The Unofficial Intel Blog

Poking the beehive with a stick

Thursday, July 13, 2006

1000tellini and the math.

1000 managers. Well, that is a start. Figure one manager for every 6-7 people. Means 1 person is a manager out of every 8. Or 10,000 managers out of 80,000 so the layoff means about 10% of managerial ranks. Of course, focal expects about 10% of the general population to be "slower" so this is close to what you would expect from attrition and running managers out of town on Corrective Action Programs. Of course, there are more than 80,000 people. Closer to 100K. And each of those managers also has a manager so there are probably more than 10,000 managers. I wouldn't be surprised if the number were 15,000. This makes the layoffs nearly trivial when compared to yearly attrition.

But they will be painful of course to those 1000 people. That can not be denied. And how did things end up this way? Is focal to blame with a salary structure that incentivizes becoming a manager? Is a too narrow technical track to Intel Fellow the reason? Are the bloated upper levels of dozens of ill-integrated acquisitions clogging the corporate ladder? Is everyone just getting older?

So many questions. So many hard problems that need to be addressed as a systemic problem rather than as a reaction. And that is why Paul makes the big bucks.


At July 13, 2006 5:51 PM, Blogger Josh Bancroft said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time Intel has done a layoff (instead of redeployment) since the 80s.

My manager was affected by this, and it was a big surprise. Lots of emotions around the decision, and I'm under a self-imposed blog embargo on the topic for a while, out of respect for the people affected.

Overall, was this good for Intel? In theory, yes, but it will be a while before we know if the 1000 that were laid off were the right 1000.

At July 14, 2006 7:36 AM, Blogger PentrinoVI said...

Extended redeployment = layoff.
That is after x months on redeployment you are gone. There was a lot of this in the late 90's and there was also a VSP in place at one time since then (I can't quite recall when though. (VSP = voluntary separation pl...something or other). I know a few people who used the latter to their advantage.

So while it may not have been called a layoff, they were in effect layoffs.

Chances are that among 1000 that there were a number of mistakes made. It would be incredible if there were not.

HR presumably has more data than any of us, but it is my impression that the manager class was getting increasingly bloated and is as a rule less likely to let people go, so this is a good thing.

Of course, ultimately it may just be symbolic. A hair shirt put on by management before they chop further lower down.

At July 14, 2006 2:15 PM, Anonymous Brett said...

Intel is no different from any company, redeployment basically means layoff, sure a select few have the chance to stay with intel but often times it involves moving a great distance. If you have a family is it worth while to move them out of state for a medicore job at best? For a number of years, intel has been in two modes, 1.) economic boom = spend spend spend/ money is no object 2.)economic down = save every penny, nobody gets anything, save save save!!

Its said to see after so many years intel STILL hasn't figured out how to strike a happy medium

At July 17, 2006 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonder who want to get promoted after the slash...

End results, more and more individual contributors (IC)...

And the next 5 years... management will say, we have too many IC, in order to keep the company more agile... we need to slash thousands of individual contributors...

Just wonder have they even think of the impacts to the employees...

Paul said he won't do a crash diet... but pls tell me... is this call "walk the talk"?

Being one of the largest company on this earth, that's the best that they can do?

What a sad and demotivated world...

At July 20, 2006 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

U mentioned the technical track to Intel Fellow is too narrow. How so? The readiness indicators are currently under review, so its been mentioned before, but what's ur thoughts on that?

At July 20, 2006 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting that Eric Kim is now in charge of Digital Home and away from Marketing, after being brought to Intel with such brouhaha as the marketing savior?

It's also interesting how quickly the mobility/wireless guys are climbing up the ranks, such as Maloney and (who's your) Dadi.

At July 20, 2006 9:59 PM, Blogger PentrinoVI said...


no offense, but wen u rite like this ppl dnt take u serious. Fellow is polit. some got for being CTo of aq comp. There r more VP than fellow i think. shd be 6 fellow for 1 vp. how many g10 is ind cont? i dnt no. just seems lo.


Re: Erik Kim. He and Don McDonald deserve each other. Can't say much more than that. If anyone should be reviving VIIV it should be Eric Kim, and if he can't, He can't.

The rise of mobility has been in the cars since Steck and Co. dealt themselves a P4 flush with Willamette.

At July 27, 2006 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened at Fab11x? How did Intel loose power to the plant ? Who was driveing the digger ,was it connected to the layoff's

At August 09, 2006 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reality is that the very same people, who are now creating these lists and executing those on it, are the very same people that have led Intel into this mess.

Here in EMEA we have been telling Intel for years that the 'vested and rested' leaders were lording it over the creation of a new bloated Civil service the likes of which the IT industry hadn’t seen since IBM’s near death experience – and the chiefs at the fabs (headquarters) simply told us off for voicing what we could all see.

Many in EMEA welcomed the long overdue move by Paul to slash. The expectation being that those that have hung too long and do too little would finally be sent to their resting places. And the first reaction across the domain was that at last Paul had seen the light!

The reality is that the power to fire has been handed to these very same deadbeats. Guess what?

