Intel Corp. ousted its CEO in a surprising move that brings the semiconductor giant closer to its technical roots after a period of technological missteps, lost market share and pressure from a hedge fund.

Intel said Wednesday that CEO Bob Swan will be replaced by Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware Inc., effective February 15. Mr. Gelsinger, who was once Intel’s chief technology officer, has been CEO of the business software provider since 2012.

The change in leadership comes after Intel won the title of America’s Most Valuable Semiconductor Company to rival Nvidia Corp. last year. has ceded and has fallen further behind the competition in producing the most advanced chips. The Santa Clara, California-based company is also considering wider adoption from third-party chip makers rather than relying on its own factories.

“This is strategically incredibly important for what Intel can achieve and more as a technology innovator and …

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