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Intel names Brian Krzanich new CEO as company faces challenges

May 02, 2013|By Chris O'Brien
  • Brian Krzanich will become chief executive at Intel, with Rene James named as president.
Brian Krzanich will become chief executive at Intel, with Rene James named… (Intel )

Intel on Thursday announced Brian Krzanich has been selected to be the company's sixth chief executive, taking the helm of one of Silicon Valley's most iconic companies at a time when the company is struggling to gain traction in mobile computing.

Krzanich, 52, will succeed Paul Otellini, who announced last fall he was stepping down. He assumes a seat that has been held by such valley giants as Andrew Grove.  

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Krzanich's selection continues a tradition at Intel of selecting a chief executive  from within its ranks, though there were rumors in recent months the company was considering outside candidates as well. 

Currently serving as chief operating officer, Krzanich joined Intel in 1982. 

The company also announced Renée James, currently executive vice president and general manager of Intel's software and services group, will become president of Intel. James joined Intel in 1988. 

By elevating a pair of insiders, Intel probably dashed hopes of some investors the company would embark on a big shakeup. 

Intel's importance in the mythology of Silicon Valley is hard to overstate. The company was founded by Robert Noyce and Gordan Moore (of "Moore's Law" fame). Noyce had worked at Shockley Semiconductor but left to form Fairchild Semiconductor, and then Intel. These stunning departures to launch new startups were influential in creating the entrepreneurial culture in Silicon Valley. 

In the 1980s and 1990s, Intel came to dominate the PC market, along with partner Microsoft. But in recent years, the accelerating shift to smartphones and tablets has left Intel struggling to adapt. 

Intel reported a drop in sales in 2012 for the first time in 12 years. And just a month ago, Intel warned revenue in the current quarter could drop as much as 8% because of falling PC sales.

Krzanich's biggest challenge will be helping Intel become a bigger player in the fastest growing segment of computing.

Investors seemed to react to the news cautiously, as Intel's stock rose .42% or $0.10 to $24.09.

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