Bloomberg reports that Intel has hired on Spencer Stuart & Associates Ltd. to help the company find a replacement chief executive officer. The news stems from unnamed sources "close to the matter" and indicates that the chip giant may be looking beyond its walls to find a replacement before May.
Sources claim that potential internal successors to current CEO Paul Otellini include Chief Operating Officer Brian Krzanich, Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith and software head Renee James. They also note that Intel has never filled its top post with an executive from the outside since the company was founded in 1968.
“No candidate has the inside track, and the board will be equally looking at internal and external candidates,” Laura Anderson, a spokeswoman for Intel, told Bloomberg yesterday. "The decision process will be the same for all of them. A board would not be fulfilling its responsibilities if it did not seek insight on talent available inside and outside the company."
Otellini said back in early December that the company will likely pick someone from the inside. Sources even said that the chip giant was leaning towards internal candidates including those previously mentioned. Even more, Intel named Krzanich, Smith and James as primary candidates when it announced Otellini's planned retirement back in November.
But it is possible Intel is now looking to fill the top spot with someone new from the outside because Intel failed to make headway in mobile computing under the current management. In an era where consumers are moving to smartphones, tablets and other high-performance mobile form factors, an outsider familiar with this lucrative sector could prove to be more alluring to investors.
For a while, insiders believed that Kraznich would have the upper hand as the company's new CEO because he has deep knowledge of Intel's manufacturing options. But over the last few months, reports have surfaced that the company's board may not be happy with the internal options. Now Intel has supposedly hired on Spencer Stuart & Associates to find what could be the company's very first CEO hired on from the outside.