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Intel CEO Paul Otellini retiring after 40 years

Intel today announced that its president and CEO Paul Otellini will retire after 40 years of work at the computing innovation company. 

Otellini will step down at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in May 2013. The move will take place over the next six months as an orderly leadership transition, during which the board of directors will choose Otellini’s successor by considering internal and external candidates.

“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,” Andy Bryant, chairman of the board, said in a press release from Intel. “The board is grateful for his innumerable contributions to the company and his distinguished tenure as CEO over the last eight years.”

Otellini said he will collaborate with Bryant, the board of directors, and the management team during the six-month transition period. Afterward, he will be available as an advisor to management.

“I’ve been privileged to lead one of the world’s greatest companies,” he said. “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.” 

During Otellini’s tenure as CEO, from the end of 2005 through the end of 2011, Intel’s annual revenue climbed from $38.8 billion to $54 billion and annual earnings-per-share surged from $1.40 to $2.39. Under Otellini, Intel successfully began producing low-power Intel Core processors that, when paired with solid-state drives and unibody chassis, created what we now know as the Ultrabook. 

Intel also announced some pretty major promotions of three senior leaders to the position of executive vice president: Renee James, head of Intel’s software business; Brian Krzanich, CEO and head of worldwide manufacturing; and Stacy Smith, CFO and director of corporate strategy.

With the mobile market almost exclusively using ARM chips, whoever takes over as Intel’s CEO will have a lot of work to do in order to stay relevant. After all, ARM chips are in nearly all U.S. smartphones as well as Apple’s extremely popular iPad. There are already rumors of Apple ditching its Intel chips for ARM processors in its iMacs and MacBooks, so the following year should be an interesting one for Intel.

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