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Intel loses chief at an inopportune time as it faces stiff competition with ARM

Intel Corp. (INTC) surprised the electronics industry Monday morning when it announced that its chief executive of eight years, Paul Otellini, would be stepping down.  Mr. Otellini, 62, had been with Intel for 40 years -- two thirds of his life, roughly.

The news was not entirely unexpected; Intel does reportedly have a mandatory retirement age of 65.

Still, many expected Mr. Otellini to guide Intel through the pivotal next few years as his firm looks to make headway into the mobile industry.  The next few years will also be critical as Intel looks to stave off fierce competition from rival ARM Holdings plc. (LON:ARM) and its army of partner chipmakers in the server and traditional PC markets.

Now it has to accomplish those goals without its veteran leader.

Paul Otellini
Paul Otellini [Image Source: Intel]

The departure is not the first major loss for Intel, though it is the highest profile.  Previously Intel's Anand Chandraskher -- the man who architected the highly successful Centrino wireless project, and was leading Intel's Atom chip mobile efforts -- bailed in March 2011.  Today Mr. Chanraskher is chief managing officer (CMO) at Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) one of Intel's biggest ARM-architecture rivals.

Intel has promoted software head Renee James, chief operating officer and manufacturing head Biran Krzanich, and chief financial offers and corporate strategy lead Stacy Smith to "executive vice president", adding additional responsibilites to try to ease the transition.

Needless to say, this departure -- while not entirely unexpected -- comes slightly early and at a rather inopportune time for Intel.

Source: Intel





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