Intel Corp.
Bob Swan Banner Image Intel

Intel Names Successor CEO to Bob Swan

Jan. 13, 2021
Pat Gelsinger, his replacement, is credited with driving the creation of USB and Wi-Fi technology.

Intel Corp. announced January 13 that Bob Swan, its CEO since January 2019, will step down. Pat Gelsinger, a thirty-year Intel veteran and CEO of VMware, was appointed by Intel’s board to replace  Swan. Swan will continue to serve as CEO of the company until February 15.

Gelsinger’s long experience with the company makes him a return to form for Intel. Until Bob Swan became interim CEO in 2018 after predecessor Brian Krzanich left the company due to an affair, all of Intel’s CEOs were either lifelong Intel veterans or company founders.

In a statement, Gelsinger emphasized his personal connection to the company’s history and its founders, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore. In a note to employees, Gelsinger wrote that he had the honor to be “mentored” by Intel’s founders and Andrew Grove, who served as Intel’s CEO from May 1987 to May 2005.

“Having begun my career at Intel and learned at the feet of Grove, Noyce and Moore, it’s my privilege and honor to return in this leadership capacity,” Gelsinger said in a statement. Gelsinger joined Intel when he was 18 years old, and he credited the company for shaping his entire career.

During Gelsinger’s initial 30-year stint at Intel, he became the company’s first chief technology officer and driving the creation of Universal Serial Bus (USB) and Wi-Fi technology. Most recently, Gelsinger has served since 2012 as CEO of VMware, a cloud infrastructure firm, where according to Intel he nearly tripled the company’s annual revenues.

Omar Ishrak, independent chairman of Intel’s board, called Gelsinger a “proven technology leader with a distinguished track record of innovation, talent development, and a deep knowledge of Intel.”

“While Intel’s history is rich, the transformation from a CPU to multi-architecture XPU company is exciting and our opportunity as a world-leading semiconductor manufacturer is greater than it’s ever been,” Gelsinger wrote to employees before thanking Swan for his leadership of the electronics manufacturer.

Swan, in a statement, said Intel had made significant progress and was in a good place for a transition. “My goal over the past two years has been to position Intel for a new era of distributed intelligence, improving execution to strengthen our core CPU franchise and extending our reach to accelerate growth,” he said. “I am fully supportive of the board’s selection of Pat and have great confidence that, under his leadership and the rest of the management team, Intel will continue to lead the market as one of the world’s most influential technology companies.”

In a statement, Ishrak said he and the board “deeply appreciate” Swan’s performance at the company. “Under [Swan’s] leadership, Intel has made significant progress on its strategy to transform into a multi-architecture XPU company to capitalize on market shifts and extend Intel’s reach into fast-growing markets,” said Ishrak. 

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