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Western Digital Corp. - Analyst/Investor Day

Stocks in this article: WDC

Here we go. So I want to spend a few minutes of retrospection. If we look at the 50 years, the last 40 of Western Digital's life and the upcoming 10 years, you will see an underlying focus on understanding change, anticipating change in market needs and reacting within the company to position ourselves take advantage of those changing market requirements on a continuing basis. Back in 1970 when Western Digital was founded as a semiconductor designer and marketer, our first products were calculator chips. And through the 10 years, we evolved. And as we entered the PC age, we were primarily a designer and marketer of storage controller chips, floppy and hard drive controller chips, which were delivered to the market for hard drives as an interposer card. So we transformed ourselves from a chip company to a subsystem board level company and became an 80% market share leader in hard drive control.

We then develop the WD1010, which was an SoC that combined all of that board-level logic onto a single chip, enabled it to go into a hard drive. And in order to offer the market what it needed in terms of the solution for what was now a requirement for all PCs to have a hard drive embedded in them, we acquired a hard drive company and became a hard drive company through the '90s. And then we transitioned from drives to a broader product line throughout the last decade. And we will talk today about some of our ideas and our focus for the 10 years to come.

Let me look a little bit closer at the last 10 years and, again, to look at this theme of understanding market trends, acting in a timely and appropriate way to intersect those trends and continuing to delight customers with the product portfolio and the utility that enables them to succeed in their markets. And over the last 10 years, we started that 10 years as a strong desktop-focused market player. And we built a business model that was focused on quality, reliability, speed and cost leadership. And as we succeeded in that desktop market, we looked at the trends in the market and applied our business model and caught 2 major waves of change in market expansion throughout the decade, the first of those being the proliferation of mobile devices started initially with the laptop PC, and entering that market into 2004, and within 4 years becoming the market leader by applying customer-centric solutions. We listened to customers. We anticipated who the successful guys were going to be in the laptop PC business. We listened to what they needed to succeed, and we delivered that formula, which was a highly desired solution compared with the existing competitive solutions that were in the market at that time, and drove us from entry to market leadership in 4 years in the fastest-growing segment of the market.

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