Intel CEO Paul Otellini to step down in May, leaves a legacy of x86 dominance
Intel has just announced that CEO Paul Otellini will be stepping down in May of 2013. The long time executive will be retiring from the company and industry that he has dedicated the last 40 years of his life to, leaving behind a legacy that has seen Intel's dominance in the x86 field grow to almost unapproachable levels. As the fifth chief executive in the company's history he's overseen not only the processor reboot that followed the inefficient Pentium 4, but also played a role in Apple's famous transition from PowerPC to Intel. Otellini and the board of directors will work together over the next six months to ensure a seamless transition of power; however, a successor has yet to be chosen.
The change at the top comes at a time when Intel is facing renewed competition, but from an unexpected source. The rise of smartphones and tablets has seen the ARM architecture and its numerous licensees surge in both mindshare and marketshare. Intel is only now getting into that realm with its ultra low-power Medfield line of x86 chips. Whoever takes over as CEO in May will be facing a landscape that poses serious challenges to the company's CPU dominance.