Intel's CEO search is over — Bob Swan is now the company's permanent chief executive

Intel
  • Intel has chosen Bob Swan as its CEO.
  • Swan took over as interim CEO following the abrupt resignation of Brian Krzanich in June.
  • Before stepping in as CEO, Swan worked as Intel’s CFO.
  • The board’s decision to make Swan CEO continues Intel’s long tradition of hiring from within for its chief executive.

Intel’s search for a CEO is over.

The company announced on Thursday morning that Robert “Bob” Swan, who has been serving as interim CEO for much of the past year, will be its chief executive moving forward. He will also be joining the company’s board.

Before acting as interim CEO, Swan was Intel’s CFO, a position he started in 2016. Intel said its vice president of finance, Todd Underwood, would take over as interim CFO during the board’s search for a permanent replacement for Swan.

Swan was thrust into the interim CEO role after the abrupt resignation of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich following the company’s investigation into a past relationship with an employee. In June,The Wall Street Journal reported that Krzanich resigned after the board found out about an affair he had with an Intel employee that began before he became chief executive and ended in 2013.

Intel’s board investigated after being made aware of the claims from another employee. After determining the allegations were credible, Krzanich was out, and Swan took over while the board kicked off its search for a replacement.

Intel is known for hiring from within when choosing a CEO, but since Krzanich’s departure, it was unclear whether the company would continue with tradition or go with an outside hire. In all all-hands meeting, Swan, already acting as interim CEO at the time, even went as far as to tell Intel employees that he wouldn’t be floating his name for consideration to keep the role, Bloomberg reported in June.

Another potential candidate, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, went on the record saying he wasn’t planning to leave VMware. Gelsinger, who had worked at Intel for 30 years before leaving, was rumoured to be in the running to be Intel’s sixth CEO, but Krzanich was ultimately chosen.

Now, Swan is taking over as Intel’s seventh CEO at a time when the company is battling to regain market share as it leans into the next generation of smaller, faster chips.

“In my role as interim CEO, I’ve developed an even deeper understanding of Intel’s opportunities and challenges, our people and our customers,” Swan said in a statement announcing the decision. “When I was first named interim CEO, I was immediately focused on running the company and working with our customers. When the board approached me to take on the role permanently, I jumped at the chance to lead this special company.

“This is an exciting time for Intel: 2018 was an outstanding year and we are in the midst of transforming the company to pursue our biggest market opportunity ever. I’m honored to have the chance to continue working alongside our board, our leadership team, and our more than 107,000 superb employees as we take the company forward.”

Intel’s chairman, Andy Bryant, also released a statement.

“As Intel continues to transform its business to capture more of a large and expanding opportunity that includes the data center, artificial intelligence, and autonomous driving, while continuing to get value from the PC business, the board concluded after a thorough search that Bob is the right leader to drive Intel into its next era of growth,” Bryant said. “The search committee conducted a comprehensive evaluation of a wide range of internal and external candidates to identify the right leader at this critical juncture in Intel’s evolution. We considered many outstanding executives and we concluded the best choice is Bob.

“Important in the board’s decision was the outstanding job Bob did as interim CEO for the past seven months, as reflected in Intel’s outstanding results in 2018. Bob’s performance, his knowledge of the business, his command of our growth strategy, and the respect he has earned from our customers, our owners, and his colleagues confirmed he is the right executive to lead Intel.”

Intel recently reported disappointing quarterly earnings on January 24, missing on revenue and issuing weaker-than-expected guidance for next quarter while warning that a worsening situation in China could spell more trouble to come.

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