* Intel says Maloney had stroke, on medical leave
* Recuperation expected to be several months
* Intel shares steady
(Adds analyst comment, details on job, byline; updates
By Ian Sherr
SAN FRANCISCO, March 1 The co-head of Intel
Corp's (INTC.O) core products group, regarded as a potential
successor to CEO Paul Otellini, suffered a stroke at his home
and will take several months' medical leave.
Intel said on Monday Sean Maloney is expected to resume his
regular duties after a recuperation period thought to last
several months. The prognosis for his full recovery is
"excellent," the company added.
Analysts say the company is grooming Maloney, 53, executive
vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture
Group, as one of several possible heirs to the 59-year-old
Maloney, a public face for the world's largest chip maker,
a fixture on the business conference circuit and an
acknowledged technology expert, had a knack for marketing,
"I always thought of him as the heart and soul of Intel
marketing," said Wedbush Morgan analyst Patrick Wang. "He had
such a good grasp of technology and where the market was going.
And he knew how to convey the corporate message without
sounding too corporate."
Maloney will be replaced during his leave by Dadi
Perlmutter, the other general manager of the Architecture
"He's two in the box with Dadi Perlmutter, so there
shouldn't be any disruption at all," said Intel spokesman Chuck
While they share the general manager title, Perlmutter's
responsibilities are engineering and design and Maloney focuses
on business operations from sales and marketing to investment.
Their group oversees the design and development of the
company's microprocessors, the brains of a computer, found in
more than eight out of 10 of the world's personal computers.
"It was pretty clear that he and Dadi would be running the
company together when Otellini steps down," Real World
Technologies analyst David Kanter said.
Maloney's condition as described will likely not have
short-term implications for the company, but the incident could
change his career path, Kanter said.
"The bigger question is, long-term, is this something that
Sean says, 'Maybe I need to slow down? Or maybe I'm not the
right person to step up and be CEO,'" he said.
Under company by-laws, Otellini must retire by the age of
65. But the company's board can put that to a vote and change
the by-laws if needed.
Kanter said that time horizon to Otellini's likely
retirement is long enough that Intel should have time to firm
up a succession plan if need be.
Maloney began work for Intel in Europe in 1982, serving in
various managerial positions as well as a stint assisting
former Chief Executive Andrew Grove. He took the reins of
Intel's mobile division in 2004 and became associated with the
company's wireless Internet efforts, including on its
long-range WiMAX technology.
Appointed chief sales and marketing manager in 2006,
Maloney began his current role just six months ago.
Shares of Intel, the world's No. 1 chipmaker, were briefly
halted in after-hours trade. They resumed trading shortly after
the statement and have held steady at around $20.87 in
post-session trades on Nasdaq.
(Additional reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Edwin
Chan and Richard Chang)