The Next Intel

I was talking with someone who now works somewhere else, but who had worked at Intel until two years ago. I mentioned my current point of view about the company, and he laughed.

“Everything will change when management changes, and Sean Maloney takes over,” he said to me.

I had not told him that I’d given Sean the Brass Ring award, meaning I’d picked him as CEO, many years ago.

“Do you mean that everyone at the company is just waiting around for this to happen?”

“Sure,” he said, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world.

When I thought about it, I realized that, of course, it was the most obvious thing.

The problem is, you’d never know it, because the press is afraid to cover it. It’s like Carly at HP; everyone was writing good things about Carly until the day after she was kicked out.

Take the NYTimes, or Fortune, or anyone else of the same pedigree; they wouldn’t print a bad story on Intel if they had it done and were sitting on it, because then – poof – there goes their access.

That makes them pretty poor at what they are getting paid to do, if professionalism is still involved. Why hasn’t anyone told the story of all the Intel screwups in the last few years, not to mention the legal entanglements, anti-trust investigations and suits, the predatory behavior, etc. ? No one has even told the whole story about what they did to Negroponte, as naive as he was.

Oops, I guess they’re scared.

It’s too bad, because ultimately, just as with Microsoft’s (or Siemens’, or Qualcomm’s) past illegal actions, it would be of greater service to the company to be honest, than to treat them like some unreal, un-discussible, concoction.

They’re a company. They have some really great people working there, who know EXACTLY what is going on. The company makes mistakes. You journalists can talk about it. Get over your fears.

In the long run, it will make Intel a better company. And that’s the Intel I’m looking forward to writing about sometime soon.