Computer chip giant Intel Corp. (IW 500/26) announced Monday that chief executive Paul Otellini would retire in May, and that a search for a new CEO was underway.

"The board of directors will conduct the process to choose Otellini's successor and will consider internal and external candidates for the job," the company said.

"Otellini's decision to retire will bring to a close a remarkable career of nearly 40 years of continuous service to the company and its stockholders."

The company said that since Otellini took over as CEO in 2005, it generated cash from operations of $107 billion and annual revenue grew from $38.8 billion to $54 billion.

But the world's largest chipmaker has been hit recently by a shift away from traditional PCs to mobile devices, and by a sluggish global economy.

The semiconductor maker said last month third quarter profits fell 14% from the same period a year ago to $2.97 billion on revenues of $13.5 billion, down 5%, and cited "a continuing tough economic environment."

Intel remains the dominant chipmaker in the PC market but has been catching up in the field of mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.

"Paul Otellini has been a very strong leader, only the fifth CEO in the company's great 45-year history, and one who has managed the company through challenging times and market transitions," said Andy Bryant, chairman of the board, in a statement announcing Otellini's plans.

"The board is grateful for his innumerable contributions to the company and his distinguished tenure as CEO over the last eight years."

Intel also said the board has approved the promotion of three senior leaders to the position of executive vice president: Renee James, head of Intel's software business; Brian Krzanich, chief operating officer and head of worldwide manufacturing; and Stacy Smith, chief financial officer and director of corporate strategy.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012