Beleaguered Intel ousted its CEO Wednesday in a surprise move that pivots the semiconductor giant closer to its engineering roots after a period of technology missteps, market-share losses and pressure from a hedge fund.
Intel on Wednesday said CEO Bob Swan would be succeeded by VMware Inc. chief Pat Gelsinger effective Feb. 15. Mr. Gelsinger, who was once Intel’s technology chief, has served as CEO of the business-software provider since 2012.
Daniel Loeb, CEO of hedge fund Third Point LLC, said the company’s woes could undermine the U.S. tech industry and urged the chip maker to consider alternatives. That included selling some of its acquisitions and splitting its design and manufacturing operations — a move that would end Intel’s long-held status as America’s leading integrated semiconductor maker.
“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,” Mr. Ishrak said in a statement.
Intel disclosed the CEO change just before the window closed for nominations to its board, potentially heading off a public fight with Third Point… Loeb welcomed the move:
Swan is a class act and did the right thing for all stake holders stepping aside for Gelsinger. https://t.co/lWdi5t41um
— Daniel S. Loeb (@DanielSLoeb1) January 13, 2021
Third Point’s action came at the end of a year that saw Intel shares retreat while the stock in rivals soared… Intel also was dumped by Apple Inc. as the supplier for its Mac computer processors.
MacDailyNews Take: Gelsinger will be Intel’s eighth chief executive since the company’s founding in 1968 by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore. Good luck, Pat. You’re gonna need it.