Intel Ousts CEO Over Employee Relationship

Posted on June 21, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware with 41 Comments

I had long figured that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s job was in jeopardy because of the firm’s inability to deliver 10nm chip technology.

Nope.

“Intel today announced the resignation of Brian Krzanich as CEO and a member of the board of directors,” an Intel announcement notes. “Intel was recently informed that Mr. Krzanich had a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee. An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel has confirmed a violation of Intel’s non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers.”

Yikes. Apparently, Krzanich was given two options: Resign or be fired. And he chose the former.

Succeeding Mr. Krzanich as interim CEO is Bob Swan—and, yes, I considered a swan song joke—who had been Intel’s CFO since 2016. Intel is looking for a permanent replacement.  (I will also avoid the “Intel Inside” joke. Sorry.)

“The board believes strongly in Intel’s strategy and we are confident in Bob Swan’s ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO,” Intel chairman Andy Bryant said in a prepared statement. “Bob has been instrumental to the development and execution of Intel’s strategy, and we know the company will continue to smoothly execute. We appreciate Brian’s many contributions to Intel.”

As part of the resignation announcement, Intel also revealed that it expects to deliver record second quarter results, with revenues of about $16.9 billion. So Mr. Krzanich can at least ride out with that little boost.

 

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Comments (41)

41 responses to “Intel Ousts CEO Over Employee Relationship”

  1. spacein_vader

    That's not what they meant by Intel Inside.

  2. derylmccarty

    I come from a long military background. What we discovered over several millennia across every continent is that sex of any kind/style/gender/consent/force twixt unit members or unit member families destroys cohesion and trust. And THAT in turn gets people killed - through action or inaction.


    Intel probably doesn't face business "combat" in the same way as military combat, but trust in leadership and decision making to maximize production, technology and, yes, profitability, depends (in US companies) on whether and how well a leader makes him or herself part of "We the company". And a primary way he does so is by subjecting herself to the same rules as is the rank and file. If a CEO promulgates an ethos or culture that says managers don't mess with the hired help - even in the name of love - and then proceeds to do exactly that just labeled himself a hypocrite and just lost his ability to lead, and is consequently useless to the company.

  3. pderosa

    During this man's tenure Intel has failed miserably at so many things. I have trouble believing this is the real reason or the entire reason. If they wanted to keep him they would have covered this up. I just don't think corporations are overly concerned with ethics. I always regard it as posturing.

  4. Paul Thurrott

    Real mature, everyone. Let's give this sexism stuff a rest, please.

    • NT6.1

      In reply to paul-thurrott:


      It looks like you're finally growing as a person.

    • PincasX

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Why not actually do something about it rather than just delete comments? Sweeping it under the rug doesn’t fix it.

      • pderosa

        In reply to PincasX:

        I think the idea is not to dignify it with any response further than labeling it as sexism. Engaging this kind of topic in a discussion just perpetuates it, and it is off-topic in addition to being offensive.


        If you mean bans I cannot speculate. People can make accounts here very easily so bans might prove ineffective. I don't know what they did to get the spam under control, so I really can't say anything useful about bans.

        • PincasX

          In reply to pderosa:

          Yes I am talking about bans. Bigotry isn’t something that should be tolerated. Pretty simple. But I guess bigots generating ad revenue get a pass.

          • pderosa

            In reply to PincasX:

            Deleting the comments is absolutely not tolerating them. It is extremely clear that sexism is unwelcome here. This screams false dichotomy to me. I am not making any further remarks.

            • PincasX

              In reply to pderosa:

              errr ... other than Paul has made sexist comments in his articles? It’s absollty welcome here at some level. As are homophobic and racist comments. Please go read the comments on any of the articles about diversity and tell me otherwise. No tolerance would involve not making the platform available to hose that spew bigotry not removing comments when it’s a little too bigoted.

  5. scotttech1

    Maybe Marissa Mayer is available?

  6. JerryH

    Well to be fair, this was the excuse they could use. I think it was really because of their repeated failures in the market (like the failed mobile push) and the delayed 10nm that you call out.


    The "Intel CEO inside" was just the excuse that everybody could live with most likely.

  7. Steven Lendowski

    I dont know if this is a purely US thing, but why can someone be fired for having a relationship with a colleague??

    Is love (or sex) a crime in the US?

    I dont get it. All tech forums here in EU/GER are stunned, literally NO ONE can understand this decision.

    To say it snarky: I can buy a semi auto rifle in the USA, but i cant fall in love with my colleague? I can form a milita, but i cant say "f*ck" on TV?

    Cultural barrier i guess.



  8. HellcatM

    “The board believes strongly in Intel’s strategy and we are confident in Bob Swan’s ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO,” Intel chairman Andy Bryant said in a prepared statement. “Bob has been instrumental to the development and execution of Intel’s strategy, and we know the company will continue to smoothly execute."


    But they don't believe in Bob Swan enough to make him permanent CEO I see. He's just the fall back when they can't find a real CEO that they can 100% trust.


    With ARM getting into the PC chip market I feel sorry for any CEO of Intel. Unless they can match or beat ARM, Intel is on shaky ground I think. Maybe ARM will never make Windows run as good as Intel processors do but they don't need to, they just need them to run good enough and make the chips cheap enough for the general public. If they can do this, then the only thing keeping Intel afloat is businesses (and even some businesses might be able to use ARM chips in their PC's), then they just have people who need high end PC chips which makes Intel processors a niche market like the dedicated graphics card. Now granted Nvidia and AMD are doing well with their businesses but most people don't need high end graphics cards.

    • Thomas Parkison

      In reply to HellcatM:

      Not only that but Intel has to contend with AMD and their Ryzen platform which has (for the first time in more than a decade) brought real competition to the market. No longer can Intel just keep dishing out the same lukewarm crap that they've been serving up for the last five+ years. Now they actually have to try and compete and Intel has lately shown that they've forgotten how to compete.

    • PincasX

      In reply to HellcatM:

      TO be fair, Swan my not be interested in being CEO.


  9. skane2600

    "I had long figured that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s job was in jeopardy because of the firm’s inability to deliver 10nm chip technology."


    I think a CEO's ability to "deliver" anything is usually greatly exaggerated.

  10. Davor Radman

    Well it could have easily been just an excuse to fire him..

    I mean it's a stupid reason, and if anyone thinks that a really successful manager would be fired over consensual relatinoship..

    • skane2600

      In reply to Markiz von Schnitzel:

      It's very difficult to determine how much of a company's success is directly tied to a manager or whether it just happened to occur on their watch. Avoiding a conflict of interest can be more important than the contribution of a single individual.

  11. Skolvikings

    Bob Swan had been their CFO since 2016, not CEO.

  12. tetley

    The relationship between management and employees should be stronger otherwise organization growth will be reduces. There should be employee portal like Liteblue get all problems related to employees to be fixed.