Following a military career spanning 26 years - about which he says 'don't ask, can't tell - François Piednoël was snapped up by Intel in December 1997 to act as its principal engineer.
In that role, Piednoël fathered the company's first dual-processor high-end desktop (HEDT) platform, Skulltrail, launched the Extreme Edition brand, optimised performance on the Pentium 4, and aided engineering of the Katmai, Conroe, Penryn and Nehalem central processing unit (CPU) and Sandy Bridge to Skylake, Kaby Lake, Skylake-X, and Atom system-on-chip (SoC) product families.
In short, and unsurprising for the company's principal engineer, Piednoël has had his fingers in most of Intel's pies for the past two decades.
Now, though, he's off to pastures new - and it looks like the news may have come as a surprise to Intel.
'This morning, I am informed [sic] my management that I do not wish to continue my employment at Intel,' Piednoël announced via social networking service Twitter late last week.
'New adventures coming, very exciting!'