Gelsinger returns to lead Intel

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Former CTO Pat Gelsinger is returning to Intel as CEO, replacing current boss Bob Sawn from 15th February.

Intel is at pains to point out that the move is not about the coming financial results. “Today’s announcement is unrelated to Intel’s 2020 financial performance,” said the company in a statement, It also said it has made ‘”strong progress” on 7nm technology, an area where it has significantly lagged its competition.

Gelsinger, 59, was Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice-president and General Manager of the Digital Enterprise Group when he left in 2009. He is currently CEO of software company VMware.

“After careful consideration, the board concluded that now is the right time to make this leadership change to draw on Pat’s technology and engineering expertise during this critical period of transformation at Intel,” said Omar Ishrak, independent chairman of the board.

“Having begun my career at Intel and learned at the feet of Grove, Noyce and Moore, it’s my privilege and honour to return in this leadership capacity,” said Gelsinger, who led the 486 chip design and 14 different microprocessor programmes.

“I have tremendous regard for the company’s rich history and powerful technologies that have created the world’s digital infrastructure,” he said. “I believe Intel has significant potential to continue to reshape the future of technology and look forward to working with the incredibly talented global Intel team to accelerate innovation and create value for our customers and shareholders.”

“Pat is a proven technology leader with a distinguished track record of innovation, talent development, and a deep knowledge of Intel. He will continue a values-based cultural leadership approach with a hyper focus on operational execution,” added Ishrak.

“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,” said outgoing CEO Bob Swan. “With significant progress made across those priorities, we’re now at the right juncture to make this transition to the next leader of Intel. 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.”

“The board and I deeply appreciate Bob Swan for his leadership and significant contributions through this period of transformation for Intel,” said Ishrak. “Under his 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. Bob has also been instrumental in reenergizing the company’s culture to drive better execution of our product and innovation roadmap. He leaves Intel in a strong strategic and financial position, and we thank him for his ongoing guidance as he works with Pat to ensure the leadership transition is seamless.”

Next: Swan’s time is up at Intel

Swan led a somewhat contraversial move away from x86 to a broader chip approach including GPUs., or an XPU strategy There was also less focus on manufacturing and a foundry deal with TSMC (to make the former Altera FPGAs and Mobileye chips) as well as discussions with rival Samsung on foundry services.

“To come back “home” to Intel in the role of CEO during what is such a critical time for innovation, as we see the digitization of everything accelerating, will be the greatest honour of my career,” said Gelsinger in an email to Intel staff.  “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. I will be sharing more in the near-term about my vision and strategy for Intel.”

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