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Intel Names Maloney Chairman of China Unit Amid Demand Surge

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Intel Corp. Executive Vice President Sean Maloney will move to Beijing to take up the newly created position of chairman for Intel China, underscoring the country’s importance in fueling sales growth.

Maloney, 54, will be responsible for overseeing the company’s strategy for China, said Chuck Mulloy, a spokesman for Santa Clara, California-based Intel, the world’s largest computer-chip maker.

“It’s unprecedented for us,” Mulloy said in a telephone interview. “We’ve never put someone at that high a level in another country.”

Maloney, who returned to work in January after recovering from a stroke he suffered 15 months ago, is being tapped to lead the company’s plans in a country that Intel predicts will become the world’s largest personal-computer market next year. Intel’s chips are the main component of more than 80 percent of the world’s computers.

“China is the primary focus for our industry,” said Jim McGregor, chief technology strategist for market researcher In-Stat in Scottsdale, Arizona. “China is not just important for PCs, but all the different markets that Intel is trying to get into.”

The Asia-Pacific region, which includes China, provided $7.26 billion, or 56 percent, of Intel’s revenue in the first quarter, compared with 21 percent for the Americas. Intel doesn’t provide a breakdown for China only.

Medical Leave

Maloney was one of two executive vice presidents running Intel’s main chip business, reporting directly to Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini, until his stroke, which left him unable to speak. He went on medical leave in March 2010 and has regained much of his speaking ability.

In previous positions at Intel, Maloney has run sales in Asia and the company as a whole. Executive Vice President Dadi Perlmutter will take over Maloney’s general corporate responsibilities when he moves to Asia, Mulloy said.

Intel shares fell 36 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $22.86 at 4 p.m. in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The stock has advanced 8.7 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles@bloomberg.net

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