They are now removing some of their most capable and exceptional managers, most especially those that have been critical of Intel’s recent performance. Yep, you heard it here first guys, this whole exercise is being used as an exercise to settle scores here in EMEA. Morale amongst all grades is now lower than ever, and the bright ones are already polishing CV’s and moving on.

But, at least the deadbeats the 20+ year staffers are still playing musical years. Intel’s miserable performance for the past 4 years isn’t their fault – right?!

Funny eh, the ones that could have and the ones who should have been given the opportunity to make a difference are the ones who being killed off first.

Far from fix Intel's woes, this will greatly exacerbate them.

And the rotten leader’s will slope back into their well padded armchairs and run to Paul and say 'we did it boss, aren't we good'...

Let’s hope the Emperor wakes up soon and realise that bit by bit these sycophants are only taking away his clothes and soon enough he will be next.

How much longer will Intel’s shareholders accept this stupidity?

At August 10, 2006 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, for my turn. Terrific but painful previous post.

And now it just gets worse.

The very same crew that is being relied upon to stop our business in EMEA turning into a complete broken arrow are now responsible for misleading all our customers and telling them that we don't have a stock/supply problem.

You all know who the culprits are, or shall we just start naming them and see if that finally exposes them for the incompetent bunch they are?

They have long passed their sell-by dates. For g*ds sake Otellini, wake and smell the coffee! These guys in emea have been around too long, no one trusts their judgement any more,

We have a completely screwed up supply chain and cannot supply almost anything for the next 3-4 weeks, so we and our distributors have been asked to mislead them all and not admit we have another supply issue, so soon after the last screw-up.

Ergo: another huge jump in grey market sales (Were does all this free stock come from?) and another hidden additional cost our customers are paying through the nose for.

And they wonder why our customers in EMEA are shrinking and continuing to turn to AMD.

Does anyone really understand the mess we are truly in?

Come on Otellinni, get out of your ivory tower and come and talk to your front line troops.

Either you don’t want to hear the message or you’re Generals are doing a great job in hiding their continuous incompetence.

I do hope there is a better plan than the one we have been presented with so far, if there isn't, then the business is in a tailspin and we will crash and burn.

At August 15, 2006 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder why Paul Otellini is not straightening Intel India using this opportunity. Intel India's reputation in Bangalore has sunk like anything. For 4 years it did not do anything worth talking. Whitefield project cancelled due to sloppy execution. About 250 employees were fired over fraudulent activities. Intel is no longer able to attract the best talent in Bangalore.

I had worked with team members in India for a project. High attrition issues, no commitment from Engineers and there are many Engineers running around crazy. In fact, there are even rumors IP may be compromised, since many employees come and go. Average tenure of an Engineer in Intel India is about 1-2 years.

It is time Paul closes Intel plant in Bangalore and move it to Penang or Manila. We have better track records from these operations compared to Bangalore.

At August 18, 2006 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I know from time to time the budgets are zipped, but I couldn't resist extracting and posting part of an email. There is a real funny side to this. I'll leave it up to the many readers I now know who view this blog that are wary of posting to see if I can tempt you to put some gallows humour forward, come on guys and girls, what's to lose?

Anyway, you've all seen this anyway.

(I will soon know who you sneaky posters are as I hear you hum this to the sound of ghostbusters..!)

"What ya gonna do Intel, call Maurits!"

All RCO employees…


After just 1 month of the quarter EMEA RCO has spent nearly half of the entire quarter's discretionary budget of $7K per head. EMEA's GM's have issued a 'zero tolerance' to overruns.

Please cancel all non urgent travel and review all planned spending with a critical eye, reducing where possible.

- No staff FTF
- Limit customer visits to 1 Intel employee only
- No out of geo travel unless Maurits approves
- Use cheapest telephony options
- No relocations

Please also ensure expenses are claimed in a timely manner to help planning and budgeting

Any queries or proposals for savings please drop me a line

At August 22, 2006 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may want to be careful about what you post, though. If you post anything confidential, this blog will get shut down quicker than you can say "babaganoush".

This is probably one of the last places where one can get the real deal. The internal blogs and newsgroups are already being censored, everything is always logged.

I wonder what kind of wonderful discussions we'd have if we had an anonymous discussion forum at Intel, where everything goes, and everyone is allowed to challenge any ideas. No sacred cows there. Unfortunately, that's never going to happen. It would be too dangerous to the powers that be. They'd be some unnecessary namecalling, of course, but I think the possible benefits would far outweigh any problems.

There are not supposed to be any sacred cows this time around, with the efficiency thing, but there still are, of course. Also, in many cases, the fox is guarding the henhouse, so to speak. The people being asked to be part of the solution ARE the problem.

At September 02, 2006 6:15 AM, Anonymous Rick said...

lets see if the liberating effect of knowing you will soon either be one of those pushed overboard or one of those that can find your exit at your own time of choosing, will it encourage others to post here and start a more direct, no holds barred debate that we cant have internally?

I hope so, this review by Paul seems entirely lacking in honesty or objectivity, What is it that Intel want to be?

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