Why it matters: Intel really needs to find a new leader before the competition gets too far ahead. Questions should be raised as to whether Intel is actually considering candidates with the right strategy instead of putting too much emphasis on making statisticians happy with diversity numbers.
After running former CEO Brian Krzanich out of town over an affair with an employee, Intel has been running under interim leader and CFO Bob Swan. Mr. Swan has repeatedly denied any interest in taking up the position of CEO full time. As the search for a leader continues, there have been no signs that a candidate is any closer to being found.
Filling any executive level position can take several months, but Intel is facing unique challenges in finding a desirable candidate. As a result of being located in California, diversity legislation is apparently being taken into heavy consideration during the search. Chairman Andy Bryant is said to have told employees that a "non-traditional" candidate is likely going to be selected, meaning that women and minorities from outside the company have a very good chance at the job over others.
Under the helm of Krzanich, executive pay was linked with meeting diversity goals. From 2015 to 2018, the proportion of women in Intel's workforce rose three percent and now account for nearly 20 percent of leadership positions.
Finding a suitable candidate sooner rather than later is critical for Intel. Building a new foundry can take upwards of a year assuming that no delays are encountered. Rising competition from AMD and shortages in current manufacturing capabilities have become real problems for Intel. Decisions to make major investments and change company strategy must come from executive leaders if the company intends to remain cohesive and at the top of the industry.
Intel's next quarterly results will post on January 24. The board of directors is aiming to try and find a CEO before then.