Could be business as usual with Intel's new CEO

Brian Krzanich expected to focus on manufacturing and making trains run on time (see video below)

With Intel's new CEO ready to step up next month to lead the world's largest chip maker, industry analysts don't expect to see any big change in strategy.

Brian Krzanich
Brian Krzanich, Intel chief operating officer and senior vice president, was named CEO of the company. (Photo: Intel)

Intel today announced that Brian Krzanich, the company's chief operating officer and senior vice president, will take over when current CEO Paul Otellini retires on May 16 during the company's annual stockholders' meeting.

Otellini has been with Intel for the past four decades and was CEO for eight of those years -- a time when Intel maintained its reign as the top computer chip maker. However, the company also has stumbled, struggling to get a footing in the burgeoning mobile market , facing strong ARM competition and enduring a sluggish PC market .

When Otellini announced last November that he would step down, industry watchers wondered if this would be a good time for Intel to rededicate itself to mobile and depend less on the sagging PC market.

Today, they're not sure that any significant change is coming.

"I think that Krzanich is a solid, but not spectacular, pick for Intel at this time," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "While some were hoping that Intel would make a dramatic move and hire someone either outside the company or a dark-horse insider who might really shake things up, I'm not surprised to see them select a longtime insider who has manufacturing experience."

Most analysts agreed that they don't expect to see any startling changes from Intel's current focus.

"We won't see any big sea change in Intel's strategy in the short and medium term," said Olds. "They're going to continue to follow the same product road maps and stick to their stated plans. Despite the PC market woes and other challenges that Intel is facing in virtually every facet of their business, this is a very successful company that has a lot of advantages over competitors."

Picking a candidate from inside the company is a strong sign that Intel's board has faith in where the company is going and and how it's getting there. By picking Intel's 52-year-old chief operating officer with a background in manufacturing, the board seems content with the status quo.

"Krzanich has an obviously deep understanding of Intel's business and culture," said Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT. "That's important given that many believed Intel would choose someone from outside the company, which would have implied that Intel needed a serious shaking up. In contrast, choosing Krzanich suggests that the company's board believes minor course corrections are what's required."

Intel has named Brian Krzanich the company's next CEO and he'll replace retiring Paul Ottellini on May 16.

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