The Unofficial Intel Blog

Poking the beehive with a stick

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Paul the Knife

You probably already know that Paul Otellini said:

"We are well aware of the realities of our business outlook. Perhaps most important, we are taking action to address those realities."

Great. Go get 'em. But, uh, don't kill my division... Can't we just get rid of optical or something? How about those Whitefield characters in India? Is Intel Play still around?

But Paul, here is an idea. Instead of taking a wedge out of the big cake, how about doing it horizontally? You could probably take out one of the layers and then put the little figurines back on the top without anyone noticing. Just think how that would motivate all the little people. Just think of the fire it would put in the big people. What do you say? Remove every grade 10 with an even WWID?

It probably isn't realistic. Mainly because those very people are the ones making the lists and checking them twice. Are you going to get there via the sort of assessment you have planned? It just doesn't seem likely. Someone else has to make the decision.

So if we are talking realism, then the answer is to be bold. Starving smaller projects to death or short staffing them is no real way to grow a business. But Intel does this all the time. So many things are pursued half-heartedly that they become self-fulfilling failures. No, chop, chop, chop away. Put the knife to them Paul! As long as it isn't me...


At April 27, 2006 5:35 PM, Blogger Josh Bancroft said...

Interesting idea - I'd love to see some of the fat lopped off in the middle layers.

And your "chop away, just not me!" pretty much sums up my feelings precisely. :-)

I posted about it here:

At April 28, 2006 5:24 AM, Blogger Chris Wisehart said...

It is my experience guys like the author and myself do not know what is best at the top. That is why we do not earn big digit compensation and there are a few up there who do.

At April 28, 2006 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard that all individual contributors that are Grade 9s or greater are being HEAVILY scrutinized...

Don't let any of the spin or rhetoric fool you...layoffs/VSP/redeployments ARE coming, no matter how hidden it will be from the outside.

Many of you had better sharpen up your resumes, and start interviewing outside the company.

The smartest people have already left over the past few months for better pastures.

At April 28, 2006 10:00 AM, Blogger PentrinoVI said...


Do you know me? My experience is contrary to yours. It is not a question of "knowing what is best". CEO's get there through action, networking and sometimes luck. You can contend that any action is good action, but don't trust me. Trust the stock price. Where is it now? Where was it say 8 years ago? Who has been effective? When Paul started there were about 80K people. Now there are 100K. Now we want to get back to 80 or so. Is this a successful diet strategy or just binge and purge?

Further, how does this relate to our product strategy? How much did platforms help us? How much did branding help? Assuming that the boys at the top know all/see all is an act of faith, one which I consider unjustified.

There is no argument that running a big company is difficult, but just because you are at the head of a big company does not prove that you are up to the task.

BTW - how much Value did Carly bring to HP?

At April 28, 2006 10:27 AM, Anonymous Carl said...

Unofficially mind you...

We need to be better at creating value for the customer.
"We will win because we are Intel"
won't work. We will win when we out work, out promote, out design, out produce and out hussle the competition. All our jobs are safe and sound when we do that.
Fail at impressing the customer and we will all be looking for another job to do.

At April 28, 2006 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Intel's annual report says that there are over 103,000 employees...

At April 28, 2006 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of us welcome the "cutting of the fat" ... sure you certainly don't want YOUR division to be hacked to bits--but there are businesses @ intel which have been bleeding money for years. Wireless comms comes to mind as well as hand-held processors. No matter if you have friends who work in affected areas like these or you yourself work in them--the time has come to stop the bleeding. We've had our chance at cellular processors and hand-held processors. We have screwed the pooch time and time and time again with missed windows of opportunities, products that can't ship in volume, wrong feature sets, etc. It's time to cut the chord and move on .....

At April 28, 2006 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone post about 'The Big' reorganization of the 80's? Somehow media is comparing the planned 'Efficiency drive' to 198X effort. I am relatively new and want to know what exactly had happened.


At April 28, 2006 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I both worked in and supported the wireless and comms divisions and yes, neither of them have come anywhere close to ever making a dime for Intel (with the exception of the legacy Flash memory and Embedded processor divisions).

I think in this latest restructuring Intel will look long and hard at these businesses, and spin them off (or sell them to the highest bidder). The flash and embedded businesses will stay as they are strategic to the corporate mission.

So if you are in HCG and/or CIG, you had better start looking either internally or externally, because either short or long term, you are hosed.

XScale is no longer a strategic microarchitecture to Intel's future, nor is any product based on it. Rather the strategy is all-IA (read: LPIA!) and anything outside of that is redundant and unneeded in the mid to long term.

Josh, just judging from what I've seen of your posts internally and externally, and the seeming focus of your job (blogging, podcasting, wki, etc.) I have a very difficult time seeing how you add enduring value to the corporate bottom line.

I see all of these posts about all of these gadgets you have (I assume the company is paying for most, if not all of them), conferences you go to, all of these posts and comments that you are making during the day (I assume on company time), and I just have to wonder, honestly and truthfully, what value to intel's mission all of this is adding.

Job functions such as yours are exactly the type of "luxurious" jobs/fat that we need to be cutting. Your salary and gadget costs could be better put to work in other areas of the company, and all of this blogging and other non-productive activity could be dispersed among many other people throughout the company.

Just my two cents.

- A concerned Grade 11 Corporate Manager.

At April 30, 2006 6:55 PM, Blogger Josh Bancroft said...

Hmm. Anonymous Concerned Grade 11 Manager, did you post that same comment both here and on my blog ( because you think I'm PentrinoVI, or in response to my comment above. :-)

Either way, I've just posted an open thread on whether or not Intel should fire me as part of the restructure. Anyone here, please feel free to head over there and leave your thouhts.

At May 01, 2006 9:44 AM, Blogger PentrinoVI said...

Anonymous G11,

I think it should be clear that I'm not Josh. Not to be mean or anything, but I'm much more intelligent and good looking than him.

Of course, someone like you might have trouble with discerning identities as you evidently have some trouble figuring out who you are. But no matter. Just don't blame me for the silly things Josh says and vice versa.

Keep on adding ENDURING VALUE.


At May 12, 2006 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Hammer is starting to fall...or is it the "axe" ?

HOLY CRAP -- 15% ?!?!?!?!

Get out while you still can ... before you GET CANNED !!

I do hear AMD and TI are hiring, so perhaps there is hope.

At August 21, 2006 9:01 AM, Blogger thinkdifferent said...

Can Amd support this level of demand straight off the existing lines, surely not! This must present them with constraint issues?

Come on guys anyone got some +ve stuff to hang onto?

At August 24, 2006 4:01 AM, Anonymous Rick said...

Soon we will stuff this crap down their throats and make them eat crow!


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