Intel has announced that CEO Brian Krzanich has resigned from the company effective immediately. CFO Robert Swan is now Intel’s interim chief executive officer. “Intel was recently informed that Mr. Krzanich had a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee,” the company said in a press release. “An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel has confirmed a violation of Intel’s non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers.”
Krzanich’s immediate resignation was accepted to show “that all employees will respect Intel’s values and adhere to the company’s code of conduct,” according to Intel. Intel’s board of directors has “a robust succession planning process in place and has begun a search for a permanent CEO, including both internal and external candidates.” Krzanich was a decades-long Intel executive and had held the CEO position since May 2013. He first joined the company in 1982. Intel removed his biography from its website this morning.
CNBC reports the relationship that led to Krzanich’s ouster occurred “some time back,” but the company was only recently informed about it. A subsequent investigation quickly resulted in today’s announcement and change in leadership.
Krzanich has been criticized over Intel’s response to Spectre
Over the last year, Krzanich and Intel have faced scrutiny over their reaction to the major security flaws known as Meltdown and Spectre. The dire situation triggered a coordinated response in deploying patches and firmware fixes throughout the computing industry. But some of the updates proved buggy. Last November, Krzanich sold off roughly $39 million worth of Intel shares — after the company had been informed of the far-reaching Spectre problem. That raised suspicions of insider trading, but Intel said the stock sell-off was unrelated to Spectre.
Krzanich was tasked with evolving Intel beyond the sluggish PC market after decades spent comfortably atop the chip manufacturing world. His goal, as outlined in this 2016 memo, had been to “transform Intel from a PC company to a company that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices.”
Intel says it’s still adhering to that strategy after forcing out Krzanich. “The board believes strongly in Intel’s strategy and we are confident in Bob Swan’s ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO,” Intel chairman Andy Bryant said. “Bob has been instrumental to the development and execution of Intel’s strategy, and we know the company will continue to smoothly execute. We appreciate Brian’s many contributions to Intel.”