Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigns

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has resigned. In a press release posted to its newsroom this morning, the company confirmed that Krzanich had stepped down and said it had appointed executive vice president and CFO Bob Swan as its interim CEO.

Intel provided the following rationale for Krzanich's resignation and statement regarding Swan's appointment:

Intel was recently informed that Mr. Krzanich had a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee. An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel has confirmed a violation of Intel's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel's values and adhere to the company's code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr. Krzanich's resignation.

"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. 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," said Intel Chairman Andy Bryant.

Krzanich became Intel CEO in May 2013 and led the company against a headwind of declining PC sales, cultivating a number of new businesses in an attempt to diversify Intel's sources of revenue and lessen its exposure to the whims of a single market. Despite the company's stated goal of becoming a "data-centric" rather than "PC-centric" business, however, PCs continued to make up about half of Intel's revenues and a large share of its profits as recently as the first quarter of this year.

Even with the continued importance of PCs to Intel's financial health, the company's woes in transitioning to its 10-nm process have led to stagnation in its CPU core and graphics processor designs, hampering the ability of the company and its partners to sell new and more capable systems with Intel chips inside. AMD's Ryzen resurgence has also fired up enthusiast desire for fresh architectures and higher performance from the blue team, even as Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake Refresh CPUs hold the line against the Ryzen rebellion in both desktops and laptops.

Questions about the company's execution aside, Krzanich also came under fire for stock sales ahead of the revelation of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities and recent comments to analysts regarding the prospects of AMD's server products in the data center. We'll be curious to see how Intel's next CEO plans to handle the challenges that continue to face the company.

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