Street, and Krzanich have in the past been viewed as potential CEOs.
There is a comfort level with Stacy (Smith), said Williams Financial analyst Cody Acree.
Krzanich, a three-decade Intel veteran, made a name for himself improving the efficiency of the chipmaker's cutting-edge factories. He was promoted to chief operating officer last March, effectively throwing him in the running for the post of CEO.
Analysts said James' focus on software instead of hardware made her less likely to be promoted to CEO.
Bryant pointed to Krzanich, Smith and James, as well as Intel Capital head Arvind Sodhani and Dadi Perlmutter, head of Intel's push into mobile, as important executives for Intel's future, according to Barron's.
END OF AN ERA
Since it was founded in 1968, Intel has promoted CEOs from within. But the increasing belief that the PC era, which Intel helped create, may be drawing to a close could explain Intel's willingness to look for outside candidates, analysts said. Previous CEO transitions have all involved carefully groomed internal candidates. But if Intel's board is now looking externally -- to bring in new skills -- that would explain the lack of a named successor and length of time in transition, said Longbow Research analyst JoAnne Feeney.
Intel's board may have trouble finding an outsider with the strategic vision to lead it into the mobile market as well as the chops to run the cutting-edge factories that give the chipmaker a technological lead over its competitors.
Since most other chipmakers have closed down their fabrication plants over the past two decades and outsourced production overseas, few executives have experience planning and running plants that now cost upwards of $10 billion each to build. Armed with a bachelor's degree in economics and an MBA from the University of California, Otellini began at Intel in 1974, when most of the company's sales came from memory chips and before it turned to PC processors. He managed several business units before being appointed chief operating officer in 2002.
With economic growth slowing in China and struggling in Europe and the United States, global PC shipments