While many in the industry argue that Intel's next CEO needs experience executing in the mobile market, Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said the new CEO could bring in people to help him or her figure out mobile. But the CEO still needs to push the company forward and execute on strategy.
That has Moorhead putting Krzanich and Smith at the top of his own short list.
"Smith has the financial chops and corporate development skills to invest or buy a mobile future for Intel, but he would need a hard core product lieutenant to balance out his skills," he said. "I think they will take a hard look at Krzanich, but he is a bit of an external unknown, and Intel needs a known external face to provide the confidence to investors and customers."
Otellini, Intel's first CEO who was not an engineer, has opened the door to someone who has more of a background in marketing, according to Olds.
"He's proven that you don't have to be able to design chips in order to successfully run the most important chip company in the world," he added. "I think we'll probably see someone with significant marketing skills get the nod, regardless of whether they're an engineer or not."
Olds also pointed out that Intel has six months to work this out.
"This is sort of like trying to handicap the selection of a new pope," said Olds. "Intel is going to take some time and they're going to do their best to keep their deliberations secret. I think we'll need to wait for the white smoke to rise above Intel headquarters in Santa Clara."
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