SAN FRANCISCO--Intel Corp. has a rare opportunity in its history to make a
bold statement about its future direction when it picks a successor
to Paul Otellini.
Insider or outsider? Tongues will wag for months until Intel's
sixth CEO--Otellini's successor--is named.
It's time to pick a general for tomorrow's war, not today's. And
it's time to make a statement not only about Intel but also to and about
We've moved from a generation of ambitious, shoot-from-the-hip
technologists who built this industry to C-suites largely populated
by engineer-bean counters who nurture its maturity. That's a problem
when electronics design is changing rapidly and semiconductor
vendors seem to be playing more prevent defense than aggressive and
The new Intel CEO needs to be a warrior-poet, an executive who
understands the next war and can relentlessly communicate that
vision to Intel employees and the industry at large with the grace and wisdom of
Good engineer/technologist/CEOs are a dime a dozen in the electronics industry. Outside of engineer-to-engineer discussions, our CEOs are
usually lousy communicators, and this has a direct impact on a company's direction
and the customer/investor/partner perceptions of companies. Even
the best HR and communications teams can't fix the problem, and no
amazing technological breakthrough can compensate for not properly
articulating value and direction.
The Halla moment
For me, a signature moment came when I interviewed then-National
Semiconductor CEO Brian Halla, about a year into his tenure there. I
had interviewed his predecessor, Gil Amelio, a year or so before. I
came away not understanding Amelio's strategy at all, but I chalked it up
to my inexperience. Halla articulated his vision for
National in three memorable bullet points. I got it right away. Then I
told Halla about not understanding Amelio's message.
I remember when Intel started up, they had NO manufacturing skills at all, as they had none when they ran Fairchild! At that time it as BIG D and small m. They got the automation ideas in recent years. And became manufactures late in life. But yes, the WINTEL cartel was potent for a long time. Most successful chip companies globally have COUNTRY support (STmicro, Infineon, AMD in Europe, GF, TSMC, SAMSUNG, etc) Intel and other US companies did not. The new CEO might simply work a deal with Obama to subsidize manufacturing in the US! That would level the playing field.
No wonder you did not understand Amelio's strategy, he did not have one (aside of making a lot of money for himself and the minions he brought into the company). I worked at NSC during his tenure, I know. As far as Halla, he had a strategy/vision for NSC but it was the wrong one. As a result the next CEO, a mere bean counter who had no idea what to do with NSC, sold the company that used to be one of the engines of Silicon Valley to TI for pennies on the dollar of its worth. Good CEOs are worth the millions they are paid, but bad ones have caused the demise of many once great companies (just look at how HP is being destroyed by a series of incompetent ignorant CEOs).
I love that image of the warrior-poet showing how to fight the next war. Somebody needs to print this out and bring it to the next Intel board meeting.
But I still hold out for an industry outsider, the 2013 version of Lou Gerstner who instinctively rejects the Kool-Aid in favor of some new, heady brew.
Brian, Intel ringmaster is one of the major causes of the great recession. Quantitative math model used for cartel collusion to forecast Intel production economics, revenue and margin into future time, confirm this fact. Channel structural components that are extra economic nonorganic accelerators of system time validate this fact. Bilateral contract agreements are proof of a cartel sales system that has substantially depressed technical innovation. Not only depressing the economy of the United States, but every other country of intel operation. Conduct and intent to monopolize validate this fact. Mike Bruzzone, Camp Marketing