Andrew Grove is resigning as Intel Corp. chief executive and will be replaced by Craig Barrett, the computer chipmaker's president and chief operating officer.

The announcement comes at a time when Intel is beset by slow sales and sagging profits.The company said Thursday that Grove, 61, will stay on as chairman. Grove said he would focus on broad strategic issues.

Grove revealed in 1996 that he had prostate cancer. There was no indication Thursday morning whether his illness played a role in his leaving the chief executive job.

Time magazine named Grove its 1997 "Man of the Year."

Grove, a Holocaust survivor who arrived in America a penniless refugee in 1956, has been at Intel since its creation in 1968.

Barrett, 58, will replace Grove on May 20 after the company's annual meeting. Barrett is well known in the industry as the architect of the company's remarkable success at making micro-pro-ces-sors. Intel makes 90 percent of the world's microprocessors.

Barrett was given the No. 2 job at Intel last year - a step that led to widespread speculation that he would be Grove's successor.

Meanwhile, Intel has halted construction of a $1.3 billion chip plant in Ft. Worth, Texas, and will delay opening of the new facility for two years.

The 530-acre site will lie dormant for the next 12 months, company officials said.

That will allow the company to reconfigure the plant to produce the new-generation 300-millimeter silicon wafers, Intel spokesman Howard High said Wednesday.