A SECOND top executive at Intel in Ireland has been made a global vice-president of the technology giant. But his promotion comes as sales growth at both Intel and IBM slowed to the lowest pace in years.
Professor Martin Curley is the European director of Intel Labs, which is responsible for a network of more than 25 research labs and development centres across the continent.
He leads Intel's research and innovation collaboration with the European Commission and is a professor at NUI Maynooth.
Four Irish people are now at vice-presidential level at Intel. As well as Prof Curley, Eamonn Sinnott is general manger of Intel Ireland; Ann Kelleher is based in New Mexico; and Rory McInerney is based at Intel's headquarters in California.
The news came as Intel and IBM, two of the biggest names in the computer industry, posted disappointing sales figures yesterday because the European slump weighed on orders in the last quarter.
IBM's revenue climbed just a third of 1pc, while sales at Intel were up 0.5pc in the period. These are the smallest increases in sales for either company since the third quarter of 2009.
However, Intel predicted a pick-up in sales for the current quarter.
With Europe in a slump, the two technology giants are seeking growth in emerging markets. Nevertheless, Intel's chief financial officer Stacy Smith said that demand from corporations and emerging markets remained relatively strong.
Intel yesterday forecast narrower profit margins than analysts had anticipated, sending shares down the most in four months.
Costs for the company are rising as it tries to overhaul older plants and builds new ones. However, the company expects to recoup that investment when the factories reach full output and Intel is sticking to its gross margin forecast of 64pc for the year.
"The whole story of Intel in the past two years has basically been margins," said Daniel Amir, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets.
He added: "For the first time, they're kind of missing the margin target by more than a per cent."
However, Graham Palmer, Intel's director of the UK and Ireland, said: "Consumer markets in mature markets -- and the UK is part of that -- are tough."
At IBM, the plan is to make up for slow growth by selling more profitable software. (Bloomberg)