Intel CEO Bob Swan resigns as CEO on February 15th. It is replaced by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. Swan was appointed CEO of Intel two years ago in January 2019. In June 2018, he temporarily assumed this role following the resignation of former CEO Brian Krzanich.
Gelsinger, who previously worked at Intel for 30 years, will assume the role of CEO at a crucial time for the chip maker. Intel faces renewed competition in its product portfolio. This was a serious blow for Intel last year when Apple announced that its Mac computers would move away from Intel’s processors and move to its own Arm-based processor designs. The first Macs based on Apple’s processors were launched late last year and received very positive feedback.
Meanwhile, Intel competed with AMD, which was revived with its Zen architecture-based processors that offer competitive performance for gamers and professionals on both desktop and laptop computers.
In addition, the company announced that it was out of the 5G phone modem market in April 2019, after Apple and Qualcomm resolved their longstanding patent infringement and copyright dispute. Intel later sold most of its smartphone modem business to Apple for $ 1 billion.
Why is Bob Swan leaving?
Announcing the news before Intel’s official announcement, CNBC stated that Swan was criticized for having a largely financial background rather than being technical. Prior to joining Intel, Swan served as eBay’s chief financial officer and worked for venture capital firm General Atlantic. In contrast, Gelsinger started his career at Intel and served as the company’s first chief technology officer. CNBC reported that Intel’s shares rose by about 10 percent on the news about Gelsinger’s appointment.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Swan’s departure was due to pressure from activist hedge fund Third Point LLC, which forced the company to make sweeping changes.
“The board is confident that Pat, along with the rest of the leadership team, will ensure the strong implementation of Intel’s product leadership development strategy and take advantage of the opportunities it faces as it continues its transformation from a CPU company to a multi-architecture XPU company.” Omar Ishrak, the independent chairman of Intel, said in a statement and added that the board of directors appreciates Swan’s contribution to the company.