Last updated: November 11, 2004 6:25 pm

Intel appoints Otellini as new CEO

In a carefully planned succession, Intel on Thursday named Paul Otellini as its next chief executive, taking over from Craig Barrett next May.

Mr Otellini, 54, who joined Intel 30 years ago, will be the chipmaker's first chief executive without an engineering background.

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Intel said Mr Barrett would become chairman, succeeding Andy Grove, 68, who would assume the role of senior adviser to the board.

Intel said directors had elected Mr Otellini, currently president and chief operating officer, at a meeting on Wednesday.

The appointment had been a heavily signalled move following Mr Barrett reaching retirement age. Intel's policy is that the CEO should step down by the annual meeting, due on May 19, following their 65th birthday.

Mr Otellini has degrees in economics and began in 1974 in a finance position, before moving on to product development and sales and marketing.

He describes himself as “a product guy” and led the introduction of the Pentium processor in 1993.

Intel has enjoyed seamless transitions at the top over the years, from Robert Noyce to Gordon Moore who coined the famous Moore's Law on processor power doubling every two years to Andy Grove and Craig Barrett.

Mr Otellini has said he does not expect Intel to look any different under his stewardship.

But he faces challenges in reinvigorating a company that this year Mr Barrett admitted had become “too relaxed”.

While Intel still has more than 80 per cent of the market for PC processors, its shares are down more than 25 per cent this year after a series of design problems and delays for its latest chips. It has also been beaten by rival AMD to releasing next-generation 64-bit chips.

Mr Barrett also joined the company in 1974 and became chief executive in 1998. He led Intel into new, less successful areas such as web hosting and communications chips and has since overseen its retrenchment into its traditional processor business.

“Craig and Paul are the right team at the right time for Intel,” Mr Grove said yesterday.

“Having worked closely with Craig and Paul for over 30 years, I know that Paul's vitality and deep knowledge of Intel's products, customers and global markets, together with Craig's stature as an industry leader and pre-eminent technologist, make them outstanding choices.”

The announcement reassured the market, with Intel shares rising 1 per cent to $23.08 in early Nasdaq trading on Thursday.

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