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Otellini, who has served with the company for nearly 40 years, has been in the top spot since 2005. His departure comes amid trying times for Intel (and its smaller rival, AMD) as it struggles with both a slow global economy and what many are calling a post-PC era that is seeing sales grow for ARM chips designed for mobile devices such as tablet computers.
Intel beat its latest financial forecasts when it reported earnings last month, but its outlook for fourth-quarter revenue came in at $13.1 billion to $14.1 billion, with the midpoint being lower than analysts' forecasts. That's an early sign that Intel doesn't expect the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system to turn around stagnating consumer sales of personal computers.
Intel's announcement focused on Otellini's accomplishments, crediting him with transforming the company's operations and cost structure and, more recently, "reinventing the PC" with Ultrabook devices.
[ Want more context? Read As AMD Explores Options, Intel Pain Looms. ]
"After almost four decades with the company and eight years as CEO, it's time to move on and transfer Intel’s helm to a new generation of leadership," Otellini said in a statement.
Intel's board of directors will lead the search for Otellini's replacement, and it will consider both internal and external candidates, the company said.
Intel also announced that the board has promoted three senior leaders to executive vice president: Renee James, head of Intel’s software business; Brian Krzanich, chief operating officer and head of worldwide manufacturing; and Stacy Smith, chief financial officer and director of corporate strategy.