Paul Otellini, who served as Intel’s fifth CEO from 2005 to 2013, died on Monday in his sleep, according to Intel. He was 66.
Otellini, who succeeded Craig Barrett, was the first Intel (INTC) CEO who was not an engineer. Otellini clearly could sell though: He is credited with winning the coveted business of making chips for the Apple’s (AAPL) PC business in 2005. Until then, Apple had used PowerPC processors that came out of an IBM-Apple-Motorola alliance.
“He was a salesman at heart,” said Patrick Moorhead, president of Moor Insights & Strategy, an Austin-based research firm. “Otellini steered the company through some rough times with many layoffs due to competitive pressures and then led the company to dominate in PCs and servers.”
Intel (INTC) generated more revenue during Otellini’s eight years at the helm than it had in its previous 45 years combined, according to The Atlantic. The year before he was named CEO, Intel logged $34 billion in sales. In 2012, the year he announced his retirement plan, sales had soared to $53 billion. On the other hand, critics say that Intel missed out on the mobile revolution on his watch.
“We are deeply saddened by Paul’s passing. He was the relentless voice of the customer in a sea of engineers, and he taught us that we only win when we put the customer first,” Brian Krzanich, his successor and current Intel CEO said in a statement.
A San Francisco native, Otellini received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of San Francisco in 1972 and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business two years later. He joined Intel that same year, steadily moving up the ranks to become executive vice president of sales and marketing in 1994.
Related: Intel’s Paul Otellini Loves His Mac
After his retirement four years ago, Otellini supported the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco General Hospital Foundation among other philanthropies. Otellini is survived by Sandy, his wife of 30 years, a son Patrick and daughter Alexis.