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Gelsinger. Photo: Intel

Intel said Wednesday that VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger will return to the chipmaker as CEO, with current chief Bob Swan stepping down as of Feb. 15.

Why it matters: Intel faces a host of challenges from manufacturing issues to competition from rival AMD to Apple's move to use homegrown chips in the Mac.

Between the lines: Intel's woes have spurred calls for a leadership shake-up including from activist investor Third Point.

The other side: The company said in its press release announcing the CEO shift that it expects to exceed its earnings and revenue guidance for the fourth quarter when it reports earnings on Jan. 21.

  • The release also said the company "has made strong progress" on its next generation 7-nanometer manufacturing technology and will give a further update when it reports earnings.

Background: Gelsinger worked at Intel for three decades starting at age 18, rising to the upper executive ranks before leaving.

What they're saying: "My experience at Intel has shaped my entire career, and I am forever grateful to this company," Gelsinger said in a memo to Intel workers.

  • "To come back “home” to Intel in the role of CEO during what is such a critical time for innovation, as we see the digitization of everything accelerating, will be the greatest honor of my career."

Meanwhile: VMware said CFO Zane Rowe will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for Gelsinger's replacement. Gelsigner will remain on VMware's board of directors.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 14, 2021 - Technology

Legacy chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm seek to seize back control

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Although most eyes were on the impeachment and other Washington goings-on, Wednesday was a big day for the chip industry, which produced a 10-figure deal and a major leadership shakeup.

The big picture: Legacy chip players Intel and Qualcomm have watched other companies eat into the business lines that got them where they are. They're now seeking to seize control of their own fates.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 13, 2021 - Technology

Qualcomm buying server chip startup Nuvia for $1.4 billion

Image: Qualcomm

Qualcomm said Wednesday it will pay $1.4 billion to buy Nuvia, a chip startup founded by former Apple employees.

Why it matters: The move gives Qualcomm fresh ideas for chip designs as the company faces intense competition from Intel, AMD and others.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

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