Retirement of Intel CEO Blamed on Lack of Mobile Market Progress

Otellini's decision surprised many people, including Intel's chairman

The announcement made by Intel's chief executive officer yesterday has already caused much speculation, and we are about to summarize the most prevalent whispers on the Internet.

Then again, given the source of the speculation, and the manner in which it came to light, “whispers” would be putting it mildly.

Forbes and Tech Trader Daily blog both had something to say on the matter, particularly about the timing.

Normally, the retirement age for a CEO is 65, but Paul Otellini is 62, making his decision to depart in May 2013 curious.

Naturally, everyone with any shred of interest in this is talking about what may or may not have led to his decision.

The majority, or at least the most vocal party, believes that it is the slow progress on the smartphone market, and the industry of ultra-mobile processors in general.

Oddly enough, the chairman of Intel's board of directors was surprised when Otellini revealed his intention to retire next year.

And by that, he meant that they were already talking about passing Intel into the hands of the next generation's leadership, but it was supposed to take a bit longer for that to happen.

“He and I talked a lot about this in past. After almost 40 years at Intel, and the Intel CEO job for 8 years, which is a really hard job, he felt it was time to move to the next generation of leadership,” said Chairman Andy Bryant.

“We do have big issues in front of us, moving to the tablet and phone markets, and he was ready to let the next generation lead those battles. I did everything I can think of to buy myself another year [of Otellini's leaderhip]. We were targeting further out for this. He surprised me last week when he said this.”

Intel's biggest problems, at the moment, lie in its inability to popularize its new products, like SSDs and, especially, phone/tablet chips. Of course, suddenly becoming leader-less is usually worse than keeping the old-fashioned one. Fortunately for Chipzilla, May is still a while off and a new CEO can be found until then.

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