Intel has appointed CFO Bob Swan its permanent CEO, the company said today.
Swan has spent the past seven months as interim CEO after the chip giant ousted Brian Krzanich for a consensual relationship with an employee.
The news upends speculation that Intel was going to appoint an outsider: Chairman Andy Bryant had reportedly told employees that the company may go for a “non-traditional” CEO when selecting only its seventh leader in 50 years.
It also poses a fresh challenge for Intel: it now has to find a new CFO.
The news disappointed markets: shares tumbled. Analysts have been concerned about delays in new manufacturing processes and growing data centre competition, as well as a perceived lack of strategic direction, despite a record year.
Swan has led the company to record full-year revenue in every business segment in 2018. The company also reported record full-year operating income, net income and EPS last week in its FY2018 results.
(Names speculatively linked with the CEO role had included Sanjay Jha, a Qualcomm veteran who went on to head up Globalfoundries, former Intel CTO Pat Gelsinger, and Diane Bryant, who ran Intel’s data center chip business, before leaving for Google.)
New Intel CEO: “I Jumped at the Chance”
Todd Underwood, vice president of Finance and director of Intel’s Corporate Planning and Reporting, will assume the role of interim CFO as the company undertakes an internal and external search for a permanent replacement for Swan.
“The board concluded after a thorough search that Bob is the right leader to drive Intel into its next era of growth,” said Chairman Andy Bryant.
“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.”
He added: “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.”
Swan said: “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.”