Intel's temporary CEO has reportedly told employees he's not pursuing the job

IntelIntel CFO Bob Swan
  • Intel’s current interim CEO, Bob Swan, has reportedly told employees he doesn’t want to keep the job forever.
  • Swan was previously CFO before he was thrust into the CEO caretaker role when Brian Krzanich abruptly resigned following Intel’s internal investigation into a past relationship with an employee.

Intel’s current interim CEO, Bob Swan, has apparently told employees he doesn’t want to keep the job forever.

Swan was previously CFO before he was thrust into the CEO caretaker role last week when Brian Krzanich suddenly resigned. Krzanich resigned after the board discovered he had an affair with an Intel employee that began before he was CEO and ended in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported.

At the company’s all-hands meeting, Swan told employees he wasn’t throwing his name in the hat to keep the CEO role, Bloomberg’s Ian King reports.

In a lot of ways, that’s not surprising.

Swan is a relatively new hire to Intel, having joined the company in 2016 from a string of CFO roles at other tech companies. Swan doesn’t have the deep-down engineering and technical expertise that has been the bedrock qualification for previous Intel’s other CEOs. For instance, Krzanich rose to his position after running Intel’s chip-making foundries.

And Intel has been struggling to get its foundries up to speed on its next generation smaller, faster chips, falling behind several of its competitors in the process.

Swan’s statements indicate just how much Intel’s board was taken unawares by this turn of events with Krzanich.

As Business Insider previously reported, all the ruckus over Krzanich came up sometime in the last month. A previous board member told us he had heard nothing about this incident or any other potential underlying drama that threatened Krzanich’s job when he left his long-time board seat in late May.

The board was reportedly caught between a rock and a hard place when an employee mentioned the past relationship to a colleague, who then reported it to Intel’s general counsel on June 14, according to The Journal. The relationship was with a woman who still works at Intel, started about a decade ago and ended in 2013, sources told the Journal. The board investigated, found credence to the allegations, and Krzanich was out.

So far, Intel’s executive search has been publicly characterised by people saying they don’t want the job. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger has also said he’s not leaving VMware (although that’s a pretty standard statement from any sitting CEO of a public company being courted for a new job). Gelsinger spent 30 years at Intel before leaving for executive positions elsewhere and was reportedly in the running for the Intel CEO job up against Krzanich last time.

Intel has a long tradition of hiring from within for its CEO roles, but this time may be different. Under Krzanich, a series of long-time executives who may have been considered for the job have left, replaced by outsiders.

The board has said that it is looking internally and externally for candidates.

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