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CEO Paul Otellini, an Intel Corp employee for nearly 40 years, has announced that he will retire at the age of 62. This comes during a difficult time for the world’s largest and highest valued semiconductor chip maker — in existence since 1968 — as the traditional PC market flails in the face of the ever increasing push towards mobile computing.
Otellini’s retirement comes as a surprise to many. Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst and consultant said: “I don’t think anyone expected Otellini to retire until he hit 65. This is a few years early and takes everyone by surprise.”
The Santa Clara, California-based company has been playing catch-up in the mobile area. “Fresh leadership is what Intel is in the market for right now… Intel is a strong company, but it is also struggling to expand beyond computer chips. Their move into mobile has not been a rousing success,” Kagan went on to say. Recent Intel profits have fallen 14% from figures last year to US$2.97-billion, as its main rival in the market, Qualcomm, specializing in mobile chips, overtook Intel in market value. Intel’s share in the smartphone market represents less than one percent, putting them behind companies such as Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics.
With the continuing belief that the PC era is drawing to a close, many believe that Intel needs to “move on” from the traditional way of promoting CEO’s from within. According to channelnewsasia, Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities research, said: “An outsider replacement would make sense because if it’s someone internal, it will be more of the same.”