Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced his resignation today, following an investigation into a “consensual relationship” with an Intel employee. The board named Robert Swan, Intel’s chief financial officer, interim CEO effective immediately.
“Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel’s values and adhere to the company’s code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr. Krzanich’s resignation,” Intel said.
Krzanich joined the company as an engineer in 1982, and served as chief operating officer before being elected to the board and named CEO in 2013. He sought to expand Intel’s reach in markets other than chip manufacturing and, as he wrote in a 2016 memo, “transform [it] from a PC company to a company that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices.”
In his five-year tenure as CEO, he championed workplace diversity, embraced 5G wireless technology, and pledged to “take more risks” in growth areas like artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.
“It’s almost impossible to perfectly predict the future, but if there’s one thing about the future I am 100 percent sure of, it is the role of data,” Krzanich wrote in 2017 in a message to employees. “Anything that produces data, anything that requires a lot of computing, the vision is, we’re there.”
The company removed his biography from its website this morning.
According to a press release, ongoing internal and external investigations found that Krzanich’s past relationship violated Intel’s non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. An Intel representative confirmed to VentureBeat that the relationship, which the company only recently became aware of, was with an employee who directly reported to him and that it took place “some time back.”
The board of directors accepted his resignation and said it has begun an internal and external search for a permanent CEO.
“The Board believes strongly in Intel’s strategy, and we are confident in Bob Swan’s ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO,” Intel chair Andy Bryant said in a statement. “Bob has been instrumental to the development and execution of Intel’s strategy, and we know the company will continue to smoothly execute. We appreciate Brian’s many contributions to Intel.”
Swan, who joined Intel from investment firm General Atlantic in 2016, began his career at General Electric and spent nine years as chief operating officer of eBay.
“Intel’s transformation to a data-centric company is well under way [sic] and our team is producing great products, excellent growth and outstanding financial results,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to Intel continuing to win in the marketplace.”
Earlier this year, Krzanich came under fire after he sold roughly $39 million worth of Intel shares after the company became aware of Spectre, a hardware flaw that compromised the security of millions of Intel processors. He denied accusations of insider trading.