Intel appoints Krzanich CEO

By , IDG News Service |  IT Management, Intel

It will also be up to the new CEO to fix a faltering strategy around ultrabooks, which Intel is pushing as a new category of thin-and-light laptops with tablet features. Ultrabooks were introduced to reinvigorate the PC market, but product sales have been slow because of high prices.

Analysts have also pointed out that Intel could focus more on a foundry strategy and expand operations for making chips for third parties. Intel's fabrication plants are considered more advanced compared to those of rivals GlobalFoundries, Samsung, and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.) Intel has historically used its manufacturing assets to make chips for itself, but has recently opened up to the idea of becoming a contract manufacturer. Intel makes chips -- mainly high-margin FPGAs -- on a limited basis for third parties such as Altera, Tabula and Achronix.

Otellini became Intel CEO in 2005 just as the company was struggling to keep up with chip development and losing processor market share to rival Advanced Micro Devices. Otellini put in place the famous "tick-tock" strategy that brought out updates to chips on a yearly basis. That stabilized product releases, development and chip manufacturing cycles. In addition to winning back market share, Otellini played a key role in Apple's shift from the PowerPC processors to x86 chips on Macs in 2005 and 2006.

Otellini also guided Intel through multiple antitrust cases and expanded product offerings through acquisitions of companies such as Wind River and McAfee. Intel also acquired networking firm Fulcrum, and assets from Qlogic and Cray, with which the company is expanding its data center offerings. Intel also bought wireless assets from Infineon which are expected to be integrated into smartphone and tablet processors.

But for all his achievements, Otellini's reign had its rough times. He failed to quickly adapt to the fast-growing mobile market, but made up by accelerating development of the Atom chips. Otellini was also a champion of ultrabooks, which have so far failed in the market.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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