last March, effectively throwing him in the running for the post of CEO.
Analysts said James' focus on software instead of hardware made her less likely to be promoted to CEO.
Bryant pointed to Krzanich, Smith and James, as well as Intel Capital head Arvind Sodhani and Dadi Perlmutter, head of Intel's push into mobile, as important executives for Intel's future, according to Barron's.
END OF AN ERA
Since it was founded in 1968, Intel has promoted CEOs from within. But the increasing belief that the PC era, which Intel helped create, may be drawing to a close could explain Intel's willingness to look for outside candidates, analysts said. Previous CEO transitions have all involved carefully groomed internal candidates. But if Intel's board is now looking externally -- to bring in new skills -- that would explain the lack of a named successor and length of time in transition, said Longbow Research analyst JoAnne Feeney.
Intel's board may have trouble finding an outsider with the strategic vision to lead it into the mobile market as well as the chops to run the cutting-edge factories that give the chipmaker a technological lead over its competitors.
Since most other chipmakers have closed down their fabrication plants over the past two decades and outsourced production overseas, few executives have experience planning and running plants that now cost upwards of $10 billion each to build. Armed with a bachelor's degree in economics and an MBA from the University of California, Otellini began at Intel in 1974, when most of the company's sales came from memory chips and before it turned to PC processors. He managed several business units before being appointed chief operating officer in 2002.
With economic growth slowing in China and struggling in Europe and the United States, global PC shipments are expected to decline slightly this year, the first annual drop since 2001.
The top chipmaker is currently running its factories at less than 50 percent of capacity, redirecting unused space and equipment to be used for more cutting-edge production lines still being built.
The Santa Clara, California-based company has long been king of the PC chip market, particularly through its historic Wintel alliance with Microsoft Corp, which led to breathtakingly high profit margins and an 80 percent market share.
But it has struggled to adapt its powerful PC processors for batttery-powered smartphones and tablets. Its market share for