He has had a high-level view of the business working closely with Paul Otellini. Has been CIO and CFO for many years at Intel - so he knows the company inside-out and probably has good relationship with most of the senior management. Last but not least, he has had a public face by being on financial conference calls over the last 3 or 4 years and has acquitted himself fairly well.
IMO, Mike Bell, due to his techie background and a lack of operational experience is unlikely to be considered for the CEO/COO slots. But it would be interesting if Mike Bell is elevated to a position to work closely with the new CEO due to Intel's increased focus on mobile.
CFO Stacy Smith is the best candidate imo. We need someone who will focus on the financials & shareholder value. Intel has enough manufacturing & engineer expertise to run their operations. We need someone who is able to cut deals, articulate a vision to Wall Street, put analysts in their place.
If there is valid criticism of Ottellini its because he didn't have Intel make chips that competed directly against ARM much sooner. Ottellini originates from sales. He probably saw Intel's challenges in mobile as a sales problem, not a product design issue, which of course it was. Who ever fills that role going forward needs to have had direct revenue generation responsibility and at one time led product development, manufacturing and/or sales. CFO's can be talented people and they may be adept at schmoozing analysts but they rarely contribute the kind of innovation Intel needs to prosper.
The best candidate for the role isn't presently at Intel and doesn't need the job.
Unlikely. Intel's CEO's usually have a background in designing, making or selling product and the focus on mobile makes these areas of expertise that much more critical. The CIO and CFO roles, while meaningful, are not revenue generating positions and normally do not equip a candidate with the skills to lead the charge in a highly technical company.