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Longtime insider will lead Intel

Brian Krzanich’s biggest challenge is apt to be the shift to mobile devices.

Reuters/File 2012

Brian Krzanich’s biggest challenge is apt to be the shift to mobile devices.

NEW YORK — Intel, a pillar of Silicon Valley, is following its traditions and promoting an insider to the job of CEO. The world’s largest chip maker is tasking chief operating officer Brian Krzanich with steering it through an industry shake-up that is seeing tablets and smartphones overshadow Intel’s base in personal computers.

Intel said that Krzanich will replace Paul Otellini on May 16. Six months ago, Otellini, 62, announced his surprise decision to resign and will end a nearly 40-year career with Intel, including eight years as chief executive.

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Krzanich, who is 52 and spent his entire career at the company, comes out of a manufacturing organization where meticulous attention is required to churn out processors with billions of minute details.

Intel processors are the brains behind four out of five PCs, but the company has been scrambling as PC sales plummet and people spend money instead on smartphones and tablet computers. Those mobile devices need processors that use less battery power, a technology Intel has only just mastered.

Krzanich said he will tackle the challenge by relying on the assets Intel is built on: its engineering prowess and enormous, billion-dollar chip factories, which feature technologies that are years ahead of its competitors.

‘‘Those assets will be focused more and more toward the ultra-mobility space . . . tablets and phones,’’ Krzanich said.

Krzanich isn’t inheriting Otellini’s title of president. It will go to software chief Renee James, 48, creating a two-person ‘‘executive office’’ at the head of the company. James had been a candidate for the CEO post.

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