After the ground literally shook beneath every digital user’s feet, when Intel and other chip manufacturers’ massive microprocessor level security flaw came to light couple of days ago, another crazy revelation comes as a blow.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich / REUTERS
Before Intel publicly announced its chip vulnerability couple of days ago (Meltdown and Spectre), turns out the company’s CEO Brian Krzanich already was made aware of the problem quite a few months ago last year. But that’s not half of what’s gone wrong, from the looks of it.
What did he do after that? He sold off $24 million worth of stock and options in the company in late November. This was done at a time when Intel’s massive chip vulnerability wasn’t yet publicly known.
The stock sale means Krzanich is left with just 250,000 shares of Intel stock — the minimum he’s required to have under his employment terms. The Intel stock sell off will certainly draw more scrutiny now, given the news about the security vulnerability and the timing of when Intel knew about it.
According to several reports, Google privately disclosed Intel of the security flaw in its chips before November of last year, making sure the affected chip manufacturer had enough time to come up with a plan to fix the issue before going public with the information. Standard operating procedure — as long as the ecosystem was actively trying to plug the hole behind the scenes, no need to spread undue panic, right?
In a statement, an Intel representative brushed off the allegation of any wrongdoing, suggesting Intel CEO Krzanich’s stock sale had nothing to do with the recently-disclosed chip vulnerability — it was done as part of a standard stock sale plan which was in place from a few months earlier.
With Intel’s stock price falling ever since the chip vulnerability news broke out, Brian Krzanich’s stock sale seems to have saved him some personal loss — just in the nick of time, no less.