In a surprise announcement made yesterday afternoon, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has resigned from the company. Taking his place temporarily is acting CEO Bob Swan, the company’s current CFO. Krzanich leaves the company after 36 years, having joined it in 1982 as an electrical engineer working inside Intel’s foundry labs. Intel’s stock dropped by 2% following the announcement, which was preceded by an announcement by CFO Bob Swan that the company was expecting another record quarter for revenue and profit in Q3 2018. Officially, the reason for Krzanich’s resignation is that he had a relationship with an Intel employee in the past, and an investigation run by the company found him guilty of breaking policy.
Krzanich joined the company in 1982 as an engineer working in their foundries, and he quickly rose up the ranks to become the manager of one of Intel’s foundries in 1996. In 1998, Krzanich married his wife Brandee, herself an engineer at Intel working at the foundry that Krzanich was in charge of. In the early 2000s he was overseeing several foundry labs in the United States and was chiefly responsible for Intel’s promise to use conflict-free metals by 2016. In a documentary on the subject, Merci Congo, he said that the issue was very important and personal to him and his conscience.
In the mid 2000s Krzanich was promoted to COO for the company, and managed Intel China along with the company’s strategy in the Chinese markets. Promoted to CEO of Intel in 2013, Krzanich has since led Intel in a dramatic change in direction, focusing the company’s efforts on other growth markets such as self-driving cars, intelligent edge computing, AI advancements, drone technology, and mobile 5G modems. Under his leadership, Intel’s stock has grown significantly, and the company has had several quarters since 2013 that saw big profits and growing revenue from the new markets they were playing in.
Dark clouds follow Krzanich as he leaves the company, however. An external investigation into his selling off shares before Intel disclosed the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities to the public is being run by a law firm, looking to see if he violated SEC guidelines to prevent insider trading. And given that Krzanich is married with two children, allegations have also surfaced that the relationship he is claimed to have had may have been an affair.
Intel’s board will now conduct a search for a new CEO, and the company says they are looking both inside and outside the company for a suitable candidate.