EE Times Looks at Intel's New CEO


Staff member
Mar 3, 2018
Following the resignation of Brian Krzanich, Bob Swan became Intel's new "interim" CEO, and after a 7 month search for a replacement, Intel's leadership decided to make Swan's position permanent last week. Some worried about this decision, as Intel has a longstanding policy of hiring "insider" CEOs with a technical background, but the analysts EE Times talked to seem to think Swan is a good choice. They point out that being a "business guy" could allow the company to make the strong business decisions it needs, and his position as an "outsider" with plenty of "insider" experience could inject some fresh blood into the company without sending it in a bad direction. For what it's worth, we (and other news organizations) noticed that Intel has totally overhauled their relationship with the public under Swan's leadership.

McGregor noted that Swan is not the first Intel CEO to come from a business rather than technical background. Paul Otellini, who served as Intel's CEO from 2005 to 2013, was the first non-engineer to hold the post... Krewell said that he initially thought choosing Swan would be a mistake, akin to "kicking the can down the street." But seeing Swan in person and listening to him talk about the company and strategy, Krewell was won over by Swan's balanced view of Intel's position in the market. "I think that, while he's not a technologist, he has a deep reserve of technical executives he can draw on, Krewell said... Moorhead said that Swan has told him that he really started to enjoy the job once he held the interim job. (In a letter to employees, customers, and partners posted Thursday, Swan alluded to this change of heart and said that he jumped at the opportunity when approached by the board)
I really don't care about any of those details. We need to know what sort of diversity he is bringing to intel.

I've read he's married with two children. I certainly hope that's not a woman he's married to, we don't need any more male hetero CIS CEOs.
So, he is an outsider and an insider at the same time?

Got it.

Do these people even listen to themselves?

All I know is that the business world needs fewer finance, sales and lawyers at the top. We should be following the lead of Europe and putting people with technical expertise in the core business of what the company does in the top positions.

For once, it would be nice to see an American company led by a CEO who possesses a PhD in a technical field.
For once, it would be nice to see an American company led by a CEO who possesses a PhD in a technical field.

Lisa Su has a PhD, Jensun Huang has a masters in EE, Craig Barrett (former Intel CEO/chairman) has a PhD in materials science. Micron's CEO has an EE masters, Qualcomm's CEO has an EE masters, TI's current CEO is an EE major, Globalfoundries' current CEO has a PhD in engineering...

I think the point is that there are plenty of CEOs with a strong technical background in the U.S. semiconductor business, as well as Intel's past, so a CEO who isn't an engineer is what's notable.
There's no reason to believe someone with a PhD in a technical field is any good at leadership, business, or finance. Not that they're mutually exclusive, but in my experience, PhD's are hyperfocused.
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