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Intel appoints COO Brian Krzanich to replace outgoing CEO Paul Otellini

Intel has named Brian Krzanich as the successor to outgoing chief executive Paul Otellini, and elected Renée James to take over Otellini's duties as president of the company.

Krzanich will take over as the sixth CEO in Intel's history on 16 May, when the company holds its annual shareholder's meeting. The 52-year-old, who joined Intel in 1982, has been serving as Intel's chief operating officer and head of worldwide manufacturing since 20 January, 2012.

Otellini, who took over from Craig Barrett as Intel CEO in May 2005, also held the COO position at the chip giant before being named its top executive.

Intel's board of directors unanimously elected Krzanich, the company said in a statement.

"After a thorough and deliberate selection process, the board of directors is delighted that Krzanich will lead Intel as we define and invent the next generation of technology that will shape the future of computing," Intel chairman Andy Bryant said.

"Brian is a strong leader with a passion for technology and deep understanding of the business. His track record of execution and strategic leadership, combined with his open-minded approach to problem solving has earned him the respect of employees, customers and partners worldwide," Bryant continued. "He has the right combination of knowledge, depth and experience to lead the company during this period of rapid technology and industry change."

In naming Krzanich and James, 48, to their new roles, Intel continued its practice of promoting people from within the company to top leadership positions.

Otellini's pending retirement as president and CEO was announced last November. But speculation about his possible successor had already been going on for several years. At various times, current and former Intel executives Dadi Perlmutter, Sean Maloney, Anand Chandrasekher, and Pat Gelsinger were tipped as likely candidates.

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy, said Krzanich was "definitely the safe choice" for Intel.

"As COO, he has had the keys to Intel's largest investment, the fabs. Intel's fabs and their semiconductor technologies are undoubtedly the company's biggest differentiator right now and this signifies that this will continue," Moorhead said.

James, who once served as Intel CEO Andy Grove's chief of staff, has in recent years led Intel's software division, directing a collection of subsidiaries like McAfee, Wind River, and Havok.

"I look forward to partnering with Renée as we begin a new chapter in Intel's history. Her deep understanding and vision for the future of computing architecture, combined with her broad experience running product R&D and one of the world's largest software organizations, are extraordinary assets for Intel," Krzanich said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Intel announced a new generation of integrated graphics productscalled Iris, which will begin appearing in UltraBooks, mainstream notebooks, and all-in-one PCs later this year.