Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich sold off $24 million worth of company stock after Google had informed Intel of a significant security vulnerability in its Flagship PC processors.
The vulnerability which affects processors from Intel, AMD, and ARM could allow hackers to steal passwords and other secret data. The vulnerabilities called Meltdown and Spectre became public this week, which has caused Intel shares to fall down.The disclosure of these vulnerabilities has left processor makers and operating-system vendors including Intel and Microsoft scrambling to get to the top of the story and patch their products.
But while the public has known about this security problem just now, the tech companies knew about this for months. In fact, Google had informed Intel about this vulnerability in June, which means that Intel knew about this problem before the Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold off a big chunk of his holdings.Intel’s CEO saw a windfall of $24 million on November 29 by selling the share he owned outright and exercising stock option.
The sale of such a large amount of share by the company’s CEO raised eyebrows of many people when it was disclosed to the public, mainly because it left Brian Krzanich with just 250,000 shares of Intel stock, which is the minimum the company requires him to hold under his employment contract.However, as the vulnerabilities become public, the selling of shares by the company’s CEO kind of start to makes sense.However, the representatives from Intel say that the sale of these shares was preplanned and that he had nothing to do with the newly disclosed chip vulnerability and that the sale was done as a part of a standard stock-sale plan.
To avoid charges of trading on insider knowledge, the executives put in place such plans that automatically sell a portion of their shares or exercise some of their options on a predetermined schedule.According to an SEC filing, the holdings that Krzanich sold in November — 245,743 shares of stock he owned outright and 644,135 shares he got from exercising his options — were a part of a trading plan.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told CNBC on Wednesday that his company had been working with researchers at Google for a couple of months to solve this security problem.He also told CNBC that this exploit isn’t being used by the hackers.News of the security flaw caused Intel’s stock to fall sown on Wednesday. It closed down $1.59, or 3.4%, to $45.26.Some on Wall Street think that Intel’s loss could mean gains for rivals: AMD and Nvidia could use it as a marketing edge.