Barrett, who joined Intel in 1974, was named chief operating officer in 1993 and president in 1997. He had been groomed for the top spot both by Grove and Chairman Emeritus Gordon Moore.
But Grove and Barrett have different personalities and styles. In fact, analysts said Barrett is more akin to Moore than Grove, both details men, focused on organization and operations. Grove has been more of an ideas person at Intel.
"If you look at Andy Grove's time, he's a visionary. He's been at the epicenter of the PC revolution at ground zero," said Ashok Kumar, an analysts at Piper Jaffrey in Minneapolis, Minnesota. "His complement has been Gordon Moore, who's more of a behind the scenes technician. It's his gene pool that Craig Barrett is closest to."
That's not to say that Grove's legacy will be lost. His legendary paranoia has been deeply ingrained in the company. And Grove and Barrett have put in place an extraordinarily strong management team that will be there for years to come, observers said. "Andy's principal attributes of discipline and paranoia have been institutionalized inside Intel all the way up and down the line," said Nathan Brookwood, microprocessor analyst at San Jose, Calif. -based research firm Dataquest.
"Those two characteristics really define the way the company thinks, plans and reacts whether he's there as CEO as chairman." Of course, Grove will still be around. As chairman of the board, he will be responsible for overseeing the company's relationships with the rest of the industry - ambassador at large, as one analyst put it.
Building relationships "Intel generally has done a better job of building a relationship with the industry and managing its persona. Grove is a part of that but that knowledge is pervasive throughout the management," said Louis Mazzucchelli, analyst at Gerard Klauer Mattison in New York.
And while Grove is definitely the man to sell the industry to the public and the politicians, Barrett generally gets the credit as the negotiator at Intel. He was largely responsible for smoothing relations between rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC).
The real question, analysts said, will be who replaces Barrett in the Chief Operating Officer position. Several names have already been tossed out, including Paul Otellini, head of the company's architecture business group. Intel officials said the company has not yet chosen a successor.