Intel has a new CEO, with Pat Gelsinger returning at a major crossroads in the chipmaker’s illustrious history. But who is Pat Gelsinger and why is his return being heralded as a homecoming?
Pat Gelsinger takes over from departing CEO Bob Swan, who announced earlier this month he would be stepping aside in February. Swan, a former CFO at the company, was only in the big seat for two years.
Gelsinger’s arrival comes at a time when Intel is losing its arrangement with Apple to provide processors for Mac computers. There are rumblings Microsoft may follow suit. The continued rise of ARM processors for traditional computing platforms and gaming PCs could concern Intel, especially with Nvidia purchasing ARM. Intel has also sold the majority of its modem business to Apple, meaning it no longer offers competition for Qualcomm on mobile devices.
Gelsinger also returns to a company struggling with meeting production schedules for its major chipsets, something the distinguished engineer could perhaps help resolve.
All that being said, Intel stock continues to perform well and the outlook is good for the home PC market in 2021 as the work from home trend continues. Is Gelsinger up to the task? Let’s have a look at his career to date.
Pat Gelsinger career biography
Gelsinger is 59-years-old and will leave his current role as the CEO of VMWare. VMWare is a cloud computing company that offers virtualisation services and software. Michael Dell, another computing legend, is the company’s current chairman.
However, for Gelsinger the appointment as Intel CEO is a major homecoming. It was his first job at aged 18, when he joined as a quality control technician. He would go on to spend 30 years at the company during his first stint.
He was the chief architect behind the Intel 80406 processor, which was around during a major boom period in home computing during the late 1980s. That was the predecessor to the famous Pentium range of processors. He was also instrumental in driving the creation of technology like USB and Wi-Fi, according to his biography at VMWare.
Gelsinger was Intel’s first Chief Technology Officer and would hold the position for many years before leaving the Orgeon-based company in 2009. He would go on to lead EMC’s Information Infrastructure Products business before joining VMWare in 2012.
Pat Gelsinger and the future of Intel
Despite more than 11 years away from Intel, it’s unlikely he’ll need much of an initiation. As one of the most distinguished engineers in the company’s illustrious history, he returns to the company with leadership experience at a major, booming company in VMWare, which has 31,000 employees.
Returning as a more rounded executive should give Intel plenty of initiative moving forward and a new-found synergy after two years of a financial guy at the helm. We’d also expect eradicating those delays on chipsets to be at the top of his list moving forward.
According to reports from Oregon Live, Gelsinger stands to make over $100m for rejoining Intel, although much of the financial compensation is said to be performance based. His base salary is, by comparison, a mere $1.25m.