Intel has announced that CEO Brian Krzanich has resigned from the company effective immediately. The decision was taken by the CEO after the company learned of his relationship with an Intel employee. “Intel was recently informed that Mr. Krzanich had a past consensual relationship with an 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.” CFO Robert Swan is now Intel’s interim chief executive officer.
Krzanich, 58, joined the chipmaker in 1982 as an engineer. He became CEO and an elected member of the board of directors in May 2013. Krzanich previously served in senior leadership roles, including COO, at Intel.
Over the last year, Krzanich and Intel have faced scrutiny over their reaction to the major security flaws known as Meltdown and Spectre. Last November, his decision to sell about half his stock after learning of critical flaws was heavily criticized. About $39 million worth of the company’s shares was sold — after the company had been informed of the far-reaching Spectre problem.
However, Intel publicly said that the stock sale was not related to Spectre. Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January amid the controversy, Krzanich didn’t offer an explanation or apology for how Intel and other leading chipmakers failed to address the security issue problem that has been around for decades.
Krzanich was entrusted the task of evolving Intel beyond the sluggish PC market after decades spent comfortably leading the chip manufacturing world. His goal, as outlined in the 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 is reported to continue following the plan even after the CEO’s eviction. “The board believes strongly in the company’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.”