Intel Israel's CEO Steps Down

Maxine Fassberg, a ground-breaking female exec at the global high-tech corporation, pushed for employment diversity during a long career there.

Ruti Levy
Ruti Levy
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Maxine Fassberg, who is stepping down as CEO of Intel Israel and a vice president at Intel Corporation.
Maxine Fassberg, who is stepping down as CEO of Intel Israel and a vice president at Intel Corporation.Credit: Sasson Tiram
Ruti Levy
Ruti Levy

Maxine Fassberg, CEO of Intel Israel and a vice president at Intel Corporation during the past 10 years, announced Tuesday that she has decided to step down.

Yaniv Garty, Group General Manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions at Intel Platform Engineering, and a vice president at the corporation, has been appointed to replace her. The change will take effect at the end of March 2017.

Fassberg joined Intel in the early 1980s as an engineer, and slowly but surely advanced to the top of the pyramid. She was on the startup team that established the multinational high-tech company's manufacturing plant in Kiryat Gat, in southern Israel, and managed its engineering department. From 2000 to 2004, she headed the Kiryat Gat plant, in June 2006 she was appointed to manage the then-new Intel plant (Fab 28) in that city, and in June 2007 she became general manager of Intel Israel.

Prior to her long career in high-tech, Fassberg was a high-school teacher of chemistry and physics. In 2014 she was one of 14 women who lit torches during Israel’s 66th Independence Day festivities.

In the company’s press announcement about her departure, it was noted that as CEO, Fassberg introduced a culture of employment diversity and empowerment. The company noted that during her tenure, in particular, there were significant advances in the recruitment of women and an increase in the proportion of women in executive positions.

“Fassberg herself served as a model for imitation and as a mentor to many women who wanted to develop a career in high-tech,” according to Intel.

In an interview with TheMarker two years ago, she discussed her career as a woman in a technological man’s world: “All along I was the ‘first’: the first group leader, the first department head and certainly the first plant manager, and I encountered lots of prejudices. For example, when I managed the plant with Alex [Kornhauser], they assumed I was his secretary, since it’s inconceivable for a woman to be a co-executive. In other instances, people thought that my name wasn’t ‘Maxine’ but ‘Maxim.’ They turned me into a man and everything was fine. There are lots of examples.”

With a work force at its various local branches of some 10,000 people, Intel is the largest employer in Israeli high-tech. Established in 1974, Intel Israel’s development center is one of the first such facilities established by a multinational in Israel, and it was also Intel’s first such center outside the United States. The center was established at the request of Dov Frohman, who wanted to return to Israel after working for Intel in California; he went on to manage the facility as well.

Intel is also the high-tech firm that receives the greatest financial support from the Israeli government. Over the years, for example, it has received grants for building modern plants. Thanks to the manufacturing facility at the Kiryat Gat site, Intel has become one of Israel’s biggest exporters of chips for the Chinese market. The plant offers an opportunity for employment of some 3,000 production workers, at one of the world’s leading high-tech companies.

Fassberg’s replacement, Garty, came to Intel in 2004, after serving as the vice president of Envara, which developed chip solutions for the local wireless communications market, and was acquired by Intel that year. In his present position, Garty is in charge of integrating a variety of communications solutions into Intel products.

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