“Intel is at a crossroads right now,” says TIME Business correspondent Daniel Kadlec. “Their stock is down; their margins are down and competition from cheaper chip manufacturers is up. It’s not a bad time to turn over the reins, because the company is having to adapt itself to new business environment.”
Grove, who was TIME's Man of the Year in 1997, worked at Intel from the corporation's founding in 1968, and became CEO in 1987. When Barrett, who had overseen much of Intel's product development over the past decade, was made president in 1997, it was widely speculated that he was being groomed as Grove's successor.