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Who Will Be Intel’s Next CEO?

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Intel’s priority is a new CEO

Intel (INTC) is benefiting from a strong demand environment in 2018, and because of this, it’s reporting impressive earnings even without a stable CEO. Despite the company’s strong earnings and fundamentals, its stock is trading at a PE ratio of 14.9x, lower than the industry average of 19.0x.

Although Intel has reported impressive earnings, troubles loom as it faces 10 nm (nanometer) product delays and rising competition. The company is addressing these issues by expanding its addressable market to the fast-growth areas of 5G, AI, and automotive technology. If the new CEO can address the product delay issues and successfully implement a future product road map, Intel stock could see a significant boost.

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Candidates for the CEO position

At present, Intel’s CFO, Robert Swan, is handling the CEO position on an interim basis, but the company is looking for a permanent CEO. On September 4, a Bloomberg article citing sources familiar with the matter stated that Intel had short-listed four candidates for the position: two from within the organization and two from outside.

Among the insiders are the head of Intel’s data center business, Navin Shenoy, and its chief engineering officer, Murthy Renduchintala. Among the outsiders are Qualcomm (QCOM) veterans Sanjay Jha and Anand Chandrasekher.

Intel’s board also considered Intel’s former CFO, Stacy Smith, and current interim CEO Swan for the role, but they declined. This is the first time Intel is considering external candidates for the CEO position, as some of its veterans who were in line for CEO—including Renee James, Stacy Smith, Diane Bryant, and Kirk Skaugen—resigned during former CEO Brian Krzanich’s tenure as external candidates were hired at higher ranks.

The four short-listed candidates have rich experience either in the data center space or in the foundry space. Intel’s new CEO will be tasked with navigating the 10 nm delays and data center competition in 2019. The year should be an exciting one with many ups and downs for Intel’s investors.

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