Time sure flies when you're having fun.
Intel CEO (and Grove successor) Craig Barrett will turn 65 in August. (The picture is from a 2002 Intel Development Forum, found on Intel's site.)
Few can quibble with the job he's done. I certainly won't. He was a Stanford Professor before he began climbing the greasy pole at Intel, in 1974. Before joining the company he was also a Fulbright Fellow and the author of a materials science textbook.
I mention all this because it's time to consider who will follow him.
Rather than playing a name game, I'd rather look at the kind of person Intel needs to promote. I assume they won't go outside, there's no need.
It needs to be a scientist, someone with vision, a long-range view. It needs to be someone who hates bureaucracy, and bureaucratic nonsense, even more than Andy Grove did, if that's possible. It has to be someone who understands corporate structure as well as Barrett, someone with a share of the entrepreneurial drive Bob Noyce brought, someone who can communicate like Gordon Moore himself.
Intel has been lucky in finding such men in Grove and Barrett.
The biggest problem is that, as it has scaled, Intel has morphed into a collection of fiefdoms. The platform vision of the company isn't well-understood out at its edges, where salesmen look only to the current quarter, and their bosses often look more to the competition than to themselves.
So let's play a game.
You will find biographies of all the candidates here. They are a good group. (Don't look at the top names, those are the incumbents.) The person to the left is my personal favorite, which means he's probably a loser. (Remember Howard Dean?)
Go through the list, read the bios, and let me know your favorite in the comments section below. Let me know what's wrong with my choice, what's right with yours.
I'm tired of picking Presidents. Picking corporate chieftains is far more rational.