Intel Corporation (Nasdaq:INTC) has appointed Brian Krzanich to be its next CEO, the company announced Thursday. Krzanich, 52, will officially take over the role at the chipmaking giant's shareholder meeting May 16, becoming the sixth CEO in Intel's 44-year history.

"I am deeply honored by the opportunity to lead Intel," Krzanich said in a statement. "We have amazing assets, tremendous talent and an unmatched legacy of innovation and execution. I look forward to working with our leadership team and employees worldwide to continue our proud legacy, while moving even faster into ultra-mobility, to lead Intel into the next era."

Krzanich was promoted to COO in January, which was widely interpreted as a signal that he would succeed current CEO Paul Otellini. Otellini announced in November that he would step down this month after 38 years at the company.

The announcement comes at a pivotal moment for the world's largest and highest-valued semiconductor chipmaker, as it tries to navigate the transition in computing from PCs to mobile. Intel has fallen behind in mobile and PC market, to which it is closely tied. The company's profits in Q1 of this year were down 25 percent from the same quarter a year ago as a result.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company’s board has expressed confidence in Krzanich’s ability to steer the company in a new direction.

"The board of directors is delighted that Krzanich will lead Intel as we define and invent the next generation of technology that will shape the future of computing," Intel Chairman Andy Bryant said in a prepared statement.

Since joining Intel straight out of college in 1982, Krzanich has held jobs as a process engineer, a manufacturing manager, a plant manager and the head of assembly testing.