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Intel taps insider to serve as its CEO

NEW YORK Intel (INTC) said Thursday that it has chosen its chief operating officer, Brian Krzanich, as its new CEO. He will steer the world's largest chip-maker in a world where PC sales are cratering while smartphones and tablets thrive.

Krzanich will replace Paul Otellini on May 16 at the company's annual meeting. Otellini had announced his decision to resign in November.

The 52-year-old Krzanich has worked at Intel Corp. since 1982. The COO job is the traditional stepping-stone to the CEO post at Intel; both Otellini and his predecessor Craig Barrett held that job before becoming CEO.

The change in command comes at a critical time for Intel. After thriving for decades as the dominant seller of PC microprocessors, the company is scrambling to prove it can make chips that work well on smartphones and tablet computers.

Qualcomm Inc. and other chip-makers have gotten the upper hand in the mobile-devices market so far, undercutting Intel's financial performance and standing among investors. Last year, both Intel's earnings and stock price fell by 15 percent from 2011, but sales of chips to business PCs and servers are helping prop up performance.

Intel's board wasn't entirely satisfied with Otellini's performance last year. To reflect its disappointment, the board's compensation committee trimmed the cash portion of Otellini's incentive pay by 19 percent from the previous year to $5.23 million.

The other internal candidates for the CEO post were Renee James, head of Intel's software business, and Stacy Smith, chief financial officer and director of corporate strategy. Intel on Thursday promoted James to president.

Otellini will end a nearly 40-year career with Intel, including an eight-year stint as CEO, by the time he leaves. He joined the Santa Clara, Calif. company after having graduated from the nearby University of California, Berkeley, and worked his way up the ranks before succeeding Barrett as CEO in May 2005.

Shares of the Santa Clara, Calif., company rose 5 cents, to $24.04, in morning trading after opening at $23.73.

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