Longtime Intel finance chief Andy Bryant is moving up to a newly created position, chief administrative officer. His replacement is Stacy Smith, who had been assistant CFO. Smith will continue to report to Bryant.
A 19-year company veteran, Smith played a key role in managing the company’s finances as it was restructuring over the past 18 months. He also has served as Intel’s chief information officer and as general manager of its Europe, Middle East, and Africa region.
The move comes as Intel’s finances look to be in good shape. It reported a 43 percent spike in net income for the third quarter of 2007, although published reports said one of Smith’s first responsibilities will be to cut about 2,000 jobs.
In a statement, Intel characterized the change as part of the company’s long-term succession-planning process. “I am extremely pleased that we will be able to focus Andy on a broader set of tasks within the company while giving Stacy more responsibility,” said Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini.
Bryant, 57, joined Intel in 1981 and became CFO in 1994. Since 1998 his title has been chief financial and enterprise services officer. His new title in large part is a recognition of the broad array of duties beyond finance he already had taken on, including IT, procurement, and human resources. He handed off day-to-day finance operations to other executives several years ago.
In a wide-ranging interview with CFO Magazine in late 2005, Bryant said that only a couple of years earlier he had believed it wasn’t appropriate for a CFO to have such broad responsibilities. “With the financial scandals and Sarbanes-Oxley, how could the controller also be the one spending the IT money?” he said at the time. “Now, as we move away from the scandals, it feels more comfortable for the CFO to take on more roles, and I think that’s how it will continue to evolve.”
His diverse role has been exceptionally fruitful for the company, according to Bryant. “For example, I think IT is better managed under me than if I were still on the other side having those fights about technology spending,” he said in the 2005 interview. “And finance acts more appropriately toward IT because of the reporting relationship.”
Bryant has been pining for an operational position for years, he said in the interview. But he said former CEO Andy Grove continually told him his value to the company was greater as head of finance.
Being a successful CFO, according to Bryant, requires a diverse approach. “Don’t get too focused on any one aspect of the job,” he said. “Don’t be the acquisition guy, or the IT guy, or the compliance guy. And don’t be overly preoccupied with saving money. When you ask who the really great CFOs are, it will be the ones who kept their eye on shareholder value. And that requires a broad orientation.”