Intel poaches Micron’s CFO to look after its own finances

Intel has hired a new EVP and CFO: David Zinsner has moved across from Micron, Intel’s former 3D XPoint manufacturing partner, where he held the same positions.

On January 17 Zinsner will take over from retiring Intel CFO George Davis, 62, who leaves in May, providing a transition period in which the new CFO can learn the ropes. Zinsner joined Micron as its CFO in February 2018, coming from being President and COO at Affirmed Networks, and SVP and CFO at Analog Devices before that.

David Zinsner.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, to whom Zinsner will report, provided the main announcement quote: “Dave is a proven finance leader, who brings a unique combination of strategic thought, deep knowledge of semiconductors and manufacturing, capital allocation discipline, and a track record of value creation for shareholders. I look forward to partnering with Dave as we continue to execute our strategy to usher in a new era of innovation and achieve our goal of unquestioned leadership in every category in which we compete.”

Zinsner was similarly upbeat. “Intel’s scale, re-invigorated culture and depth of technical talent positions the company to capitalise on the unprecedented demand for semiconductors across the globe.”

Davis announced his forthcoming retirement in August last year, eight months after Gelsinger was hired as Intel’s CEO. An Intel spokesperson assured the Wall Street Journal that the two events were unrelated.

As a CFO at a US NAND and DRAM semiconductor company, Zinsner has knowledge and experience relevant to his Intel role — not least Micron’s view on 3D XPoint, which may now feed into Intel’s own view of the prospects for its 3D XPoint-based Optane product range. Micron exited the 3D XPoint manufacturing business in March last year, preferring to spend the invested cash elsewhere for a greater potential return.

Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers told subscribers that Micron EVP and Chief Business Officer, Sumit Sadana, will be Micron’s interim CFO while the firm runs a search for his replacement. Rakers thinks that Zinsner’s hire is a net positive for Intel.

Intel has also promoted 25-year company veteran EVP Michelle Johnston Holthaus, currently EVP and GM of the Sales, Marketing and Communications Group,  to run its Client Computing Group. Gregory Bryant, the current Client Computing Group EVP and GM, is resigning at the end of January.