Activist investor wants Intel to become a contract fab

by Surur
December 29, 2020
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Unlike most technology giants, Intel has not done well from the pandemic, despite massive demand for PCs. The company has not been firing on all cylinders for some years and has not been able to make the transition to 8 and 5nm chipsets already used by other OEMs.

Now the company, whose share price is down nearly 20% YoY, is under pressure by activist investor, hedge fund Third Point, reports Reuters.

Third Point, who manages $15 billion, and who has $1 billion invested in Intel, has written a letter to the company asking for Intel to “evaluate strategic alternatives”.

“Without immediate change at Intel, we fear that America’s access to leading-edge semiconductor supply will erode, forcing the U.S. to rely more heavily on a geopolitically unstable East Asia to power everything from PCs to data centres to critical infrastructure and more,” said Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb.

ThirdPoint is suggesting Intel should consider separating its chip design from its semiconductor fabrication plant manufacturing operations, according to the sources and consider joint ventures in manufacturing.

Loeb suggests Intel could fab chips for companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, taking away business from Asia competitors like  TMSC.

Intel has also failed to compete against AMD and NVIDIA Corp in areas such as servers and AI applications.

They also said Intel should urgently address its “human capital management issue”, as many of its talented chip designers have fled, “demoralized by the status quo”.

Intel did not respond to a request for comment.

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