Former Intel CEO Paul Otellini has died at his home in Sonoma County, California, at age 66. He died in his sleep. Otellini was Intel’s fifth CEO and held the position from 2005 to 2013.
Paul Otellini died in his sleep last Monday, Intel reports, which does not specify any circumstances surrounding his death. Otellini had worked for the chip giant since 1974 and held various positions. From 1990 to 2002, he served as executive vice president and led the Architecture Group.
He was Intel’s fifth CEO, succeeding Craig Barrett in 2005. Before Barrett, Andrew Grove, Gordon Moore, and Robert Noyce were directors of Intel. Otellini retired in 2013 and was succeeded by Brian Krzanich. Of all the CEOs, Otellini was the only one who was not a technician.
Intel emphasizes that during the eight years Otellini led the company, Intel generated more revenue than in the previous 45 years and managed to continue to make a profit despite a recession. Intel was briefly confronted with more competition from AMD, but by focusing on laptop chips, among other things, Intel managed to stay ahead of its competitor. The CEO continued to bury the hatchet with AMD and settle lawsuits back and forth.
Otellini managed to bring in Apple as a customer for desktop processors, but negotiations to make the processor for the first iPhone broke down on price and consumption. Under Otellini, Intel failed to gain a foothold in the growing smartphone market and the battle between x86 and ARM was decided in favor of the latter.
Otellini was known as an approachable executive who did not have the confrontational leadership style of his predecessors. He worked at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara in a typical cubicle. After retiring, he was involved in several philanthropic organizations, such as the General Hospital Foundation of his hometown of San Francisco.