There was an immeasurable distance between the quick and the dead: they did not seem to belong to the same species; and it was strange to think that but a little while before they had spoken and moved and eaten and laughed - W. Somerset Maugham
CHIPMAKER Intel has announced that its CEO Paul Otellini will be stepping down in May.
By May 2013 Otellini will have been CEO of Intel for eight years, during which he has led the company away from the underperforming Netburst architecture and into a firm that is the undisputed leader in X86 desktop, laptop and server chip sales. According to the firm, Otellini and Intel chairman Andy Bryant will work to ensure an orderly succession in the coming six months.
Otellini will have spent 40 years at Intel, which is very impressive given that the company itself has been around for 45 years. The firm highlighted some of its achievements during Otellini's reign, however the one most investors will be happy with is the $23.5bn in dividend payments and an impressive increase in earnings per share.
When Otellini became CEO in 2005 the chipmaker was burdened with an architecture that was clearly behind that of its rival, AMD. Since then the firm has installed its tick-tock fab policy and brought out its Core architecture, which has seen it regain market share that it lost to AMD during its Netburst days.
Otellini will leave at a time when Intel is facing significant challenges. ARM vendors are lining up to take chunks out of Intel's server market share. While Intel has seen its Medfield Atom chip power some smartphones, its market share in the smartphone and tablet markets is still miniscule.
As part of Intel's top-level reshuffle, Renee James, head of Intel's software business, Brian Krzanich, COO and head of worldwide manufacturing and Stacy Smith, CFO and director of corporate strategy will all become executive vice presidents.
Intel said it will be considering both internal and external candidates to replace Otellini. We wonder if Pat Gelsinger will send over his CV just for a laugh. µ