Oct 18, 2021 - Technology

Intel CEO blames predecessors for manufacturing woes

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger

Axios on HBO

When it comes to Intel's recent manufacturing problems, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger places the blame squarely on his predecessors — many of whom he notes were not engineers deeply steeped in chip technology, as he is.

Why it matters: Gelsinger has announced a broad plan to reinvigorate Intel by doubling down on manufacturing. However, the strategy depends on the venerable semiconductor giant recovering from recent stumbles.

Gelsinger told me that the company had grown so successful that leaders wanted to move the strategy away from what had made Intel a chip juggernaut. Especially lacking, he said was the "maniacal" focus on manufacturing that had been a hallmark since Intel's founding.

Context: Gelsinger returned to Intel as CEO earlier this year, spent three decades at the company after joining it at age 18. Along the way he became the youngest VP in Intel history and rose to CTO before leaving in 2009 for the No. 2 spot at EMC. He was named CEO of VMWare in 2012 and served there until rejoining Intel.

The big picture: Gelsinger has come in full of ambition to return Intel to its heyday, promising to churn out market-leading chips not just for Intel but others who want to rely on its manufacturing for their chips.

  • While he acknowledges the need to prove himself, Gelsinger said he will rebuild the company's credibility with its customers so that if they say they need a million of some chip by Monday, the order will be there by Sunday night.

"Just every time," Gelsinger told me. "And our competitors fear us because we always do what we say we're going to do."

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