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 is just being informed about the security problem, tech companies have known about it for months.
The timing of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's large sale of shares in November is raising questions because a Securities and Exchange Commission filing appeared to show that the transactions were planned after the company was informed about the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, but before they were made public. And as Motley Fool said in an earlier report, it gives an impression that Krzanich lost some faith in the potential of Intel stocks as he unloaded every single share above the minimum requirement.
It's normal for CEOs to the sell their stocks. A company spokeswoman said that Brian's sale was "unrelated" and that it was "in-line with corporate guidelines". 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.
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But Google had previously notified Intel of the vulnerability in June, according to Business Insider. In fact there are reports that Intel was aware of the flaws in June. He sold the one chunk of shares at the price of $44.05 while the other lump was traded at $44.55. The announcement of the security vulnerability led to Intel's worst day on the market in eight months, and an SEC investigation isn't the sort of thing that's likely to inspire confidence in a quick bounce-back. ArsTechnica added that Intel's current stock is around the same price as when Krzanick sold the company's stock.
Thus far, Intel has insisted that Krzanich's sale of company stock was unrelated to any revelations regarding the security flaws.
October 30, 2017: Krzanich again changes the terms of his Rule 10b5-1 trading plan. It's common for a company dealing with security flaws to sit on the information in hopes of fixing the problem before hackers discover the vulnerabilities. The shares of Intel witnessed a slight drop ever since the news of security flaw came out in public, it is now being traded at around $44.23.