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Douglas Grosfield, president and CEO of Xylotek Solutions, a Cambridge, Ontario-based Intel partner, agreed that Otellini's successor will need to maintain a keen focus on mobility, as Intel pushes on with its charge against ARM. That said, he doesn't anticipate any major impact to his business, or Intel's, upon Otellini's departure.
"From our perspective, it isn't likely to have much impact unless someone very young and aggressive was granted a miracle in [being] selected," Grosfield said. "Most of the folks who could be reasonably expected to fill the big shoes are highly unlikely to make sweeping changes in a company like Intel, so I imagine it will be business as usual."
Randy Copeland, president and CEO of Velocity Micro, a system builder and Intel partner based in Richmond, Va., also expects Otellini's retirement to have minimal impact on his business. He also suspects Intel will tap a new CEO from within and will remain a dominant player in the chip market, despite the new era of mobile computing.
"I'm very sure that the current technology market dynamic is nothing more than part of the cycle Intel has thrived in over the past 45 years, and they are perfectly capable of thriving in this environment, with or without Paul," Copeland said. "For Intel, they have a tremendous depth of talented candidates inside the company, and I would be really surprised if they found anyone outside the organization that would be a match for the senior management that is already in place."
In addition to leading Intel's mobile charge, Otellini's successor will also have big shoes to fill related to the channel, partners said. Otellini has long been an advocate for the channel, and solution providers hope his successor will do the same.
"Otellini has been a big channel guy. He always has been very supportive, he has come to some of our channel events, and he was definitely a friend of the channel," said Nor-Tech's Swank. "So hopefully the next person will have the same feel."
John Convery, executive vice president of vendor relations and marketing at Denali, a Redmond, Wash.-based Intel partner, agreed that Otellini's strong relationship with the channel will be missed. "As for the retirement of Paul Otellini, I am not surprised," Convery said. "Under his leadership, he has been very channel friendly and has positioned Intel as a major leader in the market."
Lyle Epstein, president of Las Vegas-based Intel partner Kortek Solutions, agreed with Convery, noting that, under Otellini's direction, Intel has not broken into new markets like mobility but has always urged its channel partners to come along for the ride.
"Paul [Otellini] has helped Intel dive into new and diversified fields that I think Intel might not have got into," Epstein said. "He has always respected the channel and worked with Intel channel partners, keeping us as an extension of Intel."