Intel Corp. has been trying to fill the most prominent role in the $400-billion chip industry for more than six months.
Intel directors have ruled out some candidates for the vacant chief executive officer post, passed up obvious ones, been rejected by some and decided to go back and re-interview others, extending the search, according to people familiar with the process.
Chairman Andy Bryant told some employees recently that the chipmaker may go with a “non-traditional” candidate, suggesting a CEO from outside the company is a possibility.
Whoever is chosen will take the reins at a company that’s churning out record results, but is facing rising competition.
The new CEO will have to convince investors that Intel’s loss of manufacturing leadership “a cornerstone of its dominance” won’t cost it market share in the lucrative semiconductor market. He or she will also have to deliver on the company’s promise to maintain growth by winning orders beyond personal computer and server chips.
“The new CEO will have many difficult decisions to make in a short amount of time,” said Kevin Cassidy, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. “The company can perform well in the near term due to good demand for PC and servers, but longer-term decisions and strategy need a CEO soon.”
Intel is scheduled to report earnings on Jan. 24. The board is trying to make its choice ahead of that date, according to one of the people. Possible candidates such as Sanjay Jha, Anand Chandrasekher and Renee James are no longer involved, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations. An Intel representative declined to comment on the process.