Top engineer Pat Gelsinger to return to Intel as new CEO

Intel HQ, Santa Clara
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel's Bob Swan is going to step down as CEO effective February 15, Intel has confirmed, as originally reported by CNBC

The ex-Intel CTO and now VMWare CEO, Pat Gelsinger, will replace him at the head of Intel.

Robert 'Bob' Swan has been Intel's operating CEO since June 2018, when then CEO Brian Krzanich resigned following a consensual relationship with a fellow employee. At the time the company CFO, Swan took over as interim CEO for the foreseeable, until a replacement could be found. Yet after an exhaustive search, in January 2019, Swan was named permanent CEO.

It has now been confirmed that Bob Swan will be replaced by Patrick 'Pat' Gelsinger, who was Intel's CTO and a long-standing employee at the company, having been there for almost 30 years before leaving for data-storage company EMC in 2009.

Gelsinger's appointment will mark a fascinating shift in the Intel senior leadership. Coming from an all-engineering background, Gelsinger is sure to bring a new technology focus to Intel's top brass at a time when it's arguably needed most.

"My experience at Intel has shaped my entire career," Gelsinger says in a note published on Intel's newsroom, "and I am forever grateful to this company. To come back “home” to Intel in the role of CEO during what is such a critical time for innovation, as we see the digitization of everything accelerating, will be the greatest honour of my career."

Ex-Intel CTO Pat Gelsinger

Pat Gelsinger will return to Intel on February 15 as the company's new CEO. (Image credit: Intel)

An engineer at the top is likely music to Intel fans' ears, and it's looking like shareholders' too. Just look what happened to AMD when it put a smart engineer in the top position. Intel's stock is currently up 12% on the report breaking.

Bob Swan has presided over a difficult time in Intel's history, it must be said, most of which was already barrelling towards the company long before Swan took the helm. One of his first acts as interim CEO was to pen an open letter regarding supply constraints at the company, and despite record financials, the company has been in rough waters since.

"I want to extend my gratitude to Bob for his leadership and significant contributions to Intel through this critical period of transformation," Gelsinger continues. "I welcome his counsel and ongoing guidance through the transition period to make it as seamless as possible for our customers and all of you.

"I’m sure you will have many questions about what is to come, and I look forward to hearing them, even if I won’t have all the answers on day one. I can’t wait to resume this journey with all of you."

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.