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Intel CEO Bob Swan to be replaced with VMWare's Pat Gelsinger

Emily McCormick
·Reporter
·3 min read

Intel (INTC) CEO Bob Swan is poised to step down from his role at the tech company as of Feb. 15, CNBC first reported Wednesday morning. VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger (VMW) is set to take over the position. A source confirmed the move to Yahoo Finance.

The departure comes after Swan was named CEO of the company in January 2019, after earlier serving as interim CEO for seven months and as chief financial officer since 2016. Gelsinger has served as CEO of VMWare since September 2012. Prior to working at VMWare, Gelsinger was at Intel for 30 years and had been the company’s first chief technology officer.

Swan’s exit comes at the end of a difficult stretch for the semiconductor company, with Swan saying during the company’s last earnings call that 2020 had been “the most challenging year” in his career.

Over the past year, disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic compounded with the company’s own delays in producing its next generation of smaller, more powerful 7-nanometer chips. In mid-2020, Intel said initial production shipments of these chips would begin in late 2022 or early 2023, a year behind the company’s previous schedule, while competitor AMD (AMD) had already begun selling its 7-nanometer processors.

"Swan was dealt a difficult hand and 10nm was already off the rails when he was appointed CEO. I think it came down to investor pressure and impatience," Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told Yahoo Finance. "Chip problems take years to address and while Swan accomplished a lot, it wasn't enough. I am not foreseeing any major strategic changes with Gelsinger, but I do expect him to focus on the company's engineering culture and get it back to an execution culture."

Hedge fund manager Dan Loeb of Third Point applauded Swan for his decision to step down, saying in a Twitter post Wednesday morning that Swan “did the right thing for all stakeholders stepping aside for Gelsinger.” In late December, Loeb sent a letter to Intel’s board urging it to seek “strategic alternatives” as competitors including AMD, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM) chipped away at Intel’s foothold in in the microprocessing manufacturing, PC and data center markets.

Shares of Dow-component Intel surged more than 8% shortly after the opening bell, while VMWare (VMW) shares sank more than 4%.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 06: Intel Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan during an Intel press event for CES 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 6, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs January 7-10 and features about 4,500 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to more than 170,000 attendees. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 06: Intel Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan during an Intel press event for CES 2020 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on January 6, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs January 7-10 and features about 4,500 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to more than 170,000 attendees. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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