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Chip giant Intel has confirmed that its chief executive Paul Otellini will retire in May next year, with his future replacement taking over at a crucial time for the tech giant.
Intel has begun the process of appointing a successor, but has revealed Otellini's planned departure ahead of naming his replacement.
“Otellini has been a very strong leader, only the fifth chief executive in the company’s great 45-year history, and one who has managed the company through challenging times and market transitions,” said Andy Bryant, Intel chairman.
“After almost four decades with the company and eight years as CEO, it’s time to move on and transfer Intel’s helm to a new generation of leadership,” added Otellini.
Meanwhile, Intel has promoted three of its senior team, including Renee James, head of software, Brian Krzanich, chief operating officer and Stacy Smith, chief financial officer to the position of executive vice president.
All three will be among the leading internal candidates to replace Otellini – and Intel has a habit of appointing internal candidates to the top job.
But in confirming Otellini's retirement, Intel also suggested it would consider external candidates.
Otellini's departure comes at a critical time for the chip maker. Intel has built its business on the success of the PC industry, but with PC sales in decline, it has been caught flat-footed in the mobile space, where it faces significant competition from the likes of ARM.
Intel is already playing catch up here, with the first smartphones powered by its processors only landing in the UK this year.
Whoever replaces Otellini faces a stiff challenge in showing Intel can seriously compete in the post-PC era.