By Lucinda Shen
June 21, 2018

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich may walk away with $44.5 million after stepping down from the company following revelations that he had breached company policy by engaging in a past consensual relationship with an employee.

That’s based on calculations of Krzanich’s severance agreements, disclosed in Intel’s 2017 proxy statement. Kraznich will likely receive $37.5 million worth of stock awards, and some $7 million in payouts from deferred compensation, medical benefits, and from his pension plan.

That comes after Intel revealed Thursday that Krzanich had a past consensual relationship in with an employee—a move that few in the face of company policy. As a result, the CEO of five years stepped down.

“An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel has confirmed a violation of Intel’s non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers,” a company statement said on Thursday. “Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel’s values and adhere to the company’s code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr. Krzanich’s resignation.”

Still, the amount Krzanich leaves with could be lower, depending on how Intel’s board decides to categorize the exit in coming days. If the board determines that Kraznich termination is not a retirement, the former CEO would be ineligible for the majority of his severance—stock worth about $30.6 million tied to his performance.

Take the case of Carrie Tolstedt, former Wells Fargo executive, for example. Though Tolstedt said she would retire after the bank disclosed that millions of fake accounts had been created without consumer consent, Wells Fargo later decided that it would instead fire her for cause—a form of termination rarely seen among executives, as it often strips them of their severance package.

“It depends on whether they will view this as a resignation, or they do it as a termination for cause,” said Brian Foley, managing director of an executive compensation firm under his own name. “It depends on how aggressive the board gets.”

The termination comes at a sensitive time for companies. Over the past year, those in positions of power have come under increasing levels of scrutiny for potentially wielding their power improperly. Think of Hollywood studio chief Harvey Weinstein, who has been indicted on charges of rape and criminal sexual acts, or former Tronc news chairman Michael Ferro who has been accused of sexual misconduct.

However, Krzanich’s relationship is said to have been in a consensual relationship.

Intel did not respond to requests for comment.

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