Intel CEO Paul Otellini will retire in May, ending a nearly 40-year stint at the company, including what will be eight years in the top job, the chip maker announced today. "It's time to move on and transfer Intel's helm to a new generation," the 62-year-old said. The retirement comes on the heels of a dismal third-quarter earnings report that saw profit fall 14% amidst weakening demand, reports the Wall Street Journal, which calls the announcement a "surprise development": Historically, Intel execs hold on to their positions until they hit the mandatory retirement age of 65. Intel also used the opportunity to promote three senior executives to executive vice-president.
Otellini leaves a strong legacy, writes Terrence O'Brien at Engadget. He oversaw, for instance, Intel's bounce-back from the ill-received Pentium 4, and Apple's transition from PowerPC to Intel processors. But Rocco Pendola at TheStreet is less impressed. "It's about time," his headline declares, and he criticizes Otellini for being "about five years too late" in jumping into the smartphone and tablet market. "What a complete and total embarrassment. But, give Intel credit. It made the move and blew the guy out." (Read more Intel stories.)