Intel today announced that its president and CEO, Paul Otellini, is calling it quits after nearly 40 years of continuous service to the company and its shareholders. Otellini, who's only the fifth CEO in Intel's 45-year history, gave the company six months notice to find a replacement, as his retirement will become official in May 2013. A successor has not yet been named, though Otellini did say he will make himself available as an adviser after stepping down.
"I’ve been privileged to lead one of the world’s greatest companies," Otellini said in a statement. "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. I look forward to working with Andy, the board and the management team during the six-month transition period, and to being available as an adviser to management after retiring as CEO."
Intel is the world's largest chip maker, and Otellini is a big part of the company's success. He's overseen breakthrough innovations like High-K/Metal gate and, more recently, 3-D Tri-gate transistor technologies, has led the charge towards more energy efficient processors, introduced the Ultrabook category, and delivered the first smartphones and tablets for sale with Intel inside.
The next CEO will inherit a company that's still worth more than $100 billion, even as the traditional PC market struggles to find relevance in the current shift to mobile. Overseeing a transition to mobile and competing with ARM in that space will be one of the challenges Otellini's replacement faces.