The planned retirement of Intel's Sean Maloney in 2013 has ignited speculation over who might replace Paul Otellini, the firm's chief. Maloney, a charismatic 30-year Intel (intc) vet, came back to run the company's $8 billion China business after surviving a massive stroke in 2010 and seemed the obvious candidate. The 56-year-old stepped down to spend time with family. As for Otellini, he became CEO in 2005 after a long stint at the chipmaker. But at 62, he now is close to the firm's mandatory retirement age of 65. COO Brian Krzanich, 52, seems a likely successor. (Otellini, Craig Barrett, and Andy Grove were all COO before taking the top job.) CFO Stacy Smith, 50, and chief product officer David "Dadi" Perlmutter are also possibilities. But Perlmutter, 58, will himself be close to retirement age by the time Otellini leaves.
CEO of Apple (aapl) since 2011
The operations whiz, 51, may eventually be succeeded by a younger, Jobsian visionary ...
Senior VP, iOS
... like the 43-year-old mobile-software chief. He runs Apple's cash-cow iPhone business.
CEO of Microsoft (msft) since 2000
Ballmer, 56, has been criticized for Microsoft's lackluster performance in handsets and search.
President, Windows and Windows Live
A smooth launch of Windows 8 could propel the 46-year-old.
CEO of Cisco (csco) since 1995
The 63-year-old chief recently said he may retire within the next four years.
EVP, Worldwide Operations
Lloyd, 56, has hung in for two decades and is frequently named as a possible next in line.
CEO of Oracle (orcl) since 1977
After 3 1/2 decades, the feisty 68-yearold shows no signs of slowing down.
Co-President and CFO
Does the veteran, 50, have the upper hand for succession over co-president Mark Hurd?