March 22, 2011

Report: Intel Approaches Top-Level HP Executive As Potential Successor To Otellini

Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Northern Computer Technologies, a Burnsville, Minn.-based system builder and Intel partner, said Intel’s interest in executives outside the company makes sense given industry trends toward mobile over on-site computing and migration to the cloud. “It makes sense to me that they’re looking for new blood, because it looks like the landscape is changing so rapidly,” he said. “It wouldn’t hurt for them to get some new opinions from outside.”

According to the report, Intel is under pressure from investors to show that it’s making progress in the hot smartphone and tablet markets, especially as rivals Nvidia and ARM work together to challenge Intel in the desktop and server markets. Bradley’s experience as former chief executive of Palm prior to joining HP in 2006 could be useful to Intel as it seeks, in turn, to challenge ARM in the mobile market.

However, according to Swank, an HP executive may not offer the greatest departure from Intel’s current thinking. “HP is not that far of a stretch for Intel, since HP has obviously been a customer of Intel’s for a long-time and have shared Intel’s vision of the technology landscape for a long time,” Swank said. “They could have looked for someone from a completely different field, someone from a company that isn’t on the x86 architecture. But HP has had a lot of synergy with Intel in its marketing and product roadmaps.”

On the other hand, for a company that is known for promoting within to suddenly turn to someone from outside could cause some tension, according to Swank. “If their looking outside for a successor to Otellini, that’s going to ruffle some feathers, “he said. “At that level, I’m sure there’s a pecking order for whose next in line. If it’s out that people outside the company are being considered, then people in the company who believe themselves or their colleagues to be next in line all of a sudden start asking questions like ‘why am I not next in line.’ But that’s business. We all have to deal with those issues.”

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