With “a true outsider [for CEO], the company would grind to a halt,”
said Gwennap. If a new leader creates a “culture clash [he could] lose
top managers, and Intel is a complex business to run without good
lieutenants--the trains will be off schedule,” he said.
and I agree on one strong possibility—the new CEO could be a returning
hero. Pat Gelsinger or Michael Splinter are prime candidates. They have
seen Intel from the inside and the outside, learned how to work its
corporate levers and have had enough experience to have some ideas how
it could be better.
Two things I expect for sure. This transition
won’t be like past ones. Otellini apparently has no plan to graduate
from CEO to chairman as Gordon Moore, Andy Grove and Craig Barratt did
before him. That alone tells me this transition will be more of a gear
shift than a smooth acceleration.
I also expect Intel will
surprise me. It often does. Moving faster than other companies its size,
it has jumped with both feet into new markets and then pulled out of
them just as fast when they didn’t pan out.
The only thing
that’s really clear is something significant will happen in less than 30
days, and Intel won’t be jumping out of the smartphone market.