Intel Corp. ousted Chief Executive Bob Swan in a surprise move after activist hedge fund Third Point LLC urged sweeping changes to revive the semiconductor giant’s fortunes.
Intel on Wednesday said Mr. Swan would be replaced by VMware Inc. chief Pat Gelsinger effective Feb. 15. Mr. Gelsinger, who was once Intel’s technology chief, has served as CEO of the business-software provider since 2012.
The leadership transition unfolds after Intel last year ceded the title as America’s most valuable semiconductor company to rival Nvidia Corp. and suffered market-share losses. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is also considering a broader embrace of third-party chip makers rather than relying on its own factories.
Mr. Swan joined Intel in 2016 as chief financial officer. He was named interim CEO two years later and formally given the top job in January 2019.
Third Point Chief Executive Daniel Loeb in a December letter to Intel Chairman Omar Ishrak said the company’s woes could undermine the U.S. tech industry and urged the chip maker to consider alternatives. That included selling some of its acquisitions and splitting its design and manufacturing operations—a move that would end Intel’s long-held status as America’s leading integrated semiconductor maker.