Intel names Robert Swan CEO

Samyukta Lakshmi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bob Swan, interim chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Intel Corp., reacts during the inauguration of the company’s research and development facility in Bengaluru, India, Nov. 15, 2018.

Intel has named interim CEO Robert Swan to the position permanently, ending a months-long search following the ouster of Brian Krzanich last June after the company revealed he had a “consensual relationship” with an employee in a violation of company policy.

Swan, 58, has been serving as Intel’s interim CEO for seven months and as chief financial officer since 2016. He was also elected to the company’s board of directors.

Todd Underwood, currently vice president of finance, will take over as interim CFO while the company searches for a permanent CFO.

Shares of Intel fell roughly 1.5 percent in premarket trading Thursday.

The appointment marks Intel’s seventh CEO in 50 years. Shareholders will be watching for Swan to continue diversifying Intel’s portfolio outside of the PC.

Last week, Swan told CNBC the board would take its time making a selection.

“Our input to the board is take the time necessary to get somebody great and in the meantime we have a wonderful management team and 107,000 committed employees that are extremely focused on delivering for our customers,” Swan said then. “So we’re going to be just fine in the interim but I do expect and hope that in the near term, I don’t want to put a time frame on it, but on the near term, we’ll have a wonderful new CEO.”

Intel announced in June that Krzanich was resigning from his post and leaving the company’s board, effective immediately. Bob Swan, who had been Intel’s chief financial officer since October 2016, took on the role of interim CEO as Intel looked for its next permanent chief.

Analysts and media outlets speculated early on about several possible candidates, including two female executives who had left Intel in the relatively recent past: former data center group head Diane Bryant and former president Renee James. Bryant’s successor, executive vice president Navin Shenoy, was also thought to be a contender, along with Lisa Su, CEO of Intel rival AMD, and Sanjay Jha, who stepped down as CEO of chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries earlier this year.

“The search committee conducted a comprehensive evaluation of a wide range of internal and external candidates to identify the right leader at this critical juncture in Intel’s evolution. We considered many outstanding executives and we concluded the best choice is Bob,” Board Chairman Andy Bryant said in a statement. “Important in the board’s decision was the outstanding job Bob did as interim CEO for the past seven months, as reflected in Intel’s outstanding results in 2018.”

Intel reported fourth quarter results last week that beat on earnings but fell short on revenue.

Krzanich took over from Paul Otellini in May 2013. Under Krzanich, Intel shrunk the percentage of revenue focused on PCs by 12 percentage points. At the same time, it raised the mix of revenue from data center products by 11 percentage points, filings show.

The company also acquired companies with an eye toward diversifying, including artificial intelligence chip company Nervana, programmable chip company Altera and car chip company Mobileye. Krzanich’s Intel explored wearables with the help of acquisitions like fitness watch maker Basis Science, but ultimately ended up moving away from wearables and closed its New Devices Group.

—CNBC’s Lauren Feiner contributed to this report.

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