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Intel Boss Axed After Relationship Exposed

Intel global CEO Brian Krzanich has quit after it was revealed that he had had consensual relationship with an employee.

Intel management heard about Krzanich’s relationship about a week ago from an employee due to Intel employment rules that require staff to report relationships which at Intel are strictly no-go territory and a violation of company’s policies.

Chief Financial Officer Robert Swan was made interim CEO while the board searches for a permanent replacement, the company said in a statement last night.

Bloomberg said that Intel has previously fired people for “fraternization” under a rule implemented in 2011 and therefore the board felt it had no choice in this case.

Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel Corp., speaks during the company’s press event at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Intel, trying to convert its dominance of computers into a stake in the growing market for chips used in cars, is offering automakers new products aimed at making its technology crucial to the effort to develop self-driving vehicles. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The relationship was long-term and started years ago. It had been over for a couple of years, the person also said, asking not to be identified discussing private details of the situation. Krzanich didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

A former Intel Australia employee said that the rule is “unfair” as employees spend long hours working for Intel and relationships are established.

“It’s a shame for a career to end this way,” said Kim Forrest, a senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital Group. “Brian has been a strong contributor towards Intel’s success. I’m sure that a capable replacement will be found. It wouldn’t surprise me if the ex-CFO, Stacy Smith, gets the nod to be the next CEO.”

Krzanich moved up the ranks at Intel over more than three decades. Since becoming CEO in 2013 he has overseen the company through an era of intense competition and consolidation in the chip industry. Krzanich had been trying to remake Intel into a more general provider of chips, expanding into new markets such as industrial systems and self-driving cars, with the 2017 purchase of Mobileye for $15.3 billion. The mission remains a work in progress; the data-center chip business is still the biggest sales engine and will determine Intel’s success for the foreseeable future.