Robert Swan—an outsider in the semiconductor business for most of his career— is now officially leading Intel to reach new heights.
A finance professional serving well-known companies including eBay Inc., Swan in 2016 became the CFO of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel. Then when CEO Brian Krzanich abruptly left in June, Swan was tapped to be interim CEO while the board searched for a successor.
The board found one—Swan, chosen to remain in the top post because of his abilities to help boost the chipmaking giant’s performance and ultimately bottom line against competitors like Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia, according to Fortune.
Intel is now focused on four “critical imperatives,” Swan wrote in an email to Intel employees, customers and partner companies on Jan. 31, his first day as CEO.
“First, we must be bold and fearless,” he wrote. “Intel’s team has the technical and strategic vision to shape technology’s future. Our ambitions have never been greater and we have a relatively small share of the largest addressable market in Intel’s history. We must remain focused on playing offense and innovating for an increasingly data-centric world. A world where all data needs to be processed, moved, stored and analyzed.”
Second, as Intel evolves from a PC-centric to a data-centric company, it will change how it serves customers and partner with other companies to “build the best technology together.”
“Third, our execution must improve,” Swan wrote. “And it will. Our customers are counting on us.”
To help accomplish that, the fourth critical imperative is enhancing the company’s culture to “encourage every Intel employee to be bold and fearlessly focused on going beyond what they thought possible.”
“Intel has an amazing legacy, but our aspirations have grown,” he wrote. “We need to continue to evolve to continue making Intel’s future even brighter than our storied past. We’ve got an incredible foundation to build on—and I look forward to all that we can achieve together in the future. I’m all in.”
Swan joined Intel in 2016 from General Atlantic LLC, a global growth equity investment firm, where he served as an operating partner working closely with the firm’s global portfolio companies on growth objectives. Prior to that, Swan spent nine years as CFO of eBay Inc.
Earlier in his career, he served as CFO of Electronic Data Systems Corp. and TRW Inc., and as CFO, COO and CEO of Webvan Group Inc. He began his career at General Electric, holding several senior finance roles during his 15-year tenure.
He’s No. 48 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies
Robert Swan, Intel
Headquarters: Santa Clara, CA
Education: B.S., SUNY at Buffalo, M.B.A., State University of New York at Binghamton
First joined company: 2016
Prior to joining Intel: eBay
Named CEO: 2019