Important change in Intel: the company announced, this Wednesday (13), that Bob Swan will step down as CEO of the company on February 15. In its place will enter Pat Gelsinger, current CEO of WMware and one of the designers of the iconic Intel 80486 processor.
Bob Swan took over at Intel on an interim basis in June 2018. Months later, the executive, who until then served as chief financial officer of the company, was appointed as definitive CEO with a mission to mitigate the problems faced during Brian Krzanich’s administration, such as the Meltdown and Specter scandal.
The problem is that, over those little more than two years, Intel found itself surrounded by new problems. Just to give you a few examples, the company had to sell its 5G modem division, saw rival AMD move forward with Zen processors and, more recently, lost Apple as a customer thanks to the arrival of M1 processors.
As the CNBC, Swan faced criticism at Intel’s command for having a more financial than technical profile. Before serving as the company’s chief financial officer, he held similar positions at companies like eBay and General Atlantic.
Pat Gelsinger is different. Although he is now at the head of WMware, the executive worked for 30 years at Intel and even became the company’s first chief technology officer. As already mentioned, one of Gelsinger’s most notable works was contributing to the design of the 80486 chip.
A more technical profile can help Intel adapt more efficiently to the current nuances of the semiconductor market. Although the company remains a reference on the subject, it has been criticized for delaying the delivery of 10 nanometer chips, for example.
Among investors and leaders, the climate seems to be one of optimism. At least that’s what we can assume from the statement by Omar Ishrak, Intel’s chairman:
The board is confident that Pat, along with the other leaders, will ensure the firm execution of Intel’s strategy to promote its product leadership and seize significant opportunities that arise as the company continues to transform itself into a CPU business for an XPU multi-company [que desenvolve vários tipos de processadores].
Coincidence or not, the announcement of Bob Swan’s departure comes just days after one of the investors demanded that Intel react to the advance of competitors like AMD and Apple.