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Paul Otellini joined Intel in 1974 and by the mid-1990s had become head of sales and marketing at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company. Not incidentally, it was in the 1990s that Intel's marketing efforts brought the company out of the semiconductor shadows and into the public spotlight. When Otellini was elected CEO on May 18, 2005, just about every VAR's customer knew it was a big deal to have "Intel Inside."
Now 57, Otellini is firmly ensconced as the chief steward of co-founder Gordon Moore's vision, a task that becomes tougher each year as semiconductor technology runs up against increasingly unforgiving physical constraints. He and Intel have weathered a direct assault from top x86 competitor Advanced Micro Devices, losing some market share to the smaller company before roaring back over the past several quarters.
Otellini's approach is low-key, as far as CEOs of major technology companies go. Partners know what they'll be getting from Intel and are rarely surprised by the company except in a positive way. Today, the company's commitment to the channel has evolved from the height of the roaring white box days—but then again, the channel has evolved too. As we usher in a new age of mobile, service-based IT, forward-looking partner products from the chip giant—like vPro—demonstrate that the times may change, but Intel and Paul Otellini remain some of the best partners a solution provider can have.
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