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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The co-head of Intel’s Corp microchip architecture group, regarded as a potential successor to CEO Paul Otellini, suffered a stroke at home and will take several months’ medical leave.

Intel said on Monday Sean Maloney is expected to resume his regular duties after a period of recuperation thought to last several months. The prognosis for his full recovery is "excellent," it added.

Analysts say the company is grooming Maloney, 53, who is executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, as possible heir to Otellini.

Shares of Intel, the world’s No. 1 chipmaker, were briefly halted in after-hours trade. They resumed trading shortly after the statement and were holding steady at $20.87, level with its regular-session close on Nasdaq.

Maloney’s group oversees the design and development of the company’s microprocessors, the brains of a computer, found in more than eight out of 10 of the world’s personal computers.

Intel said Maloney will be replaced during his leave by Dadi Perlmutter, the other general manager of the Architecture Group.

"He’s two in the box with Dadi Perlmutter, so there shouldn’t be any disruption at all," said Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic and Ian Sherr; Editing by Richard Chang)