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Why Intel’s Sean Maloney is retiring

Intel’s Maloney and his family in Beijing

Sean Maloney, the Intel executive who came back from a massive stroke to head the company’s China operation, plans to retire in January.

Maloney, whom I profiled last year in “The Man Who Couldn’t Speak,” continues his recovery from his 2010 stroke. I haven’t reached him. (It was bedtime in China when Intel announced the news this morning). But a source at Intel tells me that several factors led to Maloney’s decision to retire.

First, there is the crazy pace and constant travel that accompanies the job of running Intel’s $8.1 billion business in China.

Beyond that, Maloney has successfully built a leadership team in China and expanded the business there.

Perhaps most important of all, Maloney–once considered No. 1 in line to succeed Intel CEO Paul Otellini–realized that key to his ongoing recovery is quality time with his family. Maloney has six children. He and his wife, Margaret, and their three young daughters moved from Palo Alto to Beijing last summer. The Maloneys now plan to return to Silicon Valley.