Intel today announced the resignation of CEO Brian Krzanich, citing a violation of the company’s fraternization policy. CFO Bob Swan will fill in as interim CEO while the company conducts a search for its next top executive.
The details: Krzanich’s resignation is effective immediately. He’s also giving up his seat on Intel’s board of directors. It would appear the company has a zero-tolerance policy for fraternization and Krzanich violated it. According to a company press release:
Intel was recently informed that Mr. Krzanich had a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee. An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel has confirmed a violation of Intel’s non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel’s values and adhere to the company’s code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr. Krzanich’s resignation.
The impact: Big tech companies are under more scrutiny than usual amid a string of recent controversies. Intel is still recovering from the damage done by the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws, which affected nearly all of its chips. A scandal such as this, kept internal, could have signaled trouble to shareholders if they learned about it from the media.
The company seemingly got ahead of the problem and can now turn its attention to finding a better-suited CEO. After all, this wasn’t the first controversy for Krzanich. Last year, between the time he learned of the Meltdown and Spectre flaws and the time the company disclosed them, he was caught moving stock around in what some might describe as insider trading — Intel’s board approved the moves.
Moving forward, Intel intends to work with an undisclosed executive recruitment agency to fill the CEO position. It will consider both internal and external candidates.