More tips for Semi CEO's
But, and this was second theme, nothing can better improve the competitive scene than innovation. "Not just the product or process technology, but the way you do business and deal with customers."
Harking back to his early days Pistorio noted that R&D investments at SGS, and subsequently ST, were always above the industry average.
His next tip. Any CEO that does not take seriously the growth In Asia now, and the opportunities in the coming years, deserves to and will fail.
"Asia is the driver of growth. The intra-regional trade there is growing each year, and this will only increase. Asia is going to be really important."
And as for China, it is no longer just cheaper manufacturing. "They are increasing R&D spending and are planning an enormous increase in output of engineering graduates."
"China is spending 1.4 pervcent of GDP on R&D. Europe is spending 2.2 percent. But because of the relative labour costs, Chinas investment is greater."
Referring next to one of his main themes while at the helm at ST, Pistorio noted that the company was one of the first where social responsibility was written into the charter.
"ST is signed up to the global standards on environmental protection, it practises environmental neutrality and contributes some of its profits to charity to decrease the digital divide People ask: Which is more important stakeholder value or shareholder value? I say there is no contradiction. Environmental responsibility makes money. It is good for the bottom line."
Warming to his theme, Pistorio noted that energy also paid a major role in the crisis that has been buffeting the world economy.
"The huge increase in oil prices was also a huge tax on the world economy. We need to deal with this as the costs and the pollution and global warming oil consumption is causing, are leading to wars."
"The world consumption of 85bn barrels of oil is costing $1.5trn - a tax on the world economy. If the fuel efficiency of American cars was the same as in Japan, they would save $4millon a day. That is more than they are spending on wars. Business enterprise must lead the way in solving this energy crisis."
And Pistorio's last but perhaps loudest rallying cry was that CEOs must create a vision; build a team, set a culture; define a road map and drive execution. You must create an environment which is conducive to innovation which means it is tolerant of mistakes and gives projects time to succeed."
"The CEO is the custodian of the company's assets. If you make decisions to please the financial community for the next quarter you are wrong. You have to think of your company as an on-going concern.
For instance we started investing in research into MEMS 15 years ago, even though at the time I could not see any obvious or significant revenue streams. Now it's is hugely flourishing profitable business."