Intel’s New CEO Won’t Be ‘Anywhere Near as Focused’ on Buybacks

Intel Corp. plans to reduce its focus on share repurchases going forward, according to its new Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger.

“We will not be anywhere near as focused on buybacks going forward as we have in the past,” Gelsinger said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” slated to air later Sunday. “And that’s been reviewed as part of my coming into the company, agreed upon with the board of directors.”

The remarks were posted online by CBS ahead of the interview and came in response to a question about how much the world’s biggest chipmaker has spent on stock buybacks over investments in research and development.

In the first quarter, Intel generated $5.5 billion in cash from operations, spent $1.4 billion in dividend payouts and $2.3 billion in share repurchases.

Intel announced earlier this year that Gelsinger would be rejoining the company, where he started his career as an engineer at age 18 and spent more than 30 years. He’s inherited a firm that’s struggling with production technology and with supply constraints that have hobbled industries from automakers to tech and hardware giants.

The stock climbed as much as 37% this year, before paring gains to 15% as of Friday’s close, outperforming the S&P 500 Index’s 11% advance.

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