Taking you behind the scenes a bit, employees at the company viewed an article I wrote earlier this month -- 2013 Prediction: Apple and Facebook Will Fly, Intel Will Die -- 1,255 times. These page visits came from an internal Intel employee-only blog. Whoever posted the link added the word "yikes" to the end of my title.
They're a confident bunch at Intel. Probably too confident. Though not bumbling idiots, the response to criticism is reminiscent of Research in Motion (RIMM) circa 2011.
Honey, I don't have a problem. Now, bartender, pour me another drink.An Intel executive got in touch with me on Monday in response to Intel CEO Out: It's About Time. He took exception to my tongue-lashing and forward-looking thoughts. But that's his job. To defend his company and, sadly, to a certain extent, maintain the status quo.
I saw it happen all 2011 not only at RIM, but with executives I made contact with at Netflix (NFLX). They're almost like domestic abuse victims; if they just give it more time or half-acknowledge, partially address the problem a bit longer, things will change. They can only get better. But the Intel exec isn't the only one. Everybody thinks I'm nuts for suggesting Intel ditch the standard routine of hiring an executive search firm and promoting from within or hiring -- hey, hey, hey -- a division head from Hewlett Packard (HPQ) or a former president from -- gasp -- Motorola Mobility. These comprise the majority of options compiled by Arik Hesseldahl of All Things D. Sadly, Hesseldahl doesn't see the two most exciting names on the list -- former Apple (AAPL) executive Scott Forstall and ex- Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) Windows President Steve Sinofsky -- as good fits for the gig. That's depressing. In fact, these two names should be the most "conservative" ones that come up. It's pretty straightforward; I'm convinced we have two worldviews colliding here. There's the perspective that looks at Intel and says they just need some product tweaks to better compete and muscle their way into mobile relevancy for example. Go out and hire "a seasoned executive" who has silicon coming out of his or her ears.