Thursday, 14 January 2021 09:58

Intel does what was expected and installs a new chief executive Featured

Pat Gelsinger will take over as the head of Intel next month. Pat Gelsinger will take over as the head of Intel next month. Courtesy Intel

ANALYSIS In announcing the departure of Bob Swan as chief executive, Intel has made sure to mention that the announcement has nothing to do with either its financial performance in 2020 or its failure to introduce 7nm CPUs on time.

This tells its own tale: if these two factors were not responsible for his departure, then why mention them at all? It looks like Intel also needs some new PR practitioners.

Swan's fate was sealed from the time he announced in July last year that Intel would be forced to delay its schedule for producing the most advanced semiconductors by six months as it had no economically viable way to produce them at the moment.

Intel, which has been among the leaders in the semiconductors space, has now been overtaken by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Samsung, both of which have now moved on to producing 5nm semiconductors.

Even the 5nm bus has already left the station, with Apple expected to be the biggest consumer of semiconductors with this gate width in 2021. And to further rub in the fact that Intel is now just another semiconductor company, TSMC has already been contracted by Apple to make the company's first 3nm chips.

Intel has now brought in a former chief executive of VMware, Pat Gelsinger, to take over the reins from 15 February. He has already spent a considerable part of his working life at Intel.

Gelsinger has mostly an engineering background, serving as Intel's first chief technology officer and having a role in the creation of key technologies like USB and Wi-Fi.

About Gelsinger, Intel board chairman Omar Ishrak said: "“Pat is a proven technology leader with a distinguished track record of innovation, talent development, and a deep knowledge of Intel. He will continue a values-based cultural leadership approach with a hyper focus on operational execution.

“After careful consideration, the board concluded that now is the right time to make this leadership change to draw on Pat’s technology and engineering expertise during this critical period of transformation at Intel.

"The board is confident that Pat, together with the rest of the leadership team, will ensure strong execution of Intel’s strategy to build on its product leadership and take advantage of the significant opportunities ahead as it continues to transform from a CPU to a multi-architecture XPU company.”

Intel will announce its full-year and fourth-quarter results on 21 January US time and also provide an update on where its plans for producing 7nm chips stand.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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