Intel Corp. said on Monday that chief executive officer (CEO) Paul Ottelini would retire in May, stepping down from the world’s leading chip maker at time when it is grappling with weak demand for personal computers (PCs) as the industry shifts towards mobile computing.
Intel’s board said it would consider internal and external candidates for the CEO position. It said in a statement that it expected the “leadership transition” to last six months.
The company said it would promote three executives to be executive vice presidents. They are Renee James, who is in charge of Intel software; Brian Krzanich, who is chief operating officer and also oversees manufacturing; and Stacy Smith, the chief financial officer and director of corporate strategy.
Ottelini, 62, was the fifth CEO of the company, stepping into the post in the second quarter of 2005.
Intel was accustomed to being king of the personal computer market, particularly through its historic “Wintel” alliance with Microsoft Corp., which led to breathtakingly high profit margins and an 80% market share.
But in the fast-growing and cut-throat mobile world, Intel is struggling. Its market share is less than 1% of smartphones, trailing Qualcomm Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, ARM Holdings Plc. and others.
That leads some investors, who are already concerned about a lacklustre global economy, to ask if Intel’s invincibility has come to an end and whether the company’s potential for profit and revenue growth may come back down to earth.
Shares of Intel were halted early on Monday.