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英特尔新任CEO是何许人也?

Aaron Pressman 2019年02月11日

英特尔为物色一位新CEO花了7个月之久,最后还是兜兜转转地回到了老地方。

英特尔为物色一位CEO花了7个月之久,最后还是兜兜转转地回到了老地方。英特尔的上任CEO科再奇于去年6月突然离职,此后鲍伯·斯万作为临时负责人主持了英特尔的日常工作。英特尔在1月底表示,鲍伯·斯万正式“转正”,成为英特尔50年历史上的第七任CEO。

这一决定表明,英特尔在下任CEO的人选上,采取了与过去6任CEO不同的策略。英特尔的前6任CEO都是在公司奉献多年的老将,在半导体行业扎根甚深。而今年58岁的斯万却是半路出家,此前他曾在许多知名企业干过财务工作,2016年才加入英特尔担任首席财务官。

英特尔于1月底表示,斯万目前暂时无法接受采访。

伯恩斯坦研究公司的分析师斯泰西·拉斯贡指出:“这次物色CEO的过程是非常有挑战的,但是斯万很可能是最安全的选择。”拉斯贡虽对英特尔选中斯万感到意外,但他也称赞斯万是“一位有能力的经理人,会尽其所能推动公司的盈利。”

斯万出生于纽约州北部的锡拉丘兹,1983年毕业于布法罗大学,获得商学学位;他也是一名狂热的橄榄球爱好者。1985年,他在纽约州立大学获得MBA学位,毕业后加入了当地最富盛名的企业——通用电气。在通用电气的15年里,他在财务部门的职务一路上升,最后当上了通用电气公司交通系统、医疗系统和照明系统的首席财务官。

2017年,斯万在回本科的母校领奖的时候,回忆起当初在通用电气的日子时,他引用了一个他最喜欢的比喻:“我在通用电气早期时就认为,干财务不是‘数豆子’,而是要帮助豆子生长。”

1999年,一个叫做互联网的新生事物让斯万感到十分兴奋,因此他大胆走出了通用电气的舒适区,当上了一家名叫Webvan的在线配送服务公司的首席运营官。2001年,也就是在这家公司破产前不久,他甚至短暂地担任了这家公司的CEO。

Webvan破产后,斯万又先后辗转于几家美国经典的知名企业。在2006年之前,他曾先后担任汽车零部件与航天公司TRW和科技咨询公司EDS的首席财务官。

后来,eBay的时任CEO梅格·惠特曼聘请斯旺担任了eBay的首席财务官。过了几年,惠特曼辞职竞选公职,斯万则继续留在eBay辅佐下一任CEO约翰·多纳霍。通过一系列收购,eBay迎来了一段强势增长期。

斯万的团队收购了十几家公司,包括以超10亿美元收购Bill Me Later,和以24亿美元收购GSI Commerce。其中最有远见的一笔交易是在2013年以8亿美元收购支付领域的创业公司Braintree,它开发了时下非常在美国非常流行的Venmo软件,后来也成为了PayPal的一部分。从2006年也就是斯万加盟eBay的那一年,到2014年即斯万离开eBay的前一年,eBay的营收入增长三倍以上,达到近180亿美元。

由于“华尔街狼王”卡尔·伊坎力推eBay重组,eBay的高管团队最终停止了扩张计划。对于伊坎提出的分拆PayPal的动议,多纳霍和斯万在坚持了一阵子之后,最终还是屈服了,将PayPal这个公司增长最快的部门拆分成了一家独立的公司。

在2015年eBay分拆前后,多纳霍、斯万和高管团队的多数成员都离开了。

从eBay离职后,斯万的下一个东家是私募股权投资机构泛大西洋投资公司(General Atlantic),这家公司也是Uber、Airbnb等多家知名创业公司的幕后金主。在这里,他和通用电气公司的前首席信息官加里·雷纳重逢了。在上世纪90年代,这两人通过业务外包,给通用电气节约了大量成本。在泛大西洋投资公司,他们的主要工作是为所投资的企业提供金融和收并购等领域的咨询。

这份工作使斯万再次积累了与中小型创业公司合作的经历。在帮助软件开发公司AppDynamics成功融资1.58亿美元后,他成为了这家公司的董事会成员。在斯万从泛大西洋投资离职后,AppDynamics已经做好了挂牌上市的准备,而思科公司更是抛出40亿美元的合同,希望能收购这家公司。

2016年,时任英特尔CEO的科再奇邀请斯万担任公司CFO,因为时任CFO的史黛西·史密斯正想转到运营岗位上。斯万的年薪大约是2300万美元,在业内算是很高水平了,但是比英特尔为了吸引高通的联合总裁文卡塔·伦杜琴塔拉而给出的报价还是低了200万美元。

虽然斯万将英特尔的财务管理得井井有条,但科再奇对公司生产业务的管理却很不顺畅。英特尔想升级其生产线,以生产更加小型化和高效的微处理器,然而先进产品的生产却被推迟了好几年,直到现在也无法实现大批量生产。最近几年,英特尔在服务器芯片领域的强势地位遭到了挑战,同时它在移动芯片领域却还没有形成气候。

