Sometime next spring, Paul Otellini will succeed Craig Barrett to become the fifth chief executive in Intel's history.
Winning the coveted job after a career at Intel that began in 1974 is undoubtedly a plum for Otellini. But the first non-engineer to take the helm will be in charge of an Intel suddenly struggling to regain its footing after a series of stumbles.
Earlier this summer, Intel said design problems would force a delay in the introduction of a chipset for Pentium M notebooks. That followed a delay in the launch of its latest Pentium M notebook processor, from January or February until May.
Intel also took longer than expected to ready its latest Pentium 4 chip, the Prescott. The chip technically shipped on time--it went out to PC makers before the company's stated goal, the end of 2003--but was not available in systems until February.
The company also blamed manufacturing glitches for the recall of bad controller hub chips, which affected the launch of the Intel Express 900-series of desktop chipsets.
All this contributed to the release of a companywide memo from Barrett urging Intel employees to take an attitude check and do a better job of executing on plans.
But temporary product delays and production problems aside, Intel still dominates the chip business with more than an 82 percent share of the PC processor business.