Swan was brought up from the Role of CFO to CEO in June 2018 after spending seven months as interim head of the company. He replaced Brian Krzanich, who resigned that year, after details of a relationship he had with an Intel employee were disclosed. Many of the problems Intel suffered were inherited from Krzanich’s time, especially around chip making.
Intel failed to deliver its first 10-nanometer chips on time in 2016 due to declining yields – the number of functional chips it could make in production. Since then, it has struggled to keep pace with its rivals, and TSMC has started to boast that it can now make a 5-nanometer chip. Of course, not all chips are created equal, but in the PC space, AMD is now able to outperform Intel chips in a number of scenarios.
Swan’s tenure also saw Apple’s much-publicized departure as one of Intel’s customers as the company moved to use its own silicon. The iPhone maker was not a big buyer of Intel’s silicon, and its size compared to the rest of the PC industry was small, but the prospect of losing such a customer was quite large. As CNBC According to reports, activist investors had pushed Intel to make a change, adding that Swan’s critics viewed him as a businessman and finance man, at odds with Intel’s engineering culture.