Wednesday 13 January 2021 6:26 pm

Intel shares rise as chipmaker replaces chief executive

Shares in Intel pushed higher this afternoon after the tech giant said it was replacing chief executive Bob Swan following a string of manufacturing missteps.

Swan, who has held the top job for just two years, will step down on 15 February and will be replaced with Pat Gelsinger, currently chief executive of software group VMWare.

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Shares in Intel were trading almost eight per cent higher following the announcement.

It follows a torrid period for Intel, which last year lost the title of most valuable US chipmaker to rival Nvidia.

It has also suffered a series of manufacturing blunders in recent years, allowing rivals such as TSMC and Samsung to gain a lead in the market.

Activist investor Third Point last month wrote to Intel’s board asking it to consider splitting off its chip design business and outsourcing manufacturing — a strategy employed by rivals such as Qualcomm and Nvidia.

Third Point also urged Intel to halt the tide of engineers leaving for rival firms, though it stopped short of publicly calling for Swan’s removal.

Gelsinger is an industry veteran boasting more than 40 years’ experience including three decades at Intel, where he began his career.

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‘Pat is a proven technology leader with a distinguished track record of innovation, talent development, and a deep knowledge of Intel,” said Omar Ishrak, independent chairman of the Intel board. 

“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.”