Dr Randhir Thakur, CEO and MD of Tata Electronics

The Intel chief supply chain officer who has made the step up to CEO with one of India’s biggest businesses

If one needs any proof that the stock of senior supply chain executives is rising, then Dr Randhir Thakur provides it.   

In April this year, Thakur was announced as CEO and MD of Tata Electronics, a company that provides electronic solutions to industries including automotive, defence, aerospace, and healthcare. It is a subsidiary of Tata Sons, one of the largest conglomerates in India. 

It is a key appointment, and interesting because Thakur has a supply chain pedigree, which is not a discipline that typically has provided a pathway to CEO status. More usually, it is the CIO or COO who tends to fill that role. 

Tim Cook at Apple has long been the exception that proves this rule, but now chief supply chain officers are being seen as executives that carry a good deal of strategic weight. And so it is with Thakur.

Prior to joining Tata, Thakur was President of Intel Foundry Services. This is a business unit within Intel Corporation that was announced in March 2021. It provides chip foundry services, meaning Intel will manufacture chips for other companies. (This was a significant departure for the company, which  historically has produced only chips for use in its own products.)

That in itself was a key strategic appointment, and Thakur put himself in pole position for it thanks to his track record as Intel’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, a position he held for three years and five months.

As Intel CSCO, he was responsible for managing the company’s external ecosystem across technology, design, manufacturing, and product supply chain.

“It was my job to enable Intel’s product life cycle, from research and development to high-volume manufacturing,” he says.

His team also managed Intel's corporate sourcing and procurement, supply chain operations, as well as worldwide planning and logistics. 

“In this capacity, I was responsible for Intel’s multi-billion dollar annual spending with external suppliers and partners ecosystem,” he says. 

He also oversaw a global team of 4,000 employees including engineers, negotiators, data scientists, analysts, program managers, planners, buyers, solution architects, and product supply chain architects. 

Prior to Intel, Thakur held leadership and technical positions at Applied Materials and SanDisk Corp, before which he was with STEAG Electronic Systems and Micron Technology.

To say his experience is broad is to understate it. In total, Thakur has 40 years’ experience in global manufacturing, research and development, and profit-and-loss management, and he has made significant contributions to advancement of advanced semiconductor technologies. 

And now Thakur is bringing all that experience to bear at Tata Electronics. Headquartered in Bangalore, its offerings include electric and hybrid vehicle solutions, telematics and infotainment systems, advanced driver-assistance systems, and electronics for aerospace and defence applications. 

It also provides engineering and design services, as well as research and development support.

Thakur says of himself: “I have deep expertise in ecosystem leadership, process technology equipment, and with driving mergers and acquisitions, while collaborating closely with ecosystem partners and customers.”

Thakur has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. 

He was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2013. He holds more than 300 patents in the semiconductor field.

Upon joining Tata Group, he said: “I am humbled to be given the opportunity of a lifetime to work for Tata. 

“I am excited to contribute to building Tata Electronics as an integral and trusted part of the global electronics industry, enabling our customers’ success. 

“For semiconductors, as well as precision manufacturing, we intend to deliver innovation, quality, and cost advantage with speed and at scale.”

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