Before the market even opened on Thursday, June 21, Intel dropped a bomb.
Its CEO, Brian Krzanich, resigned after it was revealed that he had a past "consensual relationship" with an employee. Intel has a non-fraternization policy.
Under his watch, Intel's shares rose about 120%, in line with the Nasdaq's performance over the same time period, but outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. Year to date, shares are up about 13%, roughly in line with the Nasdaq's rise over the same time period.
Investors were shocked by the resignation. Shares popped, locked, and then dropped. When the market closed, Intel was down about 2.3% to $52.19.
Intel CEO's Surprise Exit Leaves 'Large Void'
TheStreet's Annie Gaus tackles the everlasting question of—what happens now? Gaus goes in-depth about what this means for Intel.
"Given so much change driven by Mr. Krzanich, his departure could make succession planning and further transition challenging," Cowen said in the note. "Obviously a seat like Intel CEO will attract many external candidates, but this seems a particularly tough time for additional leadership/culture churn at Intel."
In the meantime, how long will it take Intel to find a new CEO?
"For high-profile roles like that, the search can take six months and that's a conservative estimate," said Max Hansen of Y Scouts, an executive search firm. "it can take 90 days just to identify initial candidates, and it's not uncommon for it to take a full year to fill the role."
Some of Krzanich's Biggest Moves
Before Krzanich's scandal, he turned around Intel.
What impact did he leave on the company? Well, I dug around to find out.
Krzanich was responsible for increasing Intel's competitiveness at a time where it could have been drowned by the flood of chip companies, and he ensured that Intel fought tooth-and-nail to stay on top.
"ARM Holdings has been a competitor, Qualcomm has always been a competitor. You can argue there's some better ones now. I think it will always get better and more intense. We don't take that competition without our typical paranoia and focus to make sure we continue to drive our performance. Rather than focus on just purely the CPU performance, which we absolutely have a focus on and will be and remain the leader, we're actually thinking of the whole data center rack now. We're really building out a rack so that if someone wants to come compete with us, you really have to compete in all those segments," he said in an interview with TheStreet in 2017.
Before Elon Musk made autonomous driving popular, Krzanich made a move toward autonomous driving.
Intel estimates that the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be up to $70 billion by 2030.
And, finally, Krzanich broke into the artificial intelligence space.
But don't let me summarize all of it for you.
Board Exhibited Good Governance
TheStreet's Anders Keitz looked at the corporate governance side of the resignation.
Was the board right in asking Krzanich to step down?
Keitz's source says yes.
"If you have a policy in place, for which other employees would face punishment if they violated it, I think [the CEO resigning] is the right thing to do," said Charles Elson, the director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. "If you don't do that, then you have problems because you can't expect others to follow a policy that a CEO himself doesn't follow."
Even though Krzanich violated Intel's policy, chairman Andy Bryant said that the board appreciates his many contributions to Intel. During Krzanich's time at the helm, Intel stock rose about 120%.