Intel Will Die if It Doesn't Think and Act Differently

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Intel ( INTC) reads TheStreet.

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.
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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) 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.

Then there's my perspective.

You've hitched yourself to a dying PC market. So, much of your fate depends on what happens at Microsoft ( MSFT). There's a better than zero chance Apple ( AAPL) will stop doing Macbook business with you soon and there's probably no way you get your processors into iPhones or iPads.

You're a company in disarray. Poking in the dark. You have invested hundreds of millions in ultrabooks. You threw some money at some cable television initiative we no longer hear anything about. And you put cash into automotive technology. Where is that going?

Intel needs a visionary CEO, not a chip geek, to come in, put the kibosh on hobbies that will likely go nowhere and reposition the company as a powerhouse. You're simply not going to find that person via the run-of-the-mill look at internal candidates, interview the names the media spits out process.

I wouldn't balk at either Forstall or Sinofsky, but I agree, they're better fits at Microsoft than they are Intel.

Honestly, I don't know who Intel should hire. But I do know this -- the Otellini thinks it's time to retire press release apparently shocked people who have followed Intel for years. Wow! They do not have a successor lined up for the first time since 1842. And they might hire from outside the company!

Oh. Ah. How bold.

Don't misconstrue what I said in Monday's article. That's like misunderstanding Cramer's prediction of 440 electoral votes for Obama.

Sometimes you have to use hyperbole to make a point. I don't think Intel should hire Jack Dorsey as CEO or even consult with the guy, though the latter could make perfect sense.

Rather, its press release needed to say something such as We will commission the greatest visionaries of the last five years in Silicon Valley to help Intel pave a way forward after Otellini. We will call on these minds to help us find our next CEO. Young and vibrant. Ready to turn tech on its collective ear.

Listing Otellini's accomplishments and noting that we'll do what every other old guard company does when it needs a new executive just doesn't cut it.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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