WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) are calling for a federal investigation into Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich’s sale of $20 million in company stock shortly before the public learned of cybersecurity concerns involving the company’s computer chips.
“The security vulnerabilities in Intel’s chips give hackers another window into our homes and businesses,” said Sen. Kennedy. “I don’t know if Mr. Krzanich did anything wrong in selling his stock, but it certainly needs to be investigated in order to remove the stench of suspicion.”
Sens. Kennedy and Reed sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission requesting an investigation.
Text of the letter:
Dear Chairman Clayton and Attorney General Sessions:
We write to request that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice investigate the alarming reports that Intel’s Chief Executive Officer sold more than $20 million of his Intel securities on November 29, 2017. While news reports suggest that these securities were sold pursuant to an automatic trading plan, known as a Rule 10b5-1 plan, we are disturbed by additional reports that the instructions for these securities transactions were adopted on October 30, 2017, which is before the public was made aware of serious cybersecurity flaws in Intel’s chips but months after Google informed Intel in June of these security vulnerabilities.
These reports are troubling not only because of the risk to nearly all phones and computers, but also because these reports raise concerns of potential insider trading. We request that you conduct a thorough examination of whether any insider trading laws were violated. Furthermore, if you uncover such violations through your examination, we expect you to enforce our laws to the fullest extent possible.
We thank you for your consideration, and we request periodic updates on your progress.