Intel Corp. Chief Operating Officer Brian Krzanich. Intel said Thursday that it has chosen Krzanich to succeed Paul Otellini as its new chief executive. (Le Quang Nhat/AP)

Intel has named chief operating officer Brian Krzanich to succeed Paul Otellini as chief executive officer, effective May 16, the company announced Thursday.

Krzanich, 52, was promoted to an executive vice president post in November, when Otellini announced his pending retirement, to ease the transition to new leadership. He was a leading contender — Intel has a history of promoting its COOs to CEO — and will be the sixth chief executive in the company’s 45-year history. Krzanich has been with the company since 1982.

Krzanich takes over as Intel navigates a shift from desktop computers to mobile platforms such as tablets and smartphones. The company has been a major driver of the push for ultrabooks — highly portable, light, thin laptops — and has also started making chips for smartphones to keep pace with the larger industry.

In a statement, Krzanich referenced this shift, saying, “I look forward to working with our leadership team and employees worldwide to continue our proud legacy, while moving even faster into ultra-mobility, to lead Intel into the next era.”

Intel also named Renée James, who has been leading the company’s software division, as president. James, 48, will also take over her new responsibilities on May 16, when Intel holds its annual stockholders meeting.

In its earnings report last month, Intel came just shy of expectations with earnings of 40 cents per share on $12.6 billion in revenue. Analysts had expected earnings of 41 cents per share.

On its earnings call, chief financial officer Stacy Smith said Intel anticipated growth as ultrabooks and convertible PCs, which straddle the line between laptops and tablets, continued to sell. He also highlighted the company’s strength in designing power-efficient chips, which improve battery life on portable devices.

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