VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger Replacing Bob Swan as Intel CEO

Intel's new CEO began his career with and spent 30 years with the company.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

January 13, 2021

3 Min Read
Executive replacement

Pat Gelsinger, the 40-year technology leader – most recently VMware’s CEO for more than eight years – is taking over for Intel CEO Bob Swan.

Gelsinger will become Intel CEO on Feb. 15. He began his career at Intel and spent 30 years there. He also will join Intel’s board of directors.

VMware has named Zane Rowe, its chief financial officer, as interim CEO. The company also recently lost its COO, Rajiv Ramaswami, who now is Nutanix’s CEO.


Intel’s Pat Gelsinger

“I have tremendous regard for the company’s rich history and powerful technologies that have created the world’s digital infrastructure,” Gelsinger said of Intel. “Intel has significant potential to continue to reshape the future of technology and I look forward to working with the incredibly talented global Intel team to accelerate innovation and create value for our customers and shareholders.”

Roy Illsley is chief analyst of IT and enterprise for Omdia.


Omdia’s Roy Illsley

“Pat has done a great job at VMware and has taken a technology that was heading for a slow, but steady decline – server virtualization –  and transformed them to remain as relevant and growing by entering the cloud and cloud-native,” he said. “I think he will do a great job at Intel, which appears to have lost its way. Intel needs to change the perception and capability to become more of a full-stack solution, but has an open appeal.”

Another source familiar with the matter, who wished to remain anonymous, said Gelsinger’s decision to become Intel CEO comes as no surprise. He seemingly had one foot out the door for years, with numerous rumors that he would be leaving VMware at various points, most notably after finalizing the Dell acquisition.

Transforming VMware

Gelsinger transformed VMware into a global leader in cloud infrastructure, enterprise mobility and cybersecurity, almost tripling the company’s annual revenue. Before joining VMware, he was president and COO of information infrastructure products at EMC.

Before joining EMC, he spent 30 years at Intel, becoming the company’s first CTO. He drove the creation of key industry technologies such as USB and Wi-Fi. He also was the architect of the original 80486 processor. In addition, he led 14 different microprocessor programs and played key roles in the Core and Xeon families.

“My goal over the past two years has been to position Intel for a new era of distributed intelligence, improving execution to strengthen our core CPU franchise and extending our reach to accelerate growth,” Swan said. “With significant progress made across those priorities, we’re now at the right juncture to make this transition to the next leader of Intel.”

Unified Partner Program

In other Intel news, the Intel Partner Alliance debuted this week, unifying its longstanding partner programs into a single streamlined offering. The new program combines the Technology Provider, IoT Solutions Alliance and Cloud Insider programs.


Intel’s Eric Thompson

Eric Thompson is Intel‘s general manager of global partner enablement. He said Intel gathered input from partners in all regions when developing the program.

“We listened to our partners every step of the way,” he said. “From what we’ve heard, partners have had a positive experience with the new features of the platform and are looking forward to what 2021 can bring.”

The program features a new portal that delivers a personalized digital experience, Thompson said. Also, Partner University is now available for all partners as an advanced training platform and curriculum. Furthermore, the Solution Marketplace is now open for mid and top tiers to showcase their solutions and expertise with each other and for end customers to seek out a provider.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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