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New Intel CTO Greg Lavender Talks ‘Developer Reboot,’ Making ‘More Sophisticated Software’

In an exclusive interview with CRN, new Intel CTO Greg Lavender talks about the company’s ‘developer reboot,’ which includes an unprecedented persuasion campaign for independent software developers, and building ‘more sophisticated software’ to create new business opportunities for partners.

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As Intel’s CTO and the head of the Software and Advanced Technology Group, what do you have to do to make Intel the unquestioned leader in every category? 

Well, first of all, like I was just saying, we’ve got to show up in the right place. I have to meet developers where they are. I have to meet them wherever they are in the cloud, at the edge, in the enterprise, at the ISV, in the open-source communities. So No. 1, we’ve got to do much more outreach, be more visible in all the places that developers hang out, both technically and socially. So part of me as the CTO is almost ‘chief talking officer.’ I just have to go out and talk about all the things we’ve already done and what we’re doing more just so that people know, because we’ve been very introverted about it—I think is the way that the way to say it. Pat‘s called it, ‘the geek is back,’ but the geek also has to be visible.

That‘s No. 1. And I think No. 2 is, within the company, depending on where you count, [we have] like 13,000 to 15,000 software developers. I have to also evangelize them to do more, to drive more software value off of our hardware assets. I have people doing BIOS and firmware. I have people doing compilers. I need other people moving up the stack, so that’s going to be both me acquiring additional people to come into Intel to do that, but I’ve got to attract them with the story. As CTO, the chief talking officer part of my CTO job, it’s really evangelism, internally and externally.

Secondly, as the technical officer, I’ve got to make sure that we’re consistent across our platforms, consistent across our software assets and we work together—because [there are] 110,000 people in this company—we work together to meet the market where it wants to be. And so I’m working really closely with all the business leaders, all the hardware teams, the sales and marketing organization to make sure that we’re showing up with the right technology for the right problems with the right quality, the right security, the right scale in the market, because, guess what, security wins all the time. Security and performance still matter. And we think we can deliver that better than anyone else.




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