Intel CEO Resigns After Relationship With Employee Discovered

Today, Intel announced that CEO Brian Krzanich resigned from the company, effective immediately. He will be giving up his position as CEO and member of Intel’s board. The company has named current Intel CFO Robert Swan as interim chief executive officer, also effective immediately.

In a press release, the company explained their reasoning behind the move:

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. Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel’s values and adhere to the company’s code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr. Krzanich’s resignation.

According to Intel, Krzanich’s resignation was accepted by the board to show “that all employees will respect Intel’s values.” The board has “a robust succession planning process in place,” and is currently looking for a permanent CEO.

Brian Krzanich was at Intel since 1982, and had held the CEO position since May 2013. Intel has since removed his biography from its website.

According to a separate report from CNBC, the improper relationship occurred “some time back,” but Intel was only informed about it recently. The company then began a thorough investigation, which led to today’s announcement and subsequent change in leadership.

Krzanich’s time as CEO of one of the largest chipmakers in the world had faced other obstacles as well. Intel faced intense scrutiny over its reaction to the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws. Last November, Krzanich sold off $39 million in Intel shares, right after he had been informed of the Spectre breach. This quickly raised suspicions of insider trading, although the company insisted that the sell-off was unrelated to Spectre.

Despite his fall from grace and ouster from Intel, the company insists that it is still adhering to a grand strategy put in place by Krzanich in a 2016 memo. “Bob has been instrumental to the development and execution of Intel’s strategy, and we know the company will continue to smoothly execute,” said Intel chairman Andy Bryant. “We appreciate Brian’s many contributions to Intel.”

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