Intel is still searching for a CEO as it navigates towards 10nm and beyond

It has been more than seven months since former Intel CEO Brian Krzanich abruptly resigned after breaking the company's non-fraternization policy. As the company heads towards volume shipments of 10-nanometer processors, it is still looking for a permanent replacement, only now with a "sense of urgency."

Intel addressed the topic during a conference call with investors to discuss is fourth quarter 2018 earnings.

"The Board continues to evaluate candidates for what I believe is the biggest and best open job on the planet," said Bob Swan, interim CEO. "They are proceeding with a sense of urgency while also ensuring that they make the right choice for this great company. Meanwhile, Murthy, Navin, the entire management team and the 107,000 employees have come together as a team to continue driving Intel's transformation to a data center company."

Navigating without a permanent CEO is tricky, but even more so for a company like Intel, which raked in $18.7 billion in revenue last quarter, and $70.8 billion for the entire year. That latter figure is an all-time record for Intel.

Even trickier is that Intel is committed to not just launching 10nm products in volume later this year, but also expanding practically its entire portfolio to the smaller process node.

"I would like to take the opportunity to just remind everybody that at CES and in the analyst meeting we had the end of last year, we did show 10nm across the entire portfolio of our product ranges...So the story is not just about 10nm yields but 10nm now being a key part of our entire product portfolio," said Murthy Renduchintala, chief engineering officer at Intel.

The road to 10nm has been a bumpy one for Intel. Back in December, Murthy talked about the challenges in getting there, and essentially said it had to do with the technology and equipment that was available in the early days of designing 10nm chips.

Intel insists it has those things sorted out now, and in looking ahead to 7nm, the use of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) should ensure a smoother roll out. Time will tell, of course.