- Intel chief executive officer Brian Krzanich has resigned following a confirmed violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, Intel said in a statement on Thursday.
- The tech giant said Krzanich was the subject of an investigation by internal and external counsel after receiving a tip about a past consensual relationship between Krzanich and an Intel employee. "Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel's values and adhere to the company’s code of conduct," the statement said, "the board has accepted Mr. Krzanich’s resignation."
- Intel's board of directors has named chief financial officer Robert Swan, who joined the company in 2016 and formerly held the chief financial officer role at eBay, as its interim chief executive officer.
The news from Intel does not include any allegations of sexual harassment or assault, but it is one of the most high-profile resignations involving workplace relationships in the #MeToo era. The revelation of high-profile harassment scandals within workplaces both in the U.S. and around the world has reportedly caused employers to take a second look at policies that police romantic relationships between coworkers.
Regardless of an employer's cultural position on the acceptability of office relationships — especially those between managers and their direct reports — any formal hard line or policy must include clear, concise language that is communicated in multiple formats and be enforced across the organization from higher ups all the way down (as Intel showed). Others in the tech industry, including Facebook and Google, have instituted a rule stipulating that coworkers may only go out on a date once. Others have taken a more formal (but legally risky) approach in the form of "love contracts."
Krzanich's resignation comes as a surprise to those in the tech industry, CIO Dive reports. Intel had withstood heavy criticism over the past year over critical vulnerabilities in its hardware products, as well as an investigation into alleged age discrimination launched by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"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," Intel board chairman Andy Bryant said in a statement. "Bob has been instrumental to the development and execution of Intel's strategy, and we know the company will continue to smoothly execute. We appreciate Brian's many contributions to Intel."