Intel’s rough very first quarter under brand-new CEO Bob Swan has triggered a dispute amongst experts: Is the business’s previous CFO the ideal individual to lead the chip giant at a crucial point?

Swan was called long-term CEO in January after acting as interim chief following the abrupt departure of Brian Krzanich, who stepped down last June. He signed up with Intel in 2016 as CFO after likewise serving in comparable functions at eBay and EDS. Unlike his predecessors, like Krzanich, Andy Grove and Craig Barrett– all engineers– Swan’s background remains in financing.

Simply put, he’s a numbers man. A highly regarded one to be sure, however some Intel watchers have doubts whether he ought to be at the helm of the renowned Silicon Valley tech powerhouse now dealing with brand-new market chances and obstacles.

This was highlighted 2 weeks back when Intel reported first-quarter outcomes The business put out a disappointingly downbeat full-year outlook, and its information center company, which was expected to be Intel’s primary development motorist at a time when the PC market continued to move, saw income succumb to the very first time in years On Wednesday, Swan opened his very first conference with financiers as long-term CEO by informing them: “We let you down.”

However he and his group likewise utilized the time with financiers and experts to paint a positive picture of the chip business. They declared Intel’s brilliant future in the information center market, while highlighting the other tech arenas where they stated the chipmaker will complete and win: AI, self-governing cars and trucks and 5G.

Swan himself has actually gotten a lift from experts who fast to mention that much of Intel’s existing problems, consisting of production yield problems and fallout from its choice to take out of the 5G modem area, aren’t his fault. Still, offered Intel’s current problems, the spotlight is still on Swan’s background.

‘ Not a silicon man, however a treasurer’

“It appears like the business supported throughout Krzanich’s reign and has actually not recuperated under Swan, who, as everybody has actually mentioned, is not a silicon man, however a treasurer,” Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates informed Company Expert.

Martinwolf expert Marty Wolf called Swan an “non-traditional option” at a time when Intel appears to have “slowly lost their technological and production edge.”

“Bob Swan might be a great executive,” Wolf informed Company Expert. “However there is no concern that Intel requires a strong technical leader.”

That view was echoed by Joel Kulina, head of innovation trading at Wedbush.

“100% concur with that declaration which was certainly a significant issue when Swan was revealed,” he informed Company Expert. “What Intel required, and requires, at the top is somebody who understands how to carry out and somebody with a deep technology/architectural background.”

A deep tech bench

Intel pressed back on that point of view. “Intel has a deep bench of technological skill,” a spokesperson informed Company Expert. “We’re bring in the very best and the brightest thanks to an engaging technique and special abilities that place us to make the very best items.”

And other experts concur. IDC President Crawford Del Pete argued that Swan’s background might even be a strength for Intel.

“I do not see that as a huge problem for them,” he informed Company Expert. “I in fact believe that it might be great for them, as it will permit them to think of what the marketplace requires and the innovation that they can provide for any offered market – instead of over turning on the innovation angle.”

Bernstein Research study expert Stacy Rasgon kept in mind that Swan’s predecessor left issues that the Intel CEO need to now attempt “to tidy up.” “So uncertain it holds true that all tech-focused leaders have actually been excellent either,” he informed Company Expert.

Still, Swan needs to make technical choices “that by his own admission he’s not certified to actually evaluate,” Ragson stated.

“So it will be up to the bench,” Ragson included. “A minimum of they have actually employed some excellent folks.” He mentioned Jim Keller, who is now basic supervisor of Intel’s Silicon Engineering Group, and Raja Koduri, the business’s chief designer.

Patrick Moorhead, an expert with Moor Insights and Method, likewise kept in mind that not all Intel CEOs were engineers. Among them was the late Paul Otellini, who acted as Intel CEO from 20015 to 2013, had a financing and economics background.

“The secret will be if Swan can get the ideal sort of technical suggestions out of his personnel to make core and crucial choices,” Moorhead informed Company Expert. “I have actually talked with numerous senior executives at Intel, consisting of engineers, and they desire like and desire Swan to be successful.”