Bob Swan is stepping down as CEO of Intel (INTC 5.84%), the company announced yesterday. He will serve in the position until Feb. 15, when he will be replaced by current VMware (VMW 4.21%) CEO and onetime Intel executive Pat Gelsinger.
Swan's tenure did not last long. He was formally appointed CEO in January 2019, following seven months as the company's interim leader. His reign did not cover the most glorious years of the once-dominant chipmaker; last summer, for example, the rollout of Intel's new 7-nanometer chips was significantly delayed.
More recently, longtime client Apple rolled out the first iterations of its proprietary chip, the M1. Subsequent to that, another partner of long standing, Microsoft, was reported to be going its own way with chip development, too.
Compounding those headaches, last month activist investor Daniel Loeb of hedge fund Third Point sent a letter to Omar Ishrak, the chairman of Intel's board. In the letter, as is his wont, Loeb pushed for changes to the company's business approach. He also wrote that it should "evaluate strategic alternatives," which is typically taken to mean a sale. Loeb's letters have been known to influence their target companies.
At the time, various media reports indicated that Third Point had amassed a nearly $1 billion stake in the company.
As for incoming leader Gelsinger, he is returning to his corporate roots. Before being appointed CEO of VMware in 2012, he was chief operating officer of EMC's Information Infrastructure Products; that business is now part of Dell Technologies.
He had migrated to the EMC job after 30 years at Intel, where he started his career at age 18. Among his accomplishments was becoming the company's first chief technology officer.