Published On: Fri, Oct 6th, 2017

Paul S. Otellini, Who Led Intel and Saw It Grow Even More, Dies at 66

Mr. Otellini battled back by listening to customers, former colleagues said. That approach was recognized when he got an onstage hug in June 2005 from Steve Jobs, then Apple’s chief executive, who had agreed to switch to Intel technology for the company’s popular Macintosh computer line.

Mr. Otellini pushed Intel to develop more energy-efficient chips, fueling a trend in which laptop computers were beginning to supplant desktop models. In the case of winning Apple’s Mac business, Mr. Otellini also agreed to offer very low prices.

“He was willing to take an upfront hit to forge a partnership,” Andy Bryant, Intel’s chairman, said.

But Mr. Otellini later admitted to making a major miscue in the mobile market. Those devices were mainly built using chip technology developed by ARM Holdings, which drew much less power than PC chips and was licensed to multiple manufacturers that competed on price and features.

Intel for a time built ARM chips, too, but that business was unprofitable. Mr. Otellini dropped it, opting to court phone makers with Intel’s mainstay x86 chip design.

Intel was still in the running as a supplier when Apple was developing the first iPhone, which was introduced in 2007, ushering in what would become a giant market for smartphones. Mr. Otellini underestimated the iPhone’s sales potential and viewed Apple’s price demands as onerous.

“We ended up not winning it or passing on it, depending on how you want to view it,” Mr. Otellini said in a 2013 interview with The Atlantic magazine. “The world would have been a lot different if we’d done it.”

Though Intel missed the smartphone boom, it won over internet companies like Google and Facebook on the way to grabbing nearly all of the market for chips used in data centers. In all, Intel estimated, the company’s annual revenue rose to $53 billion from $34 billion under Mr. Otellini.

He also left a legacy as a peacemaker when Intel settled its court battles with regulators and A.M.D. “That was driven by Otellini more than anyone else,” said Hector Ruiz, a former A.M.D. chief who launched the litigation.

Paul Stevens Otellini, the son of Dave Otellini, a butcher, and his wife, Evelyn, was born in San Francisco on Oct. 12, 1950. (He continued to live there despite a long commute to Intel’s headquarters in Santa Clara.) He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of San Francisco and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

He is survived by his second wife, of 30 years, Sandy Otellini; his son, Patrick; and his daughter, Alexis.

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