Intel CEO Bob Swan is stepping down to be replaced by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

Someone with technical nous could be good for Chipzilla – the markets certainly think so


Intel CEO Bob Swan's time at the head of Chipzilla is coming to an end and Intel's first CTO, Pat Gelsinger, is to replace him.

Swan's tenure will draw to a close on 15 February and old hand (and current VMware CEO) Gelsinger will take control of the troubled chipmaker.

"Today's announcement is unrelated to Intel's 2020 financial performance," the company insisted while also bravely pointing to the "strong progress" made in its quest for 10nm and 7nm process technology.

Swan stepped into the CEO's shoes at Intel in 2019 after doing the job on an interim basis following the departure of Brian Krzanich. The following 24 months did not go swimmingly and were marked by processor shortages and a failure to ship 10nm parts in a meaningful way.

The latter likely contributed to chief engineering officer Venkata "Murthy" Renduchintala's departure in August while the former left vendors such as Lenovo and Hewlett Packard Enterprise scrambling for silicon to go in its high-end kit. Shortages also struck less esoteric PC systems, although by the middle of 2020 Intel was adamant that supply constraints were easing up.

Intel has continued to cede ground to its rivals partly due to those sub-14nm process problems delaying silicon and handing market share to the likes of chip fabricator TSMC and chip designers AMD and Arm. Infamously, Apple has also begun the process of removing Chipzilla's processors in favour of its own silicon.

The appointment of Gelsinger is in marked contrast to Swan, who spent decades as CFO. Gelsinger was Intel's first CTO and stuck around for three decades before heading off to EMC as president and COO in 2009, later becoming CEO of VMware. In its welcoming spiel for Gelsinger, Intel described him as "the architect of the original 80486 processor" as well as noting his role in the Core and Xeon families.

A more technical CEO could well be what Intel needs, and the markets certainly approve of the change at the top. At the time of writing, Intel's stock had surged 8.4 per cent.

Gelsinger will continue to serve on the VMware Board of Directors after stepping down as CEO on 12 February. Michael Dell, VMware Chairman of the Board, thanked Gelsinger for his service and said: "Pat led the company's tremendous growth and expansion and built a solid foundation for future innovation."

VMware's CFO, Zane Rowe, has been appointed as interim CEO while the company hunts for a replacement. Rowe noted that revenues had almost tripled during Gelsinger's time. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021