The planned retirement of Intel's Sean Maloney in 2013 has ignited speculation over who might replace Paul Otellini, the firm's chief. Maloney, a charismatic 30-year Intel (Fortune 500) vet, came back to run the company's $8 billion China business after , surviving a massive stroke in 2010 and seemed the obvious candidate. The 56-year-old stepped down to spend time with family. As for Otellini, he became CEO in 2005 after a long stint at the chipmaker. But at 62, he now is close to the firm's mandatory retirement age of 65. COO Brian Krzanich, 52, seems a likely successor. (Otellini, Craig Barrett, and Andy Grove were all COO before taking the top job.) CFO Stacy Smith, 50, and chief product officer David "Dadi" Perlmutter are also possibilities. But Perlmutter, 58, will himself be close to retirement age by the time Otellini leaves.
If Apple can learn how to charm the world's largest population, the possibilities are limitless.
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