Intel CEO Brian Krzanich (pictured) quit after it emerged he had breached the company’s fraternisation policy.

In a statement, the company said external and internal investigations uncovered a consensual relationship between Krzanich and an unnamed employee. This contravened the company’s code of conduct for managers. CFO Robert Swan will serve as interim CEO as the company searches for a permanent replacement.

CNBC reported the relationship occurred “some time back”. Krzanich was appointed CEO in 2013 and charged with steering the company in a new direction as its traditional powerhouse, the PC market, stalled.

After missing the boat in the early days of mobile, Intel had a breakthrough when Apple decided to add it as a modem supplier for its iPhones. However, recent reports suggested Intel was unable to accept an increase in Apple orders due to unspecified quality issues in production.

Ben Bajarin, principal analyst at market research company Creative Strategies, suggested on Twitter Krzanich’s exit could prove to be a positive for Intel, which “is in desperate need of new management right now”.

“They have moved from leader to follower and have a small window to course correct as disruption is looming at their doorstep.”

In the statement announcing Krzanich’s resignation, Intel also predicted record Q2 earnings with revenue of around $16.9 billion. It is due to issue official figures on 26 July.