Craig Barrett final speech to troops Inside Intel revealed
AS I SIT in my cubicle on my last day as CEO of Intel, I can't help but reflect on the past 30 years. Together we have defined history, not just for our industry, but for the world. With that in mind, I want to thank you all for the opportunity to serve Intel and for the results we have accomplished. I also want to take a moment to share my point of view of Intel's history.
In 1974, shortly after joining Intel, I heard Gordon Moore speak about the future of the integrated circuit industry. Gordon made a comment that surprised me, but would later prove to be invaluable. Gordon said he could see technology continuing to move forward but he wasn't at all certain how people would use the increased memory density or functionality associated with Moore's Law. To put this in perspective, we were just beginning to manufacture 4K DRAMs and the first 4-bit microprocessors. Over the next 30 years, technology did continue to move forward, leading to the gigabit memories and gigahertz processors of today. And, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, people continued not only to find uses for the new products but also to clamor for more.
Inherent in Gordon's comments was the importance of continuing to lead in moving technology forward. Even as he could not foresee all the uses of the integrated circuits of the future, he understood that the technology had a profound capability to change the world and that the company that led this revolution could be immensely successful. This was the basis upon which Intel was founded in 1968 and is accurately reflected in Bob Noyce's famous quote "don't be encumbered by history, go off and do something wonderful." The philosophy of these two founders is still the heart and soul of Intel: Invest in R&D, be first in the market with new technology, believe the technology can change the world, and never look back. That is how the founders ran the company, and that is how we run the company today.
Of course a few changes took place over the years, such as Intel Inside, our worldwide expansion, and the formation of Intel Capital. But fundamentally we are still very much what our founders envisioned: A company that develops technology which forms the basis of new products, businesses and services that change the way people learn, work, and play. In short, a technology company that impacts the world. You really don't have to look far to see these changes -- they are all around us.
It has been an amazing privilege to follow in the footsteps of Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove in leading Intel. As I transition out of the CEO role, I look back with pride at what we have been able to accomplish. As a team, we have built the largest, most profitable company in our industry. We are the recognized leader in process technology and operate the most efficient factories. We have established the fifth most valuable brand with a worldwide sales and distribution network second to none. And if that's not enough, we have developed the capability not just to design and create integrated circuits, but also to create entire ecosystems for new technologies, as with Wi-Fi and our Centrino product family. We accomplished this with massive investments of R&D and manufacturing capacity and the most talented workforce in the industry.
Over the years that I have worked with Andy, he always stressed the following: Be paranoid, be intellectually honest, be fair and firm in your dealings with employees and customers, don't be afraid to take risks, and, above all, always have a strategy to win. Andy's philosophy is reflected in our culture and is ingrained in our everyday actions.
The last few years have been challenging to Intel and our industry. With the dot.com and internet bubble collapse in 2000, our industry entered the longest and deepest recession in 30 years. Intel revenue shrank by over 20 per cent between 2000 and 2001. Most semiconductor companies cut R&D budgets, had massive layoffs, and lost money. At Intel, we understood that you can't save your way out of a recession - you must invest your way out. We knew we needed to avoid big layoffs. Our goal was simple: emerge from the recession in a stronger position than when we entered it. So we defied conventional wisdom by continuing to invest in R&D and manufacturing capacity. We used redeployments and attrition to control costs without subjecting the company to a forced downsizing. We pulled together as a single company. The result: We maintained our profitability throughout the entire recession and today our revenue and operating profits are back to record levels. Our manufacturing capacity and process technology still provides leadership in our industry. We have maintained market segment share in our key product lines and made inroads in new product areas.
But it wasn't always pretty. We had some product glitches. We shut down some businesses that we had acquired in the late 1990's. And, like the rest of the semiconductor industry, our stock price hasn't recovered to its former highs. But we did what Gordon suggested in that 1974 talk. We stayed focused, we continued to move the technology forward, and brought great new products to market. Today, when people mention Intel it is still clear who they are referring to: The industry leader that successfully pushes the technology envelope and continues to change the world.
No one can guarantee the future. I've learned that economic recessions happen, and you can only adjust to minimize their impact. You may have lapses in product development or sometimes misread the market. But you can quickly recover and regain leadership if you are not afraid to admit your mistakes and take action. While you can't always control your environment, you can control your willingness to invest in the future and your commitment to always compete to win. And just as Bob and Gordon believed in the technology and its impact on the world, I believe in our future.
I know that Paul Otellini understands this as he takes over as your next CEO. He has spent 30 years absorbing and role modeling Intel's culture, strategy, and winning attitude. He won't be afraid to make the tough decisions required to move Intel forward. He won't hesitate to look ahead at a changing environment and realize that what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Our recent reorganization into platform groups is an example of how Paul will respond to change.
And this is the essence of Intel: constant change is our ally. Our entire existence has been built on change and this is how we must look at the future.
I feel so fortunate to have been associated with Intel for the last 30 years. It truly has been a unique experience to work in an industry that is changing the world. Working at the company that is driving that change has to be the best possible job! You immediately see the fruits of your labor in the market, you see how your products impact the lives of billions of people, and you know you are making a difference. That is what Intel has meant to me for the past 30 years.
Thank you all for the opportunity to be a part of Intel and to work with thousands of smart, dedicated, and committed employees. I couldn't have asked for a better job in a better company in a better industry.
Like Gordon, I know technology will move forward and that Intel will be instrumental in driving these changes globally. It is with excitement that I look forward to seeing what our future holds, and joining you on this journey in my new role as Chairman.
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