Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich resigned from his management position and stepped down from the company's board of directors after the chipmaker was informed of his past relationship with a subordinate employee, the firm said Thursday. Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan is taking over as the interim CEO as the Santa Clara, California-based conglomerate searches for a permanent leader, effective immediately. In a prepared statement, Intel's management said it only recently learned of the relationship that violated its non-fraternization policies, having confirmed the allegation following an internal investigation. The relationship was determined to have been consensual in nature but the resignation of Mr. Krzanich is meant to send a strong message to the rest of the firm's employees, i.e. illustrate that Intel's corporate policies apply to all workers, no matter how high up the food chain they are, as suggested by the firm's Thursday announcement.
While the now-former chief officially stepped down, he would have likely been removed from his position in a matter of weeks following the conclusion of the company's investigation into his fraternization if he did anything but. Intel Chairman Andy Bryant said Mr. Krzanich was "instrumental" to the company's strategy in recent times but said he believes Intel will continue operating without any issues. The 58-year-old has been leading the technology company over the last half a decade but first joined it in 1982, having been employed by Intel for 36 years of its 49-year history. The chipmaker is still on course to record a record-breaking second quarter of the year, forecasting revenues of close to $17 billion. Its next consolidated financial report is scheduled to be published on July 26.
Intel is considering both internal and external candidates for the CEO position, having already confirmed plans to retain an executive search service provider to assist it in its efforts to do so. Non-fraternization policies such as the one that led to the resignation of Mr. Krzanich are a standard practice in the Silicon Valley and also reportedly played a role in Android co-creator Andy Rubin's departure from Google.