Intel’s new boss wants to teach the chipmaker new tricks

“IT’S BEEN a couple of years since we’ve had you with us,” Bob Swan told Intel’s investors at its Californian headquarters on May 8th. “During that time, a lot has changed.” Not least for Mr Swan. Two years ago he was chief financial officer. Then, in June last year, Brian Krzanich, the firm’s previous boss, resigned after violating rules against romantic relationships between employees. Mr Swan, appointed regent while the firm hunted for a replacement, initially said he had no plans to make the arrangement permanent. By the end of January, though, he had decided that the view from the top was not so bad after all. He was duly appointed CEO.

He has inherited a company in an awkward position. Intel’s business plan used to be simple. In 1971 it released the world’s first commercial microprocessor. It then dedicated its existence to implementing, over and over again, the famous observation by Gordon Moore, its co-founder, that the number of components on such processors (and, roughly, their capabilities) would double every two years.

It worked, and very well. Intel dominates the market for chips that power desktop PCs. It is a virtual monopolist in the much more profitable market for the beefy server-class chips which power data centres around the world (see chart). The market for PCs is shrinking gently but demand for...

via Business Feeds

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