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CEO Jensen Huang Runs Nvidia With a Strong Hand

Daniel Nenni

Staff member
Jensen Huang, co-founder and CEO of Nvidia, the chip designer powering the AI boom, has a hand in nearly every aspect of the company’s day-to-day operations. That includes reviewing what sales representatives plan to say to relatively small potential customers, according to a current Nvidia manager with direct knowledge.

The company’s organizational chart showing most of Huang’s reports also reflects his deep involvement. He has an unusually large number of direct reports—about 40, this person said. That’s far more than for the vast majority of CEOs in the technology industry and beyond.

Huang has long favored a flat organizational structure. Nvidia doesn’t have a central product management team, unlike rivals Intel and AMD. Huang takes a hands-on approach, picking products he wants to help develop and “acting as a pseudo-product manager” for them, said a former Nvidia manager.

However unusual, Nvidia’s management structure appears to be working. In May, Nvidia joined Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon as the only U.S. companies valued at more than $1 trillion, buoyed by investor enthusiasm about its central place in AI.

Graphics Chips Roots:
Nvidia got its start 30 years ago selling graphics processing chips for PC gaming systems. But it began soaring in the late 2010s, after its chips were found to be good for training large machine-learning models. The company got another boost following its $7 billion acquisition of Israel-based networking chip company Mellanox Technologies in 2019, which gave it a stronger foothold in corporate data centers. Investors initially disliked the deal, and Huang himself once admitted that Nvidia had overpaid.

Inside the company, Huang is known for having little patience for the kind of internal political battles common at other tech companies, said the current Nvidia manager. Having large numbers of employees report to a small number of senior executives helps prevent fiefdoms from forming, this person said. The company has more than 26,000 employees in total.

Nvidia has four executive vice presidents, the most senior title under the CEO, who report to Huang. Two of those leaders have worked at Nvidia for more than 15 years: Jay Puri, who leads sales and marketing, and Debora Shoquist, who is in charge of operations, including Nvidia’s chip supply chain, which is coming under pressure as lead times rise for newer GPUs, such as the much-coveted H100. Nvidia designs its chips, which are manufactured by [tsmc=] and Samsung.

Here are 12 of the top 28 people leading Nvidia, including 22 of co-founder and CEO Jensen Huang’s roughly 40 direct reports. The lineup includes senior hardware engineers who design Nvidia’s GPUs for gaming PCs and data center servers, as well as ones who oversee development of software products such as the CUDA programming language.
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