Otellini makes his last call

Despite sliding PC sales and a sharp drop in profits, outgoing Intel Corp. CEO Paul Otellini said he sees promising opportunities for the company he has worked in for 40 years and had led for the last 8 years.

“Even as I prepare to pass the baton to a new generation, I know Intel’s story is not completely written,” Otellini said Tuesday’s quarterly earning call – the last one he will attend as he is set to retire next month. “…Never in the history of the company has our ability to participate across the spectrum of computing been greater.”

It is still not clear who will replace Otellini as CEO of Intel. That is expected to be announced on May 16 when the company holds its annual shareholders” meeting.

Among the possible replacements are Stacy Smith, CFO and senior VP; Renee James, senior VP and general manager of software and services; and Brian Krzanich, COO and senior VP. They were promoted to senior VP posts November when Otellini announced his retirement.

In truth, Otellini is not leaving Intel on a high note.

The company’s revenue for the first quarter of 2013 was $12.6 billion, down by nearly a billion dollars from the previous quarter. Profits slid 25 per cent to $2 billion.

The company shot to stardom in the 1980s with the introduction of IBM’s first PC design. Like many businesses tied to the PC market, Intel has suffered the sting of slowing computer sales and it finding little success in the smart phone and tablet markets. Revenues of Intel’s architecture group fell 3.9 per cent on the quarter and nine per cent on the year.

Otellini joined Intel in the 1970s at a time when the microchip was still being developed. He held a series of technology and marketing positions before being named CEO in 2005. Otellini led Intel during the era when desktop computer users shifted to laptops.

Despite its position now, some analysts believe that Intel could find its fortune in manufacturing chips for third-party contract manufacturers. There are also speculations that Intel could make chips for Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices.

Intel has also signed a deal to make filed-programmable gate arrays with 3D transistors using the 22- nanometer and 14-nanometer processes for companies Tabula, Altera and Achronix.

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