorney General’s Office.
The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has been critical of Intel’s legal approach in such cases, and the group’s president and CEO, Ed Black, believes the departure of Sewell gives Intel an opportunity to change the direction of that legal approach.
“Anti-competitive practices should cease, and on the legal front, confrontation should be replaced with reconciliation,” Black said in a statement. “Intel is a company with a history and product line. It is time to put its past mistakes behind it and get back to competing vigorously, but legally, and on the merits of its products.”
He lauded Intel for its history and standing in the industry, but said the chip maker needs to make some changes.
“Intel has been a tremendously important company in our industry,” Black said. “But recently, it has repeatedly been found to have engaged in illegal anti-competitive conduct. Clearly its business practices have crossed the line and its legal strategy has not been working well. This is an opportunity to press reset, comply with legal decisions and move past a major distraction-both for the company and the industry.”
Sewell’s departure from Intel was part of a larger reorganization and executive shakeup that saw Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group, leave the company for storage giant EMC, where he will be president and chief operating officer of the Information Infrastructure Products group.
Intel also reorganized its businesses, including putting its major product divisions-including PC and server chips-under a single umbrella called the Intel Architecture Group.
The chip maker also separated out the manufacturing business into its own unit, and promoted such executives as Sean Maloney and Dadi Perlmutter.