Intel CEO: 'We're on Track' to Supply Chips for 40M Tablets

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is on track to supply 40 million tablets with its mobile chips this year, chief executive Brian Krzanich said in an exclusive interview with FOX Business' Liz Claman.

Krzanich, who stepped into the CEO role last May, has led an effort at Intel to strengthen the company’s focus on the mobile market, aiming to bring Intel’s chips to more smartphones and tablets.

As part of that strategy, the company expects to ship 40 million tablet processors in 2014 compared to about 10 million in the prior year.

“I’m proud to say we’re on track to hit that 40 million number,” Krzanich said on Wednesday.

Intel is also making a push into the growing market for wearable technology. At January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel unveiled several products, including an earpiece and smartwatch, and announced the next generation of its Quark chips used in wearable products.

“We have a strong line,” Krzanich said, hinting at a “series of announcements” coming up. “You can expect a lot more wearable products this year.”

After changing course to invest in mobile processors and wearables, Intel recently cut bait on an online television project called OnCue, selling it to Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ). The venture into pay-TV began under former CEO Paul Otellini.

In January, Intel reported mixed fourth-quarter financial results, posting higher-than-expected revenue amid “stabilization” in the PC market. The company also announced plans to reduce its workforce by 5% this year. Intel’s usual rate of attrition is around 4% worldwide.

Krzanich kicked off Wednesday’s interview discussing Intel’s operations in Israel, where the Atom mobile processor was developed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in California with Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a technology partnership.

Israel has become a hotbed for engineering, and Krzanich, who joined Intel in 1982 as a process engineer, wants more students in the U.S. to become interested in pursuing high-tech careers.

While answering questions from Reddit users last month, Krzanich implored students to accept the challenges of engineering school. “We need you, and we’ll do what we can to support you along the way,” he wrote.

On Wednesday, Krzanich said it’s important to take part in programs like his appearance on Reddit to engage people on the subject.

“In the U.S., we have to get people interested in engineering at a younger age,” he added.

Shares of Intel closed Wednesday down 11 cents at $24.50.