Intel CEO Paul Ottelini to step down in May

SANTA CLARA, Calif. Mon Nov 19, 2012 – Intel Corp. said on Monday that CEO Paul Ottelini would retire in May, stepping down from the world’s leading chipmaker at time when it is grappling with weak PC demand as the industry shifts towards mobile computing.

Intel’s board said it would consider internal and external candidates for the CEO position. It said in a statement that it expected the “leadership transition” to last six months.

The company said it would promote three executives to be executive vice presidents. They are Renee James, who is in charge of Intel software; Brian Krzanich, who is COO and also oversees manufacturing; and Stacy Smith, the CFO and director of corporate strategy.

Ottelini, 62, was the fifth CEO of the company, stepping into the post in the second quarter of 2005.

Intel was accustomed to being king of the personal computer market, particularly through its historic “Wintel” alliance with Microsoft Corp, which led to breathtakingly high profit margins and an 80 percent market share.

But in the fast-growing and cut-throat mobile world, Intel is struggling. Its market share is less than 1 percent of smartphones, trailing Qualcomm Inc,. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., ARM Holdings Plc and others.

That leads some investors, who are already concerned about a lackluster global economy, to ask if Intel’s invincibility has come to an end and whether the company’s potential for profit and revenue growth may come back down to earth.

Shares of Intel were halted early on Monday.

Intel cuts outlook on weak PC demand; shares slump

SAN FRANCISCO, Fri Sep 7, 2012 – Intel Corp. cut its third-quarter revenue estimate more than expected on Friday due to a decline in demand for its chips as customers reduce inventories and businesses buy fewer personal computers.

Intel also said it was scaling back capital spending as a result of the business slowdown. Intel’s stock fell 3.6 percent, and shares of ASML and other companies that make chip-manufacturing equipment also lost ground.

A revision of Intel targets had been anticipated by some analysts after PC makers Hewlett Packard and Dell Inc. warned of slow demand last month, a development that has been compounded by a shaky global economy and consumers shifting toward tablets and smartphones.

But the 8 percent reduction in the top chipmaker’s revenue outlook was much more severe than expected. Intel also withdrew its full-year forecast.

The scaled-back outlook comes just days ahead of a major event where Intel will tout a new generation of processors that consume less power, central to its strategy of reinvigorating a stagnant PC industry.

Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon said the size of the Intel cut was surprising and was a worrying new sign that the company is seeing weakness in PC sales to businesses and governments, known as enterprise sales.

“They also have weakness in enterprise PCs in emerging markets. In the last six to eight quarters, consumers have been weak but the enterprise was strong. Now the enterprise is weak,” Rasgon said.

Apple, Google, Intel fail to dismiss staff-poaching antitrust lawsuit

SAN JOSE, Calif., Thu Apr 19, 2012 – Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and four other technology companies were ordered by a judge to face an antitrust lawsuit claiming they illegally conspired not to poach each other’s employees.

District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose rejected the companies’ bid to dismiss claims brought under the federal Sherman antitrust law and California’s own antitrust law, the Cartwright Act.

In a decision on Wednesday night, Koh said the existence of “Do Not Cold Call” agreements among various defendants “supports the plausible inference that the agreements were negotiated, reached, and policed at the highest levels” of the companies.

“The fact that all six identical bilateral agreements were reached in secrecy among seven defendants in a span of two years suggests that these agreements resulted from collusion, and not from coincidence,” Koh added.

Other defendants in the case included Adobe Systems Inc., Intuit Inc., Walt Disney Co’s. Pixar unit and Lucasfilm Ltd. Koh dismissed a claim brought under California’s unfair competition law.

Lawyers for the defendants were not immediately available for comment.

The proposed class-action lawsuit was brought by five software engineers who accused the companies of conspiring to limit pay and job mobility by eliminating competition for labor, costing workers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Their claims are similar to those raised in 2010 by the Department of Justice when it settled antitrust probes against the companies.

Without admitting wrongdoing, the companies agreed not to take steps to restrict competition for workers, including setting limits on cold-calling and recruiting.

Oracle brings new claims against HP in Itanium case

SAN FRANCISCO ― Oracle accused Hewlett-Packard of fraud for concealing facts during negotiations between the two companies, according to a court filing.

The cross complaint filed by Oracle against HP on Tuesday is the latest salvo in ongoing litigation over the Itanium platform.

