This has been a year of a changing of the CEO guard across the semiconductor landscape.
A lot of the incumbents sought to guide their companies across the difficult landscape of the 2008/2009 global economic crash and the wilderness years that followed. Now, with sunnier economic uplands coming into sight, perhaps it’s a natural time for change. Some successors may have it a bit easier if the market recovery blossoms. Others may find that their predecessor got out at the top and left difficult acts to follow.
Paul Otellini’s retirement as Intel’s president and CEO was announced in November 2012, six months ahead of the 62-year-old’s departure date. This gave rise to much speculation about whether Intel should or would break with its tradition of appointing an insider.
Many argued that it the semiconductor industry had changed since Intel rose to be the world’s leading chip vendor, and that, with a drifting PC market and Intel’s lack of traction in the mobile device market, an external appointment was needed.
That didn’t happen. Intel turned to Brian Krzanich, its chief operating officer since January 2012 and previously senior vice president in charge of its worldwide manufacturing, largely seen as the company’s most valuable asset.