Although I have reason to believe Intel's management problems run deeper than just a poorly performing CEO, there has been a marked deterioration in Intel's execution since Krzanich took the helm in 2013.
Further, while some may be willing to blame previous Intel management for the current messes that the company finds itself in, I'm not. Krzanich has been in the role long enough that the execution we are seeing from the company today is the product of decisions Krzanich made.
So, the first step Intel needs to take to try to fix both its issues with basic product execution (I can't believe I'm writing this about Intel) as well as with broader long-term strategic vision is to give Krzanich his golden parachute and put a new CEO in.
It's easy to say that Intel needs a new CEO (I've been saying it for a while now), but it's quite a bit harder to come up with good candidates for the job.
Nevertheless, I'm going to try. Here are three individuals that I think would run Intel far better than Krzanich has.
No. 1: Cristiano Amon
Wireless chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has, except for a few minor bumps along the road, executed like clockwork in bringing compelling new products to the smartphone market each and every year.
Qualcomm has not only done an excellent job on the product side of things, but it has done an excellent job of driving its contract chip manufacturing partners to deliver the technologies it needs to build its leadership products.
Given that Qualcomm's strong execution in its chip business has happened under Cristiano Amon's watch (Amon is the President of Qualcomm's chip business), I think he would be a suitable candidate to lead Intel to a prosperous new beginning.
No. 2: Scott McGregor
Another chipmaker with a strong track record of execution is Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO). The current Broadcom represents the combination of a company called Avago Technologies and Broadcom (I'll refer to it as "Broadcom Classic" as current Broadcom management has referred to it in the past), and both companies were, individually, quite strong and the best at their respective businesses.
In this case, though, I think the CEO of Broadcom Classic (he's no longer with the combined company), Scott McGregor, could be a solid choice.
McGregor wasn't perfect; under his watch, Broadcom failed to cultivate a sustainable mobile processor business, and its acquisition of network chip vendor NetLogic (which Broadcom Classic wrote down and the current Broadcom seems to have been abandoned).
However, Broadcom Classic maintained a robust and diverse portfolio of product lines that were generally best in class. Moreover, under McGregor, Broadcom properly managed its product/business portfolio by dumping losers and fueling winners.
McGregor was a good CEO, and he's somebody I'd trust to, at the very least, shore up Intel's competitiveness in its core businesses and then maintain leadership positions into the future.
No. 3: Murthy Renduchintala
Another solid candidate for the job could be Murthy Renduchintala, the company's current Chief Technical Officer. I fundamentally agree with my friend Rob Tanner that Intel should hire an "outsider" -- a longtime "Inteller" simply wouldn't be able to objectively see and understand what ails the company and what steps need to be taken to fix the issues.
Renduchintala is an "Inteller" now, but he's still relatively new to the company, having joined in late 2015. Moreover, there's documented evidence that he can clearly see and bluntly describe issues with the company's execution.
With Renduchintala at the helm of the company, I think he could do a solid job cleaning house and improving the company's execution in its core business units.