Pat Gelsinger walks into the job with Intel having already delayed a planned transition to its 7 nm process. That announcement came in July 2020 with the company projecting a six-month delay in the planned launch of 7 nm parts while competitors were already using the process.
He’ll also confront activist investor Third Point LLC which acquired a stake in the company in the last quarter of 2020 that is estimated to be worth approximately $1 billion.
Mr. Gelsinger began his career at Intel in 1982. He was the architect of the 80486 processor, served as the company’s CTO, and was also the General Manager for Intel’s Digital Enterprise group. He has served as VMware's CEO since 2012.
CEO Bob Swan’s tenure has been an exception at Intel, a company known for its engineering culture. Mr. Gelsinger brings that engineering culture back in spades.
Intel changes CEO amid manufacturing difficulties
Mr. Gelsinger has released the following statement:
"I am thrilled to rejoin and lead Intel forward at this important time for the company, our industry and our nation," said Gelsinger. "Having begun my career at Intel and learned at the feet of Grove, Noyce and Moore, it's my privilege and honor to return in this leadership capacity. I have tremendous regard for the company's rich history and powerful technologies that have created the world's digital infrastructure. I believe Intel has significant potential to continue to reshape the future of technology and look forward to working with the incredibly talented global Intel team to accelerate innovation and create value for our customers and shareholders."
A Final Perspective
Pat Gelsinger’s first challenges will be to play catch-up. It will be catch-up on technology and manufacturing. His engineering background and long history at Intel is a good fit for the task at hand.
He may also find himself face-to-face with a corporate raider looking to extract a pound of flesh from the tech giant. This will be a different kind of threat to the company’s health.