Intel Corp. /quotes/zigman/20392/quotes/nls/intc INTC +1.71% Chief Executive Paul Otellini said he hopes the chip maker's board chooses an inside executive to replace him after his retirement and added he has already recommended a candidate, though he didn't name whom he'd prefer.
"I hope so," the Intel chief said when asked by Fox Business Network whether he expects an insider to take the helm. Mr. Otellini surprised many observers in November by announcing plans to retire in May, putting the dominant maker of microprocessors for personal computers and servers in new hands during a pivotal time in its evolution.
Analysts have shortlisted software chief Renee James, Chief Operating Officer Brian Krzanich and Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith for the job, noting there are few executives from other companies considered up to the task. Intel's board, however, has said it will consider inside and outside candidates.
Mr. Otellini said he has a preferred candidate in mind that he discussed with the board, though he declined to name that person.
The chief executive's departure comes at a challenging time for Intel, which is working to gain a firmer foothold in the fast-growing market for mobile devices after seeing designs from rival ARM Holdings Inc. (ARMH, ARM.LN) gain a dominant share of the sector.
PC sales, meanwhile, have gone into a tailspin. Market research firm IHS iSuppli in October predicted 2012 PC shipments would decline for the first time in 11 years.
Mr. Otellini acknowledged that problems with the PC market have pressured the company's stock, though he suggested the headwind to Intel is only temporary.