30th Apr 2013

Who will replace Otellini?

The clock is ticking for the world’s largest chip maker. Last August Paul Otellini announced that he would step down as CEO of Intel in May 2013 and his successor has still not been found. That deadline is looming – Intel holds its annual meeting on 16th May which will also be Otellini’s last day. It is unexpected that a company of this size does not have a clear succession plan, an issue which will no doubt be playing on investor’s minds.

Otellini’s rise to the top was slow and steady – he joined Intel in 1974 and became CEO 31 years later. Not formally trained as an engineer his appointment was unusual for the company. A few years ago senior VP Sean Maloney was being initiated for the top job, but he suffered a stroke in 2010, and now Intel are said to be looking outside of the company.

Finding a replacement will not be easy. Over the last year Intel’s shares are down – more than 18%, and Otellini has presided over several quarters of a major profit slump. The PC market was Intel’s real money maker for a long time, but that market has changed. PC sales are now dwindling with users preferring smartphones and tablets, and Intel has not adjusted to these changes.

The company has lost its way and needs to get back on track. To do this, Intel needs a great leader with vision, courage and resilience. Intel should be searching for a candidate who:

1. Has a clear vision

2. Is confident

3. Can exercise patience and resilience

4. Is a fast learner

5. Is not afraid of making mistakes

These are crucial factors for early and lasting success as a leader. Intel’s new CEO will have a tough job on their hands as they try to push for growth and fight back in a changing marketplace, but vision, courage and resilience should help the new CEO to guide the ailing company back to increased profitability.

Hilda Goold

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