The Intel CEO gave a speech that sounded like he was going to war.
The Intel CEO gave a speech that sounded like he was going to war.
Pat Gelsinger's Intel is looking like the very different company it needs to be. It is more collaborative than combative, more strategic than tactical, with a far more effective plan than it has had since Andy Grove left the firm. Let's talk about how Gelsinger presents Intel as an execution and par...

I have believed for nearly two decades that Pat Gelsinger is the best person to run Intel. He did Intel proud with the most effective corporate pep talk I have yet seen.

Most pep talks take a very aggressive stance about beating the competition and doing an excellent job getting people fired up. The competition is not the firm's number one problem. It is not an inability to execute or find a way to partner to gain sustainable advantage.

Sometimes a company gets so focused on their competitors that they lose track of their customers who want interoperability, collaboration, and people who focus on what those customers want. The customers want choice, not a firm they support.

We will talk about how Pat Gelsinger presented Intel as an execution and partnering powerhouse, and we will close with a new set of noise-cancellation headphones from Lenovo.

The new four pillars are from Intel.

Four seems to be the most attractive number for this purpose, as one of the common ways a CEO organizes how he or she will talk about their company is by pillars. Pat also went down this path. His pillars were four.

    Intel has had a lot of problems with execution over the last couple of decades. The company's hostile culture is believed to be the source of many of the problems with execution. The employee at Intel was set against them. I don't think anyone knows this better than Gelsinger, who was forced out of the company after being on the wrong side of a power play.

    If you want to innovate, you need to fix both execution and innovation problems.

    Pat was not all rainbows and unicorns. The fourth pillar was to make Intel the leader in every category, and that will require some exciting balance given what else was announced.

    Intel Fab Services.

    The US has moved from being the leader in chip fabrication to being a small part of the market. To fix this, Intel wants to bid on the U.S. project to create a new super-foundry. Third-party business requires a foundry.

    That may sound like a losing proposition because companies don't like getting anything from their competitors. They don't want their funds to be used against them and they want customers to know they rely on a competitor's technology.

    The power of partners.

    IBM was not the only partner in evidence. Microsoft joined IBM's CEO as part of the presentation.

    The partners are fascinating because they did not like each other in the past. The founding of the current PC and server industries was done by these three companies. They are both powerful, but together they might be able to pivot the market to a cloud-focused future.

    IBM and Microsoft both have extensive cloud efforts, but they don't directly compete. Microsoft's public cloud is called Azure and has an on-premises option. IBM is a multi-cloud expert and they place the IBM Cloud as a solution focused on the most secure workloads.

    Microsoft and IBM are not exclusive. A tighter partnership between the two companies could create a solution that is unparalleled for flexibility and security. Intel will need to learn how to balance alliances and competition in order to be successful.

    Another partner that was identified in the announcement was Qualcomm.

    Qualcomm is more of a licensing powerhouse than a parts supplier. Microsoft works with Qualcomm. Given that Apple screwed both, there has been an impressive amount of employee movement between Intel and Qualcomm.

    The wrapping up is done.

    Pat Gelsinger's. The company it needs to be is looking very different. It is more collaborative than combative, more strategic than tactical, with a far more effective plan than it has had in the past.

    The emergence of the Intel CEO as a leader who could rally the troops and form critical partnerships and alliances was what I saw.

    This approach should keep the company out of trouble as there will be rocky roads ahead. It could result in a resurgence of the firms that founded the PC and server industries, while creating the cloud and mature artificial intelligence future we seem to be rapidly approaching.

    The right CEO and board can see the future and drive needed change to adapt to survive. The future of Intel and its partners are brighter than they were before last week, and that indicates that Pat was the right guy for the CEO job. Tell you so.

    The X1 Active Noise Cancellation Headphones are from the ThinkPad line.

    My need for headphones has changed from being portable to being comfortable because I am not traveling right now. I can wear headphones when I watch videos in bed without disturbing my wife, and I also can go from movies to music depending on my mood.

    There are three styles of headphones.

    In- ear are more portable and come in form factors that are comfortable to wear when not using. This style tends to make my ears itch over time, and they don't have the best range of the other designs.

    The over- ear style is the most uncomfortable to wear when not in use. They do the best noise cancellation on airplanes.

    The third style is between the two others. I don't like this style in the past, but thanks to the soft ear cushions, it's easier to carry around now.

    can be found 

    As of this writing, good headphones can be found for as little as $130, which is a bargain.

    The low end of the ThinkPad X1 headphones were particularly attractive to me. The battery life for traveling headphones is 14 hours, but this is plenty for home use.

    They were much more comfortable than the Poly headset I use for calls, because callers couldn't tell I was holding the phone, and they were an excellent work tool.

    The buttons on these headphones are a nice change from other designs. This set didn't have a problem with me searching for controls.

    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Headphones 

    They work well, are very affordable, and seem ideal for our new work-from- home normal, which makes them my product of the week.

    The author of this article does not represent the views of ECT News Network.

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