On June 21, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) announced that Brian Krzanich, who had been the company’s CEO since May 2013, had resigned. Current CFO Bob Swan, who joined the chip giant in 2016, is now serving as interim CEO while the company’s board of directors conducts a search for a permanent CEO. 

About a year ago, I highlighted three potential candidates who could replace Krzanich (I’d been calling for Krzanich’s termination for more than two years.) In this article, I’d like to offer an updated view of the potential candidates for the Intel CEO spot, as well as my thoughts on who will most likely get the gig. 

A wafer of Intel processors.

Image source: Intel.

1. Murthy Renduchintala

Intel has historically promoted internal candidates to the CEO spot, and I think that it’s highly likely that the board of directors will have a preference for internal candidates this time around, too. Since Swan has indicated that he doesn’t want to be Intel’s permanent CEO, the most obvious internal candidate is the company’s current chief engineering officer, Murthy Renduchintala. 

Renduchintala joined Intel from Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) late in 2015, where he previously served as the co-president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, Qualcomm’s successful chip development organization.

The reason that I think Renduchintala is the most likely candidate to succeed Krzanich is simple: He’s the most qualified for the job. Not only does he have substantial experience running key product development organizations within Intel, but, following a recent shake-up, the company’s flailing chip manufacturing organization now reports to Renduchintala’s group. In fact, his group was recently renamed the technology, systems architecture and client group, or TSCG, to reflect this reorganization. 

If I could bet on the outcome of Intel’s CEO search, I’d put my money on Renduchintala.

2. Stacy Smith

At the end of January 2018, Intel Group President of Manufacturing, Operations and Sales Stacy Smith retired…

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