Intel CEO Paul Otellini to retire

Head of chip giant to step down in May, after helping to choose a successor

19 Nov 2012

Intel has announced that CEO Paul Otellini will retire in May.

The chip giant hasn't yet announced a successor, saying both internal and external candidates were being considered.

Otellini has worked for Intel for almost 40 years, and took over as CEO in 2005. The firm highlighted the success Intel has enjoyed during his tenure, notably generating "cash from operations of $107 billion".

"Paul Otellini has been a very strong leader, only the fifth CEO in the company’s great 45-year history, and one who has managed the company through challenging times and market transitions," said Andy Bryant, chairman of the board. "The board is grateful for his innumerable contributions to the company and his distinguished tenure as CEO over the last eight years."

Neither Intel nor Otellini gave a reason for his departure, with the 62-year-old saying it was "time to move on and transfer Intel's helm to a new generation of leadership" - and stressing he would help Intel during the transition period and be available as "an advisor to management" after he left.

It's the second high-profile tech departure in a week, following the surprise resignation of Windows chief Steven Sinofsky last week.

Intel also announced it was promoting three executives to executive vice presidents: software chief Renee James, COO Brian Krzanich, and CFO Stacy Smith.


Technical editor Darien Graham-Smith: In eight years as CEO, Otellini has overseen the evolution of Intel’s desktop and laptop processors from heavyweight Pentium 4 parts into the modern 22nm Ivy Bridge architecture. It’s been a remarkable transformation, with the aggressive "tick-tock" development model – also introduced on Otellini’s watch – pulling Intel’s designs convincingly ahead of those of former rivals AMD.

Perhaps the most important legacy of Otellini’s tenure, however, will be the Intel Atom processor. There are still mountains to climb before Intel is as big in smartphones and tablets as it is in desktops and laptops, but the company is establishing a future for itself in these crucial new markets. That’s thanks to Otellini and the board, who started steering Intel down the ultra-low-power path back when iOS and Android were still on the drawing-board.

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