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Intel Names Robert Swan CEO Amid Mellanox Acquisition Rumors

Intel interim CEO Robert (Bob) Swan is now the chip giant's permanent CEO, the company's board of directors announced today. The announcement comes after an extensive search for a new CEO -- which included an exhaustive look at internal and external candidates.

Intel CEO Bob Swan
Intel CEO Bob Swan

Swan succeeds Brian Krzanich, who stepped down in June 2018 after confirming a past, consensual relationship with an Intel employee. Such relationships are against Intel's HR policies.

In a prepared statement about Swan's shift to Intel's permanent CEO, Chairman Andy Bryant said:

“As Intel continues to transform its business to capture more of a large and expanding opportunity that includes the data center, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, while continuing to get value from the PC business, the board concluded after a thorough search that Bob is the right leader to drive Intel into its next era of growth. The search committee conducted a comprehensive evaluation of a wide range of internal and external candidates to identify the right leader at this critical juncture in Intel’s evolution. We considered many outstanding executives and we concluded the best choice is Bob. Important in the board’s decision was the outstanding job Bob did as interim CEO for the past seven months, as reflected in Intel’s outstanding results in 2018. Bob’s performance, his knowledge of the business, his command of our growth strategy, and the respect he has earned from our customers, our owners, and his colleagues confirmed he is the right executive to lead Intel.”

Intel In Transition

The extra-lengthy quote speaks volumes about the opportunities -- and challenges -- facing Intel amid major shifts across the enterprise and consumer IT landscapes. The company's most recent quarterly results disappointed Wall Street analysts, though Intel remains very profitable overall.

Swan is well-known within the halls of Intel and across the IT ecosystem. He previously was Intel's CFO since 2016. In that role, he led the global finance, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, IT and corporate strategy organizations.

ISome of the M&A deals, particularly in the IoT and mobile areas, didn't live up to their early hype. More M&A deals could be on tap -- including the potential $6 billion buyout of Mellanox, according to rumors.

Historically speaking, engineers have typically led Intel. But financial and business-centric leaders have also overseen business turnarounds. A key example involves Lou Gerstner saving and rebuilding IBM in the 1990s.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.