The clock is ticking down toward the deadline for Intel to name a new chief executive, and people are starting to notice. Paul Otellini is set to retire on May 16 when the world’s largest semiconductor maker has its next shareholder meeting.
An Intel representative would only say the executive team is working on the CEO search, aiming to deliver the new leader before the shareholder meeting. “I was thinking they would announce a couple months early so they could have an orderly transition,” said Linley Gwennap, a veteran Intel watcher and principal analyst of The Linley Group (Mountain View, Calif.).
I’ve been saying Intel needs its equivalent of a Lou Gerstner, the man from RJR Nabisco who led the corporate makeover at IBM. It’s a new day with PCs on a faster than predicted decline as smartphones boom without Intel silicon in any top tier handsets.
Gwennap thinks Intel’s situation is less dire. “There are a lot of things at Intel working well,” including its “unique” corporate culture, he said.
Intel is well known for meetings that are screaming matches where opposing sides go head-to-head on big decisions. The best fighter wins and at least sometimes all sides go out for a beer, congratulating each other on a battle well fought.
The x86 giant is also known for its fast pace, frequent strategic shifts and re-orgs and unique practices—such as having two senior execs share leadership of a big business unit.