Brian Krzanich Image Credit: AP

New York/San Francisco: Intel Corp removed Brian Krzanich as chief executive officer after the chipmaker learnt he had previously had a consensual relationship with an employee, a violation of the 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 Thursday.

“The board believes strongly in Intel’s strategy and we are confident in Bob Swan’s ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO,” the company said.

Krzanich, 58, who moved up the ranks at Intel over more than three decades, has been CEO since 2013 and oversaw the company through an era of intense competition and consolidation in the chip industry. He 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-centre chip business is still the biggest sales engine and will determine Intel’s success for the foreseeable future.

Known as “BK” at Intel because of the difficulties some have in pronouncing his surname (Kris-an-itch), he worked his way up Intel’s ranks as a factory manager. He joined Intel in 1982 in New Mexico as an engineer, just as the personal-computer industry was beginning to take off.

Swan, the former chief financial officer of eBay Inc., has been Intel’s CFO since October 2016. He oversees finance, information technology and corporate strategy. He previously was CEO of Webvan Group Inc.

Intel also raised its second-quarter revenue and profit forecast on Thursday.

Intel climbed 1.7 per cent $54.38 at 9:20am in New York. The company rallied 16 per cent this year through Wednesday, beating the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is little changed.