Top Intel researcher Ajay Bhatt will be going into retirement later this month. Bhatt, 59, who flirted with pop celebrity several years ago, is taking the benefit of the early retirement program offered by the chip making giant in conjunction with its ongoing job cuts. However, Bhatt says the timing of his exit has nothing to do with Intel’s restructuring, says Oregon Live.
What makes him a rock star?
The Intel researcher is well-known as the co-inventor of the USB – the 1990s computer port that remains a universal connector for printers, smartphones, PCs and keyboards. For 26 years, Bhatt has worked at the chip making giant, and most recently, he has been working as a chief architect in its PC division, known as the Client Computing Group.
In 2009, Bhatt was made the face of the company for an ad campaign that imagined a world where the scientists were treated like rock stars. In the ad, which can be viewed on YouTube, Bhatt did not play himself. The company hired an actor who looks nothing like Bhatt to play him.
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Conan O’ Brien learned about the switch and invited the real Ajay Bhatt onto The Tonight Show for a chat. According to Bhatt, he did not plan to retire this year but rather next year. However, he was able to complete his work and thus decided to retire.
Retirement offer from Intel helped
Bhatt said Intel’s early retirement offer was “incidental” to the decision. The offer gives extended salary and benefits for some long-serving employees.
“But the package helped,” Bhatt told.
Bhatt said that in retirement, he will see what he can do to help startups by serving on their boards or as an advisor. Bhatt is building a “smart home” just outside Portland and will be devoting a lot of his newly free time there. Bhatt is designing the smart home himself with attractive features such as climate control, a dishwasher, lights, interactive security features, video and audio. He said he will do as much as he can afford.
To prepare for the long-term decline in the PC industry, Intel is undergoing restructuring. Kirk Skaugen, the head of Intel’s PC group, left the company in April for his “next career opportunity” in the middle of a broad executive shuffle. Also Doug Davis, who runs the Internet of Things business, is retiring at the end of the year.