Oracle decided in March to discontinue its support for Itanium, a heavy-duty computing microprocessor, saying Intel Corp made it clear that the chip was nearing the end of its life and the company’s focus was on its x86 microprocessor.

HP has dubbed Oracle’s decision “anti-customer” behavior. The company sued Oracle in a California state court in June.

The litigation has been part of a deteriorating relationship between the two companies. Oracle hired former HP chief executive Mark Hurd last year after Hurd left HP amid questions about his relationship with a female contractor.

HP filed a trade secrets lawsuit against Hurd related to the Oracle hire, which was soon settled.

In the filing on Tuesday, Oracle claims HP fraudulently induced Oracle to enter into the Hurd settlement.

HP concealed the fact that it was about to hire Leo Apotheker as its chief executive, and Ray Lane as its chairman, Oracle’s filing says.

Apotheker and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison have long been rivals from the time Apotheker headed European software maker SAP AG. HP Chairman Ray Lane and Ellison had a troubled relationship from the time Lane was fired from Oracle in 2000, according to the filing.

“Given the well-documented animosity between Oracle and Messrs. Apotheker and Lane, HP knew that Oracle would not have signed the Hurd Agreement had it known of HP’s imminent plans,” the filing says.

An HP representative could not immediately comment Tuesday.

Other claims asserted by Oracle against HP include defamation and intentional interference with contractual relations. Oracle seeks rescission of the Hurd agreement, general and punitive damages and other remedies.

Chipmaker Intel invests in two Russian internet firms

SANTA CLARA, Calif. ― U.S. chipmaker Intel announced “multi-million” investments in two Russian online firms Thursday, in a fresh sign of investor confidence in growth prospects of internet businesses.

Intel Capital, charged with backing business models that complement its Santa Clara, Calif., parent’s long-term strategy, said it provided financing for social networking company AlterGeo and online shoe retailer Sapato.ru.

The company, which invested a total of $327 million in 119 deals last year, did not disclose financial detail of the latest transactions.

Investor appetite for internet assets was highlighted last month by the listings of Yandex YNDX.MM, Russia’s most popular search engine, and U.S. social networking firm LinkedIn.

AlterGeo, which offers location-based services to more than 700,000 users, plans to use Intel Capital’s financing to expand user base and develop new services.

Sapato.ru is the leading online shoe retailer in Russia, launched in June 2010 by Fast Ventures, eVenture Capital Partners, Direct Group and investment holding company Kinnevik.

Intel unveils laptops that include tablet features

SAN FRANCISCO ― Intel unveiled a new category of laptops that it says will include the best features of tablets as the world’s top chipmaker struggles to find its footing in the exploding market for mobile gadgets.

Netbook pioneer Asustek showed its first new PC in Intel’s “Ultrabook” class, the UX series, on Monday at the Computex computer show in Taipei. Intel said models made by other manufacturers would go on sale by Christmas and cost under $1,000.

Ultrabooks will be svelte and lightweight but still pack high-performance processors. They should account for 40 percent of laptop sales to consumers by the end of next year, Tom Kilroy, a senior vice president at Intel, said.

“We’re shooting for ultra responsive. You’ll have always-on, always-connected, much more responsive devices, similar to what you would see with a tablet today such as an iPad,” he said.

Intel’s vice president Mooly Eden called the Ultrabook a “different category” from the tablet and notebook, hoping that it would appeal to a different category of consumers.

“There’ll be some confusion if you look at the fold factor; when you open it you’ll see a PC but if you’re on the go, just fold it and suddenly it’s a tablet. Is it a PC? Is it a tablet? I think it doesn’t matter,” Eden told a media conference.

Santa Clara, California-based Intel is eager to make laptops more attractive to consumers who are increasingly captivated by Apple’s iPad and other mobile gadgets.

Its processors power 80 percent of the world’s PCs but Intel has failed so far to adapt them for smartphones and tablets. Manufacturers like Motorola and Apple favor processors made using energy-efficient technology licensed by Britain’s ARM Holdings .

Commenting on competition with ARM, Eden said Intel is late in the tablet market but it is not a “failure.”

“We’re late. Today there are many tablets that don’t have Intel inside, but we’re putting in a lot of effort in order to catch up. And I believe we have caught up in tablets.”

This month, Intel took the wraps off next-generation “3D” technology that crams more transistors onto microchips, betting it will eventually become a significant advantage in tablets and smartphones.

Intel also plans to shrink the circuits on its mobile chips by three sizes within three years ― a faster pace than normal ― to make them much more efficient.