It's been more than six months since chip giant Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) announced the resignation of CEO Brian Krzanich following the confirmation of "a violation of Intel's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers," and the company has yet to name a permanent successor. Intel's permanent CFO, Bob Swan, has been interim CEO and has indicated on numerous indications that he's not interested in the gig permanently.
A recent report from Bloomberg said that Intel had eliminated some candidates from consideration, including Sanjay Jha, former GlobalFoundries CEO; Anand Chandrasekher, the former head of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) data center chips; and Renee James, ex-Intel president and current CEO of data center processor upstart Ampere Computing. The report also said that Intel's board of directors is aiming to wrap up the CEO search before the company's fourth-quarter earnings report on Jan. 24.
Apparently, according to a fresh report from Axios, Apple senior vice president of hardware technologies Johny Srouji is under consideration for the role.
Here's why I believe Srouji would be an excellent choice:
Apple's chip success
Under Srouji, Apple's chip development efforts have been nothing short of remarkable. The company consistently delivers best-in-class processors for its all-important iPhone product line as well as more powerful versions of those iPhone chips for its iPad lineup. Over the years, Apple has also successfully brought the development of key intellectual properties -- like CPU cores and graphics processors -- in house.
Apple's chip efforts have also enabled key products like the popular AirPods wireless earbuds, its successful Apple Watch line (whose processors have delivered impressive performance improvements), and even its Mac products (whose latest versions incorporate a companion chip known as T2 to handle a variety of functions, including security).
Under Srouji, Apple has also successfully developed other chips beyond the main processors for its various products. For example, in this year's iPhone XS Max, Apple debuted its first internally developed power management integrated circuit (PMIC). Apple is also reportedly working on its own 5G modem chips.
Put simply, it's clear that Srouji is an excellent leader who deserves a significant share of the credit for all of the good results that Apple has delivered with its chip efforts year in and year out. As such, I think that he would be a strong pick for Intel's permanent CEO.
Can Intel get him? What about Apple?
Frankly, the real question in my mind is: Could Intel lure Srouji away from Apple? Given how important Apple's silicon development efforts are to the iPhone maker's product portfolio, I don't think the company will let Srouji go particularly easily.
If he does wind up at Intel, though, then that would clearly help the company's long-term prospects, as a leader with Srouji's track record could do wonders for the chipmaker. It would also seem like a pretty substantial blow to Apple's internal chip development efforts, as the company might have extreme difficulty finding a successor to Srouji.
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