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Intel chairman Craig Barrett retires

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Intel had announced that its chairman, Craig Barrett, will retire at the company's annual stockholders' meeting this May.

No reason was given for the retirement. The Reg has contacted Intel for clarification, but has not immediately received a response. We'll update you when we do.

Barrett's announcement comes just two days after Intel revealed that it would close five plants in a restructuring move that would affect between 5,000 and 6,000 employees worldwide.

Barrett, who at 69 is three years from Intel's mandatory retirement age, joined the company in 1974. Among his many positions during his 35-year tenure, he served as CEO from 1998 through 2005.

In a statement, Barrett said that he had "every confidence that Intel will continue [its technology] leadership under the direction of [president and CEO] Paul Otellini and his management team."

Otellini said that Barrett's "legacy spans the creation of the best semiconductor manufacturing machine in the world, leading Intel for seven years as we emerged into a global powerhouse."

Intel's board of directors has elected independent director Jane Shaw to take the reins in May as the company's non-executive chairman.

Shaw's challenges are readily apparent to industry watchers, as Intel and the rest of the semiconductor industry struggle to wend their way through a Meltdown so severe that Rick Tsai, CEO of the giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, predicted today that the global semiconductor market may shrink by 30 percent in 2009.

Whatever Barrett's reasons are for retiring, you can't fault his timing. ®

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