Intel CEO Warns Workers About Late Products


Printer-friendly version Email this CRN article

Intel CEO Craig Barrett has called on employees to focus on "actions and attitudes" to halt a string of product delays and manufacturing problems that have frustrated the world's largest chip maker, according to a Reuters report.

In an open letter sent last week to the company's 80,000 workers, Barrett said that there was no excuse for the recent problems, and said he had spoken "bluntly and directly" with senior managers about the need to improve performance. "In the end reasons don't matter because the result is less-satisfied customers and a less-successful Intel," Barrett wrote in his letter, dated July 21.

"Therefore," he wrote, "it is critical that everyone " beginning with senior management but extending to all of you " focus intensely on actions and attitudes that will continue Intel's strong track record of technology leadership" and customer satisfaction.

When Intel misses its production targets, the entire electronics supply chain can feel the repercussions. Yet Intel officials have been accused of lacking humility when the company errs.

"I have never seen an Intel executive embarrassed in my life," said Richard Doherty, the director of the Envisioneering Group, a market research firm. "You can marvel at that."

For a company with a renowned culture of engineering prowess and an industry-leading budget for maintaining the world's most advanced microchip factories, Intel has faced an especially bumpy year.

In January, Intel delayed the roll-out of its new line of microprocessors for notebook computers for a few months after finding problems with the chip.

In June, Intel announced it was recalling a much-hyped chip called Grantsdale, which offered new features for desktop computers, after finding a flaw in the chip that could lead computers to malfunction. That recall cost Intel $38 million.

The final straw came last week, when Intel acknowledged that it was delaying the launch of a chip that it had called "the linchpin" in its new line of chips for notebook computers. That delay meant that computer systems built with the chip, which offered new audio and video capabilities, would miss the winter holiday shopping season.

The recent snags have been such a blow to the world's most powerful chip maker that Barrett is devoting nearly all of his energy toward fixing the problem, the company said.

"It has almost his entire attention and focus," Intel spokesman Tom Beermann said.

Intel has had a string of financial successes, doubling profit in the last quarter and forecast an all-time record revenue for the current quarter. Barrett, however, said employees should not be overly comforted by those figures.

"This just makes our recent problems all the more disappointing," he wrote, "because of what we could achieve if Intel were performing well in all major aspects."

This story couretsy of TechWeb.

Printer-friendly version Email this CRN article