56-year-old Maloney joined Intel back in 1982 and lived through the company's strongest growth periods of the 486 and Pentium processors in the 1990s as the technical assistant of Andy Grove, led the campaigns surrounding Wi-Fi and Centrino as well as Wi-Max and eventually became chief marketing officer in 2009. Back then, Maloney was believed to be in the running to replace Paul Otellini as CEO of Intel.
However, a stroke Maloney suffered in 2010 canceled those plans. During a medical leave, Maloney was able to recover and assume the position of chairman of Intel China, which led him to move to Beijing in 2011. However, it appears that Maloney is now making a decision for his health and against his career.
"Intel will always be part of my life, and I feel privileged to have been one of the company's leaders," Maloney said in a statement. "I look forward to my retirement and spending more time with my family. Intel is full of the best and brightest people I have ever known."
CEO Paul Otellini described Maloney as "a well-known visionary for Intel and the computing industry".
"In the '90s he identified the impact Asia would have as a technology market as well as an innovation hub for the industry, and last year he unveiled Intel's efforts to re-invent computing with Ultrabook devices," Otellini said. "He leaves a major mark on Intel and the industry, and I wish Sean and his family well as they move on to the next chapter in his life."