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Intel CEO Krzanich forced out for relationship with staff

New York: Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich has resigned over a "past consensual relationship" with an employee that violated a company non-fraternization policy, the technology company announced on Thursday.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan will serve as interim chief executive while the company searches for a replacement.

A leader in data storage, Intel said it has "a robust succession planning process in place" and was looking at both internally and externally for candidates. The company has also retained an executive search firm to help locate candidates.

"The board believes strongly in Intel's strategy and we are confident in Bob Swan's ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO," said Intel Chairman Andy Bryant.

Over the last year, Krzanich and Intel have faced scrutiny over their reaction to the major security flaws known as Meltdown and Spectre. The dire situation triggered a coordinated response in deploying patches and firmware fixes throughout the computing industry. But some of the updates proved buggy. Last November, Krzanich sold off roughly $39 million worth of Intel shares — after the company had been informed of the far-reaching Spectre problem. That raised suspicions of insider trading, but Intel said the stock sell-off was unrelated to Spectre.

Krzanich was tasked with evolving Intel beyond the sluggish PC market after decades spent comfortably atop the chip manufacturing world. His goal, as outlined in this 2016 memo, had been to "transform Intel from a PC company to a company that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices."

The company, which has been transitioning to cloud computing-oriented businesses amid a decline in personal computing, projected second-quarter revenue of about $16.9 billion and earnings of 99 cents per share. Both were well above analyst expectations.

"Intel's transformation to a data-centric company is well under way and our team is producing great products, excellent growth and outstanding financial results," Swan said. "I look forward to Intel continuing to win in the marketplace."

Intel's revenues in 2017 were $62.8 billion and it had 102,700 employees at the end of the year. A Dow member, Intel rose 2.2 per cent to $54.64 in pre-market trading.

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