Intel has put a stop to all the assumptions and guesswork about who will replace Stacy Smith, its long-time finance chief. The chip maker has hired Bob Swan, who previously served as chief financial officer of companies like eBay and PayPal. Swan also served as an operating partner in General Atlantic LLC, a growth equity firm.
Swan joins at a crucial time
Intel is known to promote most senior executives from within, but Swan is the first CFO recruited from outside since 1983, reports The Wall Street Journal.
“I’m thrilled to join Intel, a company where incredible innovation is supported by strong financial management,” said Swan, who joins the company as chief financial officer on October 10.
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Stacy Smith joined the chip maker in 1988 and served as the chief financial officer. In April, he was promoted to the post of executive vice president, taking a wider role in the company looking after its sales, operations and manufacturing, and half of the company’s employees report to him, notes the WSJ.
Swan joins at a time when the company is experiencing a tough time. The chip giant, which powers the vast majority of computers, is now facing issues like the slowdown in the PC industry and a failure to make a mark in the smartphone segment. In April, the chip maker revealed its largest restructuring plan — axing 11% of its workforce by mid-2017.
According to the chip giant, Swan and Smith will hold the title of executive vice president, reporting directly to Chief Executive Brian Krzanich.
Swan a good addition for Intel
Krzanich has tried to move Intel’s technology into newer markets, such as smart cars, drones and wearable devices, and also hired external management talent to bring fresh ideas. According to the chip maker, its future lies with the growing cloud computing market.
“PCs will still be a very meaningful part of the business…but they won’t represent the growth engine of Intel,” said Richard Lane, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service. “Bob has a broad range of experience in the tech sector…but it will certainly be a steep learning curve to understand the intricacies of chip-making.”
Swan will probably bring in the new finance talent at Intel. “Everyone wants to work for Bob Swan,” said Peter Crist, chairman of executive recruitment firm Crist|Kolder Associates. According to a The Wall Street Journal in 2013, during his tenure at eBay, Swan trained many executives who later went on to become CFOs.