Intel CEO Paul Otellini to retire

Robert Galbraith/REUTERS - Intel president and chief executive Paul Otellini gestures as he delivers his keynote address at a forum in San Francisco.

Intel announced Monday that its chief executive officer, Paul Otellini, will retire in May after 40 years with the company. He has been its chief executive officer for eight years.

Otellini, 62, the fifth CEO in the company’s 45-year history, will step down at the company’s annual stockholders meeting in six months.

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“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,” Otellini said in a release.

The company’s board will be conducting an internal and external search for candidates. Otellini will be helping transition the company to new leadership.

The company’s board also has given some of its top brass promotions to ease the transition. Software head Renee James, chief operating officer and manufacturing head Brian Krzanich, and chief financial offers and corporate strategy lead Stacy Smith are now all executive vice presidents.

According to All Things Digital, Intel has a mandatory retirement age of 65. Otellini’s predecessor, Craig Barrett, retired at “65 or 66,” the blog’s Arik Hesseldahl reported. Barrett’s predecessor, Andy Grove, left the position at 61.

Intel has been navigating the industry’s changing focus from desktops to more portable devices — most notably laptops and tablets. Intel chips are in PCs and Macs; Apple switched to Intel processors in 2006.

Right now, the company is in the midst of continuing its big push for ultrabooks, introducing new Windows 8 laptops in a variety of forms, many with touchscreens. The market for the super-thin and light laptops didn’t catch on the way the company may have hoped in 2011, but it is continuing with the second phase of its push this year.

The company also has introduced a line of Medfield smartphone chips in phones outside of the U.S. The chips, as TechCrunch reported, do not yet support U.S. 4G LTE networks, though the company is planning to add that support soon.

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