Former Intel executive Pat Gelsinger “wants to be a CEO” and could achieve that goal in his new job at EMC, an Intel spokesman told ChannelWeb Tuesday. Gelsinger, who joined Intel in 1979 out of high school and had previously been regarded as a leading candidate to eventually succeed current Intel CEO Paul Otellini, was named president and COO for EMC information infrastructure products on Monday.
Gelsinger’s departure for Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC did not prompt this week’s major organizational shakeup at Intel but may have “propelled the timing of the announcement of the re-org,” said Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy.
“I think he’s in the running there for sure,” Mulloy said, referring to Gelsinger’s chances of succeeding EMC boss Joe Tucci, 62, who has stated that he wants to step down after 2012. It’s “not a secret” that Gelsinger, 48, has strong ambitions to be a chief executive someday, the spokesman said.
Mulloy said that the re-organization at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel had “been in the works for several months.” The shakeup of executives and product groups essentially makes three executive vice presidents -- Sean Maloney, Andy Bryant and Dadi Perlmutter -- the chief lieutenants under Otellini, who turns 59 in October. Those three are now regarded as frontrunners to succeed Otellini, Intel’s CEO since replacing Craig Barrett in 2005.
Intel has a policy of mandatory retirement from active, full-time employment for all employees at age 65.
It was Barrett’s retirement as Intel chairman in May that helped prompt the reorganization, according to Mulloy. The shakeup was planned well in advance to “free up some of Paul’s time to work more on strategy and build up global relationships, a lot which used to be done by Craig Barrett,” he said.
Gelsinger, who was recently listed as a keynote speaker for this month’s Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, “had a role” in the re-organization, according to Mulloy.
“But Pat made a decision that he had to be at EMC. He wants to be a CEO. That’s not a secret, just look at his book,” Mulloy said, referring to Gelsinger’s 2003 Christian self-help title “The Juggling Act: Bringing Balance to Your Faith, Family, and Work.”
“It would have been disingenuous for him to do his keynote at IDF and then announce his departure, so maybe his decision propelled the timing of the announcement of the re-org,” Mulloy added.
The spokesman characterized another Intel executive’s departure this week as “unexpected.” Bruce Sewell, former general counsel for Intel, left the chip maker to take a similar position at Apple, Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple confirmed Tuesday.
Both Gelsinger and Sewell had been on sabbatical from Intel before informing the company that they were leaving, Mulloy said.