Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich resigned last Thursday, following reports of a “consensual relationship” with a female employee, violating Intel’s non-fraternization policy. Current CFO Robert Swan has been named as interim CEO with immediate effect.
Krzanich leaves at a trying time for Intel. Over the past year, it has seen its dominance in the CPU market overturned by AMD with its Ryzen chips, which has rapidly been gaining market share through aggressive pricing. The same is true for the server market, with Krzanich recently admitting that Intel might lose market share to AMD this year as well.
Intel’s problems have been further compounded by the announcement of the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in Intel CPUs. The fixes implemented by Intel have led to its CPUs taking a performance hit, and shaken consumers’ and businesses’ confidence in its products.
Intel has also been struggling with its 10nm process, its much-awaited die shrink that was supposed to be announced back in 2016 within its “tick-tock” cycle. With the recent news that it has been delayed once again to 2019, there is now a greater opportunity for AMD to catch up with Intel in terms of performance as well as efficiency.
This latest leadership change comes at a very crucial time, as Intel looks to expand beyond the CPU market into fields such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and self-driving technology, as well as produce its own GPUs, following the hire of AMD veteran Raja Koduri. With both its rivals Nvidia and AMD already ahead of Intel in these fields, Intel certainly needs a strong leader and visionary who is able to guide it through its troubles now and strengthen its foundations for the future.