Intel Corp. named President Paul S. Otellini as its next chief executive officer, for the first time choosing a non-engineer to run the world's largest computer-chip maker.
Otellini, a 30-year Intel veteran who oversaw the introduction of the Pentium processor in 1993, will replace Craig R. Barrett in May. Barrett, who expanded the company beyond personal computers into communications in the 1990s, is stepping aside after reaching Intel's mandatory retirement age of 65.
The company has struggled recently with sluggish growth and a record stockpile of unsold chips. Sales growth is forecast to slow to 2 percent this quarter from 20 percent in the first period. Barrett last month got down on his knees at a conference in Florida and begged forgiveness of technology managers for letting Intel become "too relaxed." Intel scrapped or delayed five projects this year, including plans for a new Pentium processor.
"It's a critical time," said Larry Jones, who helps manage $2.2 billion at Durham, N.C.-based NCM Capital Management Group, including 1.2 million Intel shares.
Otellini, 54, will become the fifth Intel CEO in 36 years, succeeding a line of scientists who helped create the architecture that runs 80 percent of the world's PCs. Otellini is the first Intel leader with an MBA and the first without a PhD.
"I obviously approach it a bit more from a product and market side," Otellini said. "Craig has approached it from the silicon technology side."
Barrett, 65, will succeed Andrew S. Grove as chairman. Grove, 68, will leave the board and become a senior adviser. Grove served as Intel's CEO for 11 years. During his tenure, sales surged more than 20-fold, to $26.27 billion from $1.27 billion.
Otellini said he wants to integrate more of a PC's basic functions into Intel products. The company's largest release in 2004 wasn't a faster microprocessor; it was a package of chips that provides high-fidelity sound and three-dimensional graphics, functions previously provided by separate components.
Shares of Intel rose 31 cents to close at $23.17 yesterday in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading.
They have dropped 28 percent this year, making them the second-worst performers in the 30-member Dow Jones industrial average behind Merck & Co.