More surprising than Swan’s departure now is that the succession process has taken so long. The former CFO of the company, after the unexpected resignation of Brian Krzanich in June 2018, found himself in the chair of the CEO almost overnight, and his appointment was only temporary in the first round. The board then found no better specialist to head the company after several months of searching, so Swan was finally able to take over the chair for two and a half years.
Due to his original position, however, it was clear throughout that Swan was not the ideal person to lead the company, so his replacement has been a topic almost constantly over the past two years. This was not disputed by the former CFO, who already said in his interim appointment that he did not want to lead the chip maker in the long run. The explanation is simple: Prior to his appointment, Swan spent only two years with Intel, where he joined in October 2016 as CFO. The specialist previously spent a year at the investment firm General Atlantic, before which he was chief financial officer of eBay for nearly 10 years. Swan, who is primarily financially competent, thus arrived at Intel without any experience in the executive industry, where he could only reach the top of the structure in just two years with an unusual interplay of circumstances.
Although the board seemed satisfied with the work of the specialist under his temporary appointment, his stay could have been a much more compelling argument that when Krzanich left, there was simply no better specialist for the upscale position. In the fall of 2018, the industry rumored even more names, but in a few months, all the names were dropped from the list. Potential presidents and CEOs allegedly included Bob Swan’s immediate predecessor, Stacy Smith, who was the manufacturer’s CFO for about 10 years.
In addition to Smith, who has since left, there were quite a few more names on the alleged list of candidates. In addition to Navin Shenoy or Murthy Renduchintala, the names of Sanjay Jha and Anand Chandrasekher, who may have come from outside, were also mentioned by several. Bloomberg has brought up a trio of Renee James, Diane Bryant and Kirk Skaugen, who have previously left Intel in the past few years in addition to Smith, the latter of whom had a realistic chance of fighting for the position of president and CEO. However, Bryant eventually contracted with Broadcom and Skaugen with Lenovo. Previously, the person of Pat Gelsinger, who had run a good career at Intel, also came up, but VMware president and CEO still denied in the warmth that he was interested in a vacant patina position with his former employer.
THE FUTURE IS HARDWARE!
In the summer of 2018, Gelsinger unusually nailed him in a tweet to adore VMware CEOs so he wouldn’t even leave it for the sake of his former employer. Over the past two and a half years, however, the position of the veteran specialist has changed for some reason, but it is not yet known whether something happened at VMware or a large, now irrefutable offer from Intel’s board of directors.
The industry veteran knows the (old) Intel like the back of his hand, as by the fall of 2009, he had spent about 30 years with his old-new employer. Glesinger has worked for the chip manufacturer since 1979, when he graduated, where he held a number of different positions. Among other things, he played a significant role in the development of the 80286 and 80386 processors, and the 80486 already had a lead designer. Gelsinger was appointed Chief Technology Officer of the Intel Architecture Group in 1992, then Chief Operating Officer for Desktop Processors, and in 2000 became the first Chief Technical Officer of Intel. He finally left his first job in the fall of 2009 as part of a major management reorganization. After that, for three years as head of EMC Storage Group, he was responsible for the development of data storage products, from which he moved to the chair of VMware in 2012, of which he will resign in just a few weeks.
So Gelsinger has extremely valuable experience not only in the chip design and lead industry, but also in enterprise IT and management, in light of which he can be considered an ideal choice to lead Intel. All of this will be needed as the chip maker has faced a number of problems in recent years. In addition to the development of newer bandwidths, the strengthening of direct competitors has also brought unusual challenges to the road, on which the dynamics gathered recently in the company’s golden age have not been able to overcome Intel.
The new president and CEO will therefore have plenty of work to do: reverse the slow decline that began on several fronts in the Krzanich era. We need to solve manufacturing problems and start something with ARM, which, after the expropriation of the smartphone market, began to besiege the PC market, which is so important to Intel. Last but not least, AMD’s expansion should be curbed, as the only x86 competitor is slowly but surely attracting customers in markets that are critical to Intel. Investors are confident in Gelsinger’s expertise, as the news of the arrival of the new president and CEO jumped roughly 8 percent in the value of Intel’s securities.
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