现在该轮到斯万去解决英特尔的问题了。而眼下,AMD和英伟达等竞争对手早已迎头赶上。这些公司主要依赖台积电等外部厂商进行生产,其发展速度已经超过了迟迟不能解决生产问题的英特尔。

过去三年是芯片行业的繁荣期,英特尔的股价也上涨了65%。然而在同一时间段内,英伟达的股价上涨了400%,AMD的股价更是比三年前上涨了10倍。相比之下,英特尔貌似还不错的涨幅就显得相形见绌了。

在1月下旬发给全体员工的一封电子邮件中,斯万也拐弯抹角地提到了这些问题,但他并未直接表示他将怎样解决这些问题。他在邮件中说:“我们的执行力必须要提高,也一定会提高。我们的客户都在指望我们。”(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

Intel spent seven months searching for a new chief executive only to end the process right where it had started. The chipmaking giant said on the end of January that its next CEO—only the seventh in the company’s 50-year history—would be Bob Swan, who had been leading Intel on an interim basis after the sudden departure of his predecessor, Brian Krzanich, in June.

The decision by Intel’s board marks a change from the previous six bosses, all of whom had long careers at the company and deep roots with its semiconductor business. Swan, 58, is an outsider who only joined in 2016 as chief financial officer after a lengthy career in finance at many well-known companies.

Intel said on the end of January that Swan was unavailable for an interview.

The hire was “likely the safest choice in what has apparently been a challenging search,” Bernstein Research analyst Stacy Rasgon noted. While hardly blown away by the hire, Rasgon complimented Swan as “a capable executive who does his best to drive the bottom line.”

A child of upstate New York, Swan was born in Syracuse and graduated from the University at Buffalo in 1983 with a business degree; he was also an avid rugby player there. He added an MBA from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1985 and then joined one of that region’s corporate gems at that time, General Electric. During his 15-year tenure, he quickly rose through the company’s finance ranks to serve as chief financial officer for GE Transportation Systems, GE Medical Systems, and GE Lighting.

“The expectation drilled into me early in my career at GE was that the role of finance is not about counting the beans — it’s about helping the beans grow,” Swan explained years later, citing one of his favorite metaphors while receiving an award at his undergraduate alma mater in 2017.

In 1999, excitement over a new thing called the Internet drew Swan out of the comfortable confines of GE to become chief operating officer at ill-fated online grocery delivery service Webvan. He even briefly took over as CEO in 2001, shortly before the entire company went under.

Then it was back to some of the classic names in corporate America, serving as CFO at the auto parts and aerospace company TRW and at tech consulting giant EDS until 2006.

That’s when eBay’s then-CEO Meg Whitman hired Swan as her CFO. A few years later, she resigned to run for political office and Swan spent most of his tenure helping the next CEO, John Donahoe, through an intense period of growth fueled by acquisitions.

The team bought dozens of companies, including Bill Me Later for over $1 billion and GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion. The most far-sighted may have been spending $800 million in 2013 for payments startup Braintree, which developed the now-popular Venmo app and later became part of PayPal. From 2006, the year Swan joined, through 2014, the year before he left, eBay’s revenue more than tripled to nearly $18 billion.

Ultimately, eBay’s executive team ended their expansion plans after billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn started agitating for a reorganization. After initially resisting, Donahoe and Swan gave in to Icahn’s demands to split the company’s faster-growing payments unit, PayPal, into a separate company.

The two leaders and much of their executive team left around the time of the 2015 spin off.

Swan’s next move took him to General Atlantic, a private equity and investing firm known for backing major startups like Uber and Airbnb. There, he reunited with former GE chief information officer Gary Reiner, with whom he had reaped tremendous cost savings at GE in the 1990s through outsourcing. At General Atlantic, they advised companies the firm invested in on similar matters including finance, mergers and acquisitions, and use of technology.

The stint also gave Swan an opportunity to work with smaller startups again. He served on the board of software developer AppDynamics after helping lead a $158 million financing for the company. A year after Swan had departed, AppDynamics was readying an initial public offering when Cisco Systems swooped in with a $4 billion buyout offer.

Former Intel CEO Krzanich wooed Swan back to a CFO role in 2016 when then-CFO Stacy Smith wanted to move into an operational role. Swan’s compensation package was valued at $23 million, lofty by CFO standards but $2 million less than Krzanich spent the year before luring Qualcomm co-president Venkata “Murthy” Renduchintala to Intel.

While Swan kept the chipmaker’s finances in order, Krzanich struggled to keep its manufacturing operation running smoothly. Intel was trying to upgrade to making smaller, more efficient microprocessors, but delays pushed off the more advanced products for years—they’re still unavailable in large volumes. And Intel still isn’t much of a player in mobile chip, while its strong position in server chips is under attack.

Now it will fall to Swan to fix Intel’s problems, even as rivals Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia march ahead. They rely on outside manufacturers like Taiwan Semiconductor that have outpaced Intel and its manufacturing woes.

During a boom time for chipmakers over the past three years, Intel’s shares have risen 65%. But that seemingly healthy amount is anemic compared to Nvidia’s 400% rise and AMD’s shares rising 10 times their price from three years ago.

In an email to all staff on late January, Swan alluded to the problems without directly addressing what he’d do to correct them. “Our execution must improve,” he wrote. “And it will. Our customers are counting on us.”

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