Swan is a finance guy at heart, having served as CFO at giants like Electronic Data Systems, TRW, and eBay. However, Swan has spent the past seven months working closely with Intel’s senior leadership ranks as he plots a path forward for a company. Intel is looking to diversify into sectors like artificial intelligence, discrete graphics (GPUs) and autonomous vehicles, while at the same time strengthening its position with its bread-and-butter processor business on the desktop, in laptops and in data center servers.
“We considered many outstanding executives and we concluded the best choice is Bob,” said Intel Chairman Andy Bryant. “Bob's performance, his knowledge of the business, his command of our growth strategy, and the respect he has earned from our customers, our owners, and his colleagues confirmed he is the right executive to lead Intel."
In an internal letter to the troops, Swan says that he has four “critical imperatives” that he wants to address as CEO: to be bold and fearless, to strengthen Intel’s core strategy in the PC market, to better execute on its product roadmaps, and to bolster the “One Intel” culture to empower employees.
“Leadership is a team sport and is about bringing together the team, setting the direction and letting the team be unencumbered – so they can achieve things nobody thought was possible,” said Swan. “My biggest learning over the last seven months is how important we all are to our customers, and the responsibility and opportunity that goes with that.”
The news of Swan taking over the helm might come as a bit of a shock to those that have followed Intel’s search for a new CEO. According to a Bloombergreport earlier this month, it was stated that Swan didn’t want the job on an ongoing, full-time basis. There were even more outlandish rumors that AMD CEO Lisa Su could be a candidate for the job.
Intel began its search for a new CEO after its previous leader, Brian Krzanich, resigned on discovery that he had an improper “past consensual relationship” with a subordinate.