Major news out of Intel as the company has announced that CEO Bob Swan will be stepping down from his position effective February 15. Taking over at the helm of Intel is VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger, a former Intel CTO who left the company back in 2009.

Swan steps down after spending the last two years as Intel CEO. Prior to becoming permanent CEO is January 2019, Swan filled in the role on an interim basis for seven months. An up and down tenure, Swan’s two-plus years as CEO saw Intel lose ground to competitors in the hardware marketplace, especially when it came to its CPU business.

In 2020, Intel suffered delays of its 10th-generation processor while AMD had no issues rolling out its new chips both inside laptops as well as standalone desktop units. Another major blow came in fall 2020 when Apple announced the end of a 15-year partnership with Intel. Rather than continuing to use Intel CPUs inside its Mac computer lineup, Apple decided to build and utilize its own propriety processors.

“My goal over the past two years has been to position Intel for a new era of distributed intelligence, improving execution to strengthen our core CPU franchise and extending our reach to accelerate growth,” Swan said in a release. “With significant progress made across those priorities, we’re now at the right juncture to make this transition to the next leader of Intel.”

Though many have commended Swan’s attempts at leading the company as Intel CEO, critics to his work felt that his role as a CFO with no real technical background didn’t give him the knowledge or ability to take it where it needed to go. Back in December, Daniel Loeb of investment advisor Third Point pushed for the company to look for “strategic alternatives” to rebound after struggling to maintain a grasp on the market.

In its announcement, Intel claimed that the move was “unrelated to Intel’s 2020 financial performance.”

Intel moving forward

With the change at the top of the organization, Intel will be looking to regain its foothold at the top of the computer hardware space.

In a note from Gelsinger after the move was made official, he say that he was “thrilled and humbled” to be returning to the company he began working for when he was 18 years old. His goal as Intel CEO, he says, is to shape the future of technology moving forward.

Pat Gelsinger

“While Intel’s history is rich, the transformation from a CPU to multi-architecture XPU company is exciting and our opportunity as a world-leading semiconductor manufacturer is greater than it’s ever been,” he said. “I will be sharing more in the near-term about my vision and strategy for Intel, but I know we can continue to accelerate innovation, strengthen our core business and create value for our shareholders, customers and employees.”

While it’s unlikely that Gelsinger will have an impact on the short-term outlook for Intel, the long-term benefit potential of someone familiar with the technology consumers require should come as a sigh of relief for those within and surrounding the company.

The announcement of the change at CEO saw Intel’s stock rise nearly 10% as of this writing.


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