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Pat Gelsinger: ‘Coming Home To Intel’ Will Be ‘The Greatest Honor Of My Career’

“To come back ‘home’ to Intel in the role of CEO during what is such a critical time for innovation, as we see the digitization of everything accelerating, will be the greatest honor of my career,” says Pat Gelsinger, who started his career as a budding engineer at Intel 42 years ago and is set to take the helm as CEO effective Feb. 15.

Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who started his career at the company 42 years ago as a budding engineer looking to make his mark in the industry, told Intel’s 110,000 employees that “coming home” to the company where he started out will be the “greatest honor of my career.”

“My experience at Intel has shaped my entire career, and I am forever grateful to this company,” said Gelsinger in an email to Intel employees after it was announced that he will be leaving his post as CEO of VMware to take the helm at Intel effective Feb. 15. “To come back ‘home’ to Intel in the role of CEO during what is such a critical time for innovation, as we see the digitization of everything accelerating, will be the greatest honor of my career.”

Intel shares were up 8 percent, or $4.36, to $7.00 on the news of Gelsinger’s appointment.

VMware shares, meanwhile, were down 7 percent, or $9.68, to $133.23.

[Related: VMware Names Zane Rowe As Interim CEO]

Intel announced Wednesday that Gelsinger, who has headed VMware for the past nine years, will replace Bob Swan as CEO.

In his email to Intel employees, Gelsinger said he was “thrilled and humbled” to be returning to Intel as CEO.

“I was 18 years old when I joined Intel, fresh out of the Lincoln Technical Institute,” Gelsinger said, recalling his humble beginnings in the industry. “Over the next 30 years of my tenure at Intel, I had the honor to be mentored at the feet of [former Intel CEO Andy] Grove, [former Intel co-founder Robert] Noyce [often referred to as the “Mayor of Silicon Valley”] and [Intel co-founder Gordon] Moore [the author of the legendary Moore’s Law, which predicated that the speed of processors can be doubled every two years]. Intel then helped me continue my education at Santa Clara University and Stanford University. The company also gave me the opportunity to work on the forefront of silicon innovation with the best and brightest talent in the industry.”

Geslinger told Intel employees that he has “tremendous regard for the company’s rich history” and the powerful technologies it has created that have transformed and continue to shape the industry.

“We have incredible talent and remarkable technical expertise that is the envy of the industry,” said Gelsinger. “I look forward to working with all of you to continue to shape the future of technology.”

While Intel’s history is rich, Gelsinger said, the “opportunity” to transform from a “CPU to multi-architecture XPU company” is greater than it has ever been.

“I will be sharing more in the near term about my vision and strategy for Intel, but I know we can continue to accelerate innovation, strengthen our core business and create value for our shareholders, customers and employees,” said Gelsginer.

In closing, Gelsinger acknowledged that Intel employees will have many questions. “I look forward to hearing them, even if I won’t have all the answers on day one. I can’t wait to resume this journey with all of you.”

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