Former Intel CEO and Alumnus of USF Passes at 66

Between the founding of the “Intel Inside” marketing campaign, as well as becoming Intel Corporation’s fifth CEO, Paul Otellini, class of 1972, was known for his business prowess. Otellini passed on Oct. 2, 2017.


Professor Lehmann, emeritus professor of economics at USF, taught Otellini in the early 1970s. At the time, Otellini was a member of USF’s business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. Lehmann said he distinctly remembers Otellini standing out among others in their economic history and theory class. “He was just a good fellow, a good student. He obviously made an impression,” said Lehmann.


Thirty-five years later later, after Otellini had become CEO of Intel in 2005, the two had lunch together. Professor Lehmann had followed Otellini’s successful climb at Intel in the financial press and wanted to congratulate him on becoming CEO. By then, Lehmann mentioned, Otellini’s accomplishments showed through in his personality. “He was sharp. But very engaging and friendly. He could relax. All the things of a person whose responsibility was to head a major firm.”


After graduating from UC Berkeley with an MBA, Otellini immediately headed to Intel, where he propped up the company at a very crucial time. In the 1970s and ‘80s, Intel was in trouble from Japanese competitors since their business solely focused on microchips. Intel decided to shift towards manufacturing microprocessors, the so-called brains of the personal computer. Otellini marketed these new circuits with one of the most famous slogans that came out of Silicon Valley, “Intel Inside.” His success in marketing made him the most likely candidate for Intel’s CEO position in the mid-2000s.


In addition to the CEO position at Intel, Otellini served on many prestigious boards of directors. In an official obituary provided to the San Francisco Foghorn by Otellini’s family, it lists Otellini as part of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, Google, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, The Fritz Companies and Autodesk. The obituary also included charitable and philanthropic organizations Otellini had contributed to, including the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation and the San Francisco Symphony.


Otellini is survived by his wife Sandy, his mother Evelyn, his son Patrick (Marissa), his daughter Alexis and his brother Steven.


Follow @sffoghorn on Twitter and Instagram for coverage of Paul Otellini’s funeral service, which was held at St. Ignatius Church on Tuesday, Oct. 10.


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