Santa Clara, California
According to Paul Otellini, "The biggest sin is to stay heads-down when the world is changing." In 2005, Otellini became the fifth chief executive officer of Intel Corporation — a convincing indicator of personal achievement and professional distinction.
His promotion came after more than 30 remarkably successful years at Intel. "I stayed because I never ceased to learn or to have a new opportunity to grow," he says. "We went from startup to the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world while I was working here. It's pretty hard to beat that in any other place."
When asked to reflect on the attributes of a successful corporate leader, he underscores a few: "I think one must possess relevant competence in one's industry and firm. And the ability to manage well is a prerequisite for leadership." He adds, "At least in a high-tech company, one needs to be close to one's products and customers."