Kyle Bennett is leaving HardOCP and joining Intel as Director of Enthusiast Engagement. The site he leaves behind will not be sold, nor will it continue to publish news or reviews. Instead, it will effectively shut down next month. Or in Kyle's words, it's getting "mothballed."
"I have thought long and hard about this. I do not want to sell HardOCP or HardForum and see those properties turned into something that I would not be proud of. HardOCP will be 'mothballed'. It will no longer publish news, editorial, or hardware review content," Kyle stated in a farewell note.
HardOCP has been around for a long time and is one of the original enthusiast sites for PC news and reviews. Kyle built a following through the years, sometimes at the expense of relationships with vendors. For example, he was the first to report a story on Nvidia's now-defunct GeForce Partner Program, which was shopped around by AMD (according to Kyle), even though he says it was expressed to him that doing so "could damage the relationship" between HardOCP and Nvidia.
As for his new venture, it's not shocking to see him end up at Intel, especially in the specific role he was recruited for. Intel has seemingly been on a mission to increase its engagement with enthusiasts, particularly as it relates to graphics and its efforts to release a line of discrete GPUs in 2020.
"Through all of my interactions with Intel brass in the last couple of months, I met nobody in denial about the opportunity to improve the company’s relationship with the enthusiast community, and I specifically asked about this. Intel wants to be an integral part of the enthusiast community like it was years ago," Kyle wrote.
Kyle says he wants to be that voice. He also expressed excitement at where he is headed (naturally), and says his decision to leave HardOCP was "not based on financial motivations," but found the "opportunity to do something new that is challenging, fun, impactful" to be "very appealing."