Intel has appointed Robert (Bob) Swan, a person who does not have experience in manufacturing and technology, as its 7th chief executive officer.
“This is an exciting time for Intel: 2018 was an outstanding year and we are in the midst of transforming the company to pursue our biggest market opportunity ever,” said Swan on his appointment as CEO.
“I’m honored to have the chance to continue working alongside our board, our leadership team, and our more than 107,000 superb employees as we take the company forward,” Swan added.
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In his first interaction with fellows after the appointment, Swan said the team will be focused on four critical imperatives in the coming months.
First, he suggested the team must remain focused on playing offense and innovating for an increasingly data-centric world.
Second, the team will pursue its core strategy while evolving from a PC-centric to a data-centric company that builds the technology foundation powering the world’s innovations. “What will change is how we serve our customers and how we partner and build the best technology together,” he added.
Third, he stressed that the execution must improve, and it will.
Fourth, he stressed on the need to nurture the culture which Intel has been pursuing. “Our culture must encourage every Intel employee to be bold and fearlessly focused on going beyond what they thought possible. And, the culture must honor truth and transparency, customer-obsession, and coming together as “One Intel,” Swan added.
Swan, who has been serving as Intel’s interim CEO for seven months and as chief financial officer since 2016, has also been elected to Intel’s board of directors.
Todd Underwood, vice president of Finance and director of Intel’s Corporate Planning and Reporting, will assume the role of interim chief financial officer.
Chairman Andy Bryant said the search committee conducted a comprehensive evaluation of a wide range of internal and external candidates to identify the right leader. The appointment of Swan came after the board recognized the outstanding job he performed as the interim CEO, added Bryant.
Intel, which removed former CEO Brian Krzanich in June after a controversy, aims to keep manufacturing its flagship CPU chips but remains open to using outsiders to make chips in newer markets like chips for cars or artificial intelligence.
The chip industry has split between design and manufacturing, with manufacturing firms like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing specializing in factories that make chips while firms like Qualcomm specialize in designing chips but outsource manufacturing, Reuters reported.
Intel is one of the few remaining companies that both designs and manufactures chips. But it has lost its lead in making the world’s smallest chip features to TSMC last year and is facing a growing threat from rivals like AMD and Nvidia that do not make their own chips.
Swan will be tasked with getting Intel’s manufacturing operations back on track and fending off newer chip rivals that are eating into Intel’s dominance in personal computers and data centers.
Questions remain about Intel’s ability to get its next generation of 10-nanonmeter chips to market by the end of this year in personal computers and early next year in data